Newcastle United have risked the wrath of their manager Alan Pardew and their loyal fan base 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 outrageous and 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 alleviate the doubters’ despair 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, making a mockery of last season as the Geordies flirted with relegation—the manager sighting a cocktail of injuries and a squad thin on quality as justification for poor performances.
The Londoner raided Ligue 1 to bolster his squad during the January sales, yet the Gallic acquisitions failed to 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.
So with the club seemingly in disarray, who could steady the ship? Joe Kinnear apparently. 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 is a recipe for disaster. Appointing the ex-Wimbledon, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle boss to oversee The Toon’s footballing activities is akin to Ferris Bueller presenting the keys of a vintage Ferrari to a somewhat unsound valet attendant.
That said, every cloud has a silver lining. No dull press conferences at St James’ Park next season…