Very interesting listening to Radio 5 Live's programme on scouting featuring Allardyce, Pleat and Pulis amongst others. Pulis and Doctor Evil appear to have completely different approaches.
According to the Stoke man, he has never signed a player he hasn't checked out personally and targets players who have proved themselves once on the big stage but now have something extra to prove - which explains his interest in Carlton.
Sam, on the other hand, trusts his chief scout and his bank of digital evidence entirely. He doesn't feel the need to see the player play, though he does want to interview any potential signing to check out his "character". As Sam says, the player may have an off day when he watches him and he has to have confidence in his scouting staff, otherwise there's no point in paying them.
Very interestingly, he slammed the scouting set up at West Ham, claiming the club was light years behind Bolton and Blackburn. No surprise there of course, but I'm not sure what Diddy David Sullivan will make of that given the way he seems to have assumed chief scout responsibilities since buying a chunk of the club.
Sadly, Pleat was not probed on his talent spotting techniques. I was looking forward to hearing how he drives very slowly along a kerb looking for an attractive pair of legs!