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Defending Graham Carr

Northampton Town 50th year Reunion to Mark Season in League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Newcastle United recently just sent a scouting delegation to a Europa League match in Belgium, while sending Graham Carr to Sweden. With Rafa Benitez in charge, could Graham Carr thrive?

Let’s take a step back and remember that when Newcastle United got relegated, Graham Carr showed up in the spotlight. Not as someone who shouldn’t be blamed, but as someone who should take the brunt of all the hatred and blame for the club’s failures.

But allow me to defend Graham Carr. While his career is coming to an end, I still believe that we will think of Graham Carr in the future as one of the strongest scouts in the game. The problem was he was forced to recommend cheap players who even himself was unsure of.

You may or may not be aware that before Real Madrid signed Raphael Varane, Graham Carr was hot on his trail and recommended him numerous times to Mike Ashley and the board. Varane would be more than the club was willing to spend, and Carr was forced to find a cheap knockoff.

Graham Carr is the reason for the signing of Hatem Ben Arfa, and Yohan Cabaye. They may be his most memorable players, but there were many who were not targeted due to Mike Ashley’s refusal to spend big money while hoping for a big profit.

Under Rafa Benitez, Graham Carr’s top choices should become Rafa’s top choices as well. In fact, often times, Graham Carr was forced to create a fourth option (yes a fourth option) for the club when the players would turn out to become too expensive, did not want to sign, or upper management didn’t want to sign.

Is Carr at fault for a lot of the problems? Yes. But you can’t always blame the follower. He did as told, did his best, and I think we can expect better things from Carr under Rafa Benitez.