If Only We Still Had Derek Llambias…?
The window has slammed shut and after a summer of rumour, expectation and mostly disappointment, Newcastle United failed to sign any players on a permanent deal.
I don’t find myself overly surprised, with a strange sense of Déjà vu with a repeat of last summer’s transfer failings.
However, last summer, the club may have been naive, thinking we were ready following the 5th placed finish of the year before. The club themselves though had said they had learnt the lessons of the year before and the same mistakes wouldn’t happen again, and they have.
One man who wasn’t here last summer is our esteemed Director of Football: Joe Kinnear. He had no lessons to learn from and as we all knew he was incompetent and under qualified. At least with Llambias we knew he could handle negotiations and bring players in!
Two of the Premier League’s biggest spenders this summer have Directors of Football: Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. The difference between them and us though, they had done the job before and were qualified to do it again at the top level.
Tottenham’s Franco Baldini had been a director at Roma, Real Madrid and a Director of Football at Roma, amassing a huge contact list of the biggest names in the game, and most importantly in the modern era. Manchester City’s Txiki Begiristain did the job for five years at Barcelona, a man who once more probably could pick up the phone to any manager in the world.
However, you never heard either of them on a popular commercial radio station claiming that is what they could do, because they didn’t have to. They have a track record at doing the job. Joe Kinnear on the other hand has no track record in doing the job.
Even if Joe Kinnear had been a top level manager in recent years, we would have been flustered. It is a very different job, a specialized job that only intelligent, dedicated people can do. Things Joe Kinnear is simply not, he has no qualifications for the job and even if he does have a phonebook full of football’s biggest names, they’re all probably retired or dead.
I’m sure Ron Atkinson loves his weekly phone call from Mr Kinnear enquiring about Paul McGrath.
Joe Kinnear has been put in a job he is not qualified to do and that is to blame for our failings. He may have got the job due to being Ashley’s buddy and it seems the same issues of the club being unwilling to splash the cash come in to the equation. The man in charge of transfer dealings is mostly to blame. If we had someone in charge who could contact the men at the top in the present, we could haggle more, there would be an element of trust and respect, something I’m sure no club had with Mr Kinnear doing negotiations.
By the end we were almost resigned to our failings in the transfer market, but maybe we should expect more of it with Kinnear in charge of dealings. I even find myself starting to miss Derek Llambias.
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