Newcastle United have risked the wrath of their manager Alan Pardew and their loyal supporters by appointing Joe Kinnear as a director of football at St James’ Park.
The ex-Wimbledon boss was famously in charge of the Geordies during the 2008/09 season which ultimately resulted in relegation from the Premier League. Kinnear left his post in February 2009 due to health problems but as reported by The Guardian it was his explosive first meeting with the Press that set the tone for a disastrous season.
Newcastle’s chairman, Mike Ashley, has worked hard over the years to quieten the doubters but for every step he takes forwards, inexplicable actions move him, and the club, two steps back. During the 2011/12 season his indiscretions were largely forgiven as a much maligned Magpies squad very nearly gate crashed the Champions League party finishing fifth in the Premier League. Alan Pardew’s reward was a highly questionable eight-year contract. Compounding matters, Newcastle flirted with relegation last season with the manager sighting a cocktail of injuries and a squad thin on quality as justification for poor performances.
Yet as the Londoner raided Ligue 1 to bolster his squad during the January sales, the signings did not have the desired effect as Newcastle stuttered, finishing the season on 41 points—just five clear of relegated Wigan. To compound matters, The Telegraph reported divisions within the Newcastle camp.
With the club seemingly in disarray and a manager on a long term contract, what could steady the ship? Apparently, Joe Kinnear…. When confirming his appointment Kinnear told Sky Sports News, "I see a good player and know a good player. I have no other agenda. If I see players at the club right now and don't think they are good enough I intend to move them on."
This sounds like a recipe for disaster. The ex-Wimbledon, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle manager’s appointment can only serve to unsettle manager Alan Pardew. Every cloud has a silver lining though—at least there won’t be any dull press conferences at St James’ Park next season.