Finally, Graham Carr has left Newcastle United. In some late breaking news Wednesday night, the club announced that Carr is leaving St. James’s Park, effective immediately, on good terms.
Carr originally joined NUFC as chief scout back in February of 2010, after leaving Tottenham Hotspur. Since then, he has been quite the polarizing figure at the club. He has certainly had his moments of brilliance, bringing in players such as Moussa Sissoko for the small price of £1.5 million, and Yohan Cabaye. However, there have been many flops in the transfer market, as well as plenty of windows where not enough recruitment was done.
Many fans’ frustration with Graham Carr may be misplaced. With the separations of power at Newcastle over the past decade — where a coach doesn’t decide which players come in, a scout can only recommend players, and the owner has final say on all transfers — it’s entirely possible a lot of Carr’s handpicked players were never signed, or even approached due to age or perceived price tag. It was clear he could find a player on a budget (Sissoko, Tiote), but Newcastle were always the club looking for a bargain.
Looking forward, this is another clear indication that Rafa Benitez is in complete control of this football club. Rafa has changed Newcastle United from the ground up, and Graham Carr leaving the club, even by mutual consent, is another step in the right direction for Benitez. Most of the negative locker room characters have moved on, and parts of the club like the academy system and the training grounds have been completely overhauled. The final piece of the Pre-Rafa Era is Lee Charnley. By all accounts, Benitez has enjoyed working with Charnley, and he seems to be the bridge between Benitez and owner Mike Ashley.
For the immediate future, this doesn't change much and shouldn’t affect Rafa’s transfer dealings. Benitez already has his sights set on certain players, and the absence of Graham Carr should not hinder the ability to close those deals.