Since the emergence of Graham Carr on Tyneside, Newcastle United have experienced a transformation in both fortune and appearance.
Rather than conforming to the typical scouting principle of spreading resources across various countries, Carr and his team have taken a particular interest in France’s potential exports. Many may have seen it as a footballing faux-pas, but a return to Europe last season suggests otherwise.
Despite this glorious obsession with our fellow Channel inhabitants, the Magpies have made some inspired acquisitions in other places too. Cheick Tiote from FC Twente and Papiss Cisse from Freiburg are good examples. In fact, it is the nations from which we signed them – The Netherlands and Germany – which shall be the focus of this piece.
The club have had a torrid time this season, and so reinforcements must be forthcoming. So, with the squad in desperate need of added quality, do we continue in France or expand east into the lands of Cruyff and Beckenbauer?
With the club now putting an emphasis on the development of youngsters, situating our scouting team in Germany and Holland may be a good idea. The two nations have arguably the best youth policy in Europe, currently generating players such as Mario Götze, Marco Reus, Ricardo van Rhijn and Luciano Narsingh. The calibre of these youngsters is sublime, and although France do have a notable focus on youth, it is yet to have as much of an impact. One issue in Germany may be the cost, with most clubs being financially sound and stubborn with selling. With that in mind, Newcastle may find more luck in The Netherlands.
A common theory among English football fans is that the Bundesliga is the only comparable division to the Premier League. The efficient style of play often employed by German clubs is similar to the “no nonsense”, physical approach of the English game. Therefore, if we’re looking for players who would quickly adapt to our division, it may be beneficial to look for talent in the Bundesliga.
It has been argued that the Eredivisie has attributes similar to the Premier League, but there’s no doubt that it is a league of a significantly lower standard. Nevertheless, it isn’t difficult to identify players who are too good for the Dutch league and so may turn out to be a revelation in England. Our very own Cheick Tiote and Tim Krul are examples of this.
It must be pointed out that this article isn’t reprimanding the club’s activity in France – it is merely pointing out a possible opportunity to exploit the resources of two other flourishing leagues which appear to have incredible youth facilities and comparisons with the Premier League. What’s certain is my interest in your views on our scouting team making a switch in tactic at a time when transfer policy needs to be a priority.
What do you think? Are there any players in particular you’d like to see at the club come February?