GRAHAM CARR’S future at Newcastle United remained in doubt last night after the club refrained from commenting on reports suggesting the chief scout was considering his position in the wake of Joe Kinnear’s appointment as director of football.
The Northampton-based talent spotter was handed an eight-year contract by Mike Ashley last summer and was said to be “relaxed” about Kinnear’s impending arrival at St James’ Park following a meeting with the former manager and Alan Pardewin London on Tuesday.
However, after Derek Llambias resigned from his post as managing-director on Wednesday, in part, sources claim, because Kinnear had cast doubt on a deal for Brazilian free agent Douglas, reports in the national press yesterday indicated the man responsible for two years of scouting the former FC Twente defender could be poised to follow suit.
While Pardew has played down speculation over his own future by publicly declaring his ongoing commitment to the Magpies’ cause in a brief statement to our sister paper The Chronicle, insisting on Wednesday “I am staying to take the club up the league”, neither United nor the famously-private Carr have thus far sought to clarify the chief scout’s position.
Notwithstanding its impact, if any, on Carr, the upshot for Pardew of Kinnear’s
take on Douglas would appear to be a renewed focus on West Ham’s James Tomkins, long-admired by the Newcastle manager.
However, having been priced out of a move for the 24-year-old last summer, and despite the fact he has struggled to command a first-team place since then with fellow centre-backs James Collins and Winston Reid preferred by Sam Allardyce, the chances of United prising Tomkins from Upton Park seem slim given Hammers co-owner David Gold’s recent insistence the defender is not for sale.
Gold said: “We are not selling James Tomkins, he’s on a long contract and is still only a young man.
“He’s an absolutely top prospect and was he to be available it would not be easy to buy him as we have a very high valuation on him.
“This is no longer a selling club. We are moving forward into a big future and we will therefore be keeping our biggest players. James is one of them.”
Meanwhile, with Alan Shearer (above) having declared himself “sickened” by the week’s events at Gallowgate, his former number two Iain Dowie has questioned the need to restructure the club’s managerial set-up.
Dowie, a coach under Shearer in April and May, 2009, said: “ have a great deal of sympathy for Alan Pardew at the moment.
“Wasn’t it about a season ago everyone was looking at what Newcastle were doing,and (saying) ‘that’s the model to follow?
“They’ve hit the Holy Grail and done it, they’ve found a way of going and buying cheap French players and making them very, very successful’.
“Everyone was looking at their model and thinking, ‘this is the way forward’.
“Now, there seems to be a reason to change.
“I don’t understand why you tinker with that part which was working.
“I’m not sure Alan and Graham Carr need another body, do they? All I’m saying is, my view is that’s an area of the club which was working very well, so why change it?”