Kinnear Appointed To Improve Pardew Popularity!
Oh for those halcyon days when we engaged in animated discussion around Alan Pardew’s future at Newcastle. Cast your minds all the way back to May 2013; we even went as far as speculating about potential candidates to replace Pardew. The conclusion for so many of us after a horribly disappointing Premier League season was that our manager had fallen well short and had to be replaced. One oft-quoted line during that speculation was “Careful what you wish for” – the thinking being that it was at best naïve to call for Pardew’s head when Mike Ashley’s track record for appointing new managers is patchy to say the least.
Despite all that we knew of Mike Ashley, despite all of the talk of stability at the club in the aftermath of last season’s horror show in the league, not one single Newcastle fan could have seen yesterday’s news coming. Joe Kinnear as Director of Football. On a three year contract! With a remit to oversee transfers!! Forgive the extravagant exclamations but how else can I express helpless screaming?
Whatever else this news has done to the supporters of Newcastle United it has certainly achieved one thing – it has, at a stroke, made Alan Pardew seem far, far more popular if only by comparison. Which does make you wonder, whether that was part of the logic behind this truly bewildering appointment.
At risk of sounding paranoid there seems to be a developing trend of attempts by Messrs Ashley & Llambias to stage manage the mood among the fans by using some of the oldest PR tricks in the book. Burying bad news with good, adding spin to make bad news seem to be good news, the whole Wonga episode was a classic example of that. There’s no doubting they are an extremely unpopular and somewhat toxic brand (arguably no more or less toxic than bookmakers, casinos and alcohol) but this toxicity was managed very carefully in its delivery. Yes, Wonga are our new sponsors but look how benevolent they are! They’ve changed the name of the stadium back to St James’ Park! It was Wonga who did that! Look how much extra money they’ve given us – that money has gone directly into the academy to help us produce the best players in the world and they’ll all be Geordies.
None of the other sponsors wanted to do that – they were all urging us to use their money to buy guns and take pot shots at the fans from the Platinum Club. Now do you see how good Wonga are? Wonga are bringing the gates outside the stadium back too, you know. They insisted. The chairman of Wonga also personally visited B&Q in Scotswood to buy a job lot of grey pain and then climbed the ladders to the top of the Gallowgate stand himself to paint over the Sports Direct logo.
Meanwhile, we are faced with the reality that Joe Kinnear is back in a position of authority at Newcastle United. In one deft (daft?) move Mike Ashley has comprehensively silenced anyone who was still grumbling that Alan Pardew is no longer the right man for the manager’s job. For the fact is that if he were to resign or be sacked now then we all know who will step into the job.
I’m sure, of course, that deflecting flak away from Pardew wasn’t the main motivating factor behind appointing Kinnear but it’s certainly a perk from Mike Ashley’s point of view. Clearly, somehow, Ashley truly believes that Joe Kinnear has something special about him. Whether he’s just a mate that he’s determined to employ in some form or whether he has seen something in him that no one else in football has, the fact is that we all know what comes next. We’ll offload someone unpopular like Mike Williamson and we’ll be told that it was Kinnear’s decision. We’ll make a couple of new signings and as soon as one of them scores we’ll be told he was a Kinnear purchase. It is this “overseeing transfers” role that baffles me more than anything – it seemed to be the one aspect of the club that was working well last season!
We’ve made some great signings with Pardew & Carr calling the shots. If we’d recruited a Director of Football to influence coaching, tactics or fitness it would make much more sense. But in the coming weeks there’ll be all sorts of spin telling us that this is a good thing. It’s already started in the Chronicle.
As fans we are being played for mugs. No doubt there will be attempts in the coming weeks to portray us, once again, as angry Cockney-hating, black & white coffin-carrying simpletons with an inability to recognise the skills of anyone but Geordie pure-bloods. This will, of course, singularly ignore the hero-worship dished out to Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and Robert Lee not so long ago. As well as all the distinctly non-Geordie foreign players we’ve lauded over the years.
As a set of fans we’re no different to any other – we celebrate brilliance and bemoan incompetence. Which is precisely why Joe Kinnear’s appointment was met with such anger and confusion yesterday. This is a man who embodies the whole concept of incompetence. He speaks with considerable incompetence. He has the appearance of someone who reeks of incompetence. Unprofessional, incapable and ignorant. He brings no tactical nous, no media-charming charisma, no valuable scouting contacts, he brings nothing but excruciating embarrassment with every word he utters. The man is a joke.
My only hope is that, as yet, confirmation of his appointment has come only from Joe Kinnear himself. Given his capacity for ridiculous bullsh*t there’s every chance that this job exists only in his head. Alternatively, another straw to clutch at is that this is all an elaborate stunt to make Alan Pardew seem infinitely better by comparison and that JFK will have no real role within the club.
I promised myself a couple of months off from fretting about football this summer. Cheers Mike.
You can read more from Paul on his very own Blog Here
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