I am in firm agreement with the universal opinion that Joe Kinnear should never have been involved in our beloved club, Newcastle United, in any capacity.

He has also rightly received severe criticism for his bizarre public outbursts and abject performance as Director of Football.

newcastle united managementHowever, for all the delusional self-aggrandizing hot air that Kinnear blows, I happen to agree with him on one point he consistently raises, that he would have kept Newcastle in the Premier League during the ill-fated 2008-09 season had he not been the victim of heart problems.

This week in the Chronicle, Chief Sports Writer, Lee Ryder, noted at the start of yet another polemic article in support of John Carver for new manager, that Joe Kinnear ‘laid the foundations for relegation during the 2008-09 season’.

If Ryder had taken the time to look back on the unfortunate events of that season, he would realize that the foundations of relegation were actually laid by Mike Ashley when he failed to back Keegan in the transfer market with the players he wanted, then subsequently did not act quickly enough to appoint a new established manager in the aftermath of his departure.

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Prior to Kinnear’s arrival, Newcastle had won 1 game, drawn 1 game and lost four games. If we look at the statistics between Kinnear’s first match, Everton at home, and technically his last match in charge, West Brom away, which he would have prepared the team for before suffering heart trouble, then his record is 5 wins, 8 draws and 6 losses. The football was not pretty, but he was grinding out results playing a balanced 4-4-2 formation with two strikers and two wingers providing chances from out wide. After Kinnear’s heart attack Newcastle’s record was abysmal, with 1 win, 4 draws and 7 losses.

As we all know now, Newcastle were relegated needing only a point to survive. I know this is controversial, but I happen to agree with Kinnear that given the improved performances and results he achieved before his heart problems, that he would have turned one of the one nil away defeats at Bolton, Tottenham or Aston Villa into a point, or one of the score draws at Hull or Stoke into a win. I am almost certain that he would have won one of the home games against Sunderland, Everton, Portsmouth or Fulham that would have led to survival.

Unfortunately, we will never know if Kinnear could have kept us up, but there is evidence in the results he achieved prior to his heart attack that he could organize the side effectively and get the results needed to stay in the league.

It is easy to criticise Kinnear, but he did a decent job in difficult circumstances during that season before his health problems.

In fact, with 5 wins and 5 draws, a total of 23 points on top of the four achieved before his arrival, it could be argued that Kinnear laid the foundations for survival that season.

In hindsight, therefore, perhaps Newcastle fans should look past their dislike of Kinnear and rather objectively consider the contributions of Ashley, Hughton and Shearer in failing to get the 8 points needed for survival that season; particularly the latter, whose bizzare team selections, such as Nicky Butt and Alan Smith in midfield, or choosing a very young Andy Carroll over established strikers like Viduka, Martins and Owen, left little to the imagination and certainly contributed to the failure to get the point we ultimately needed to survive.

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  • GeorgiaPeter

    In no way, shape, or form should he have been allowed within 500 miles of St james Park. OK, he has heart problems but it does not detract from the fact that he is a nutter and not what you would appoint as a DoF. 
    Cashley was at fault again… No due diligence on the person, again……….!
    That is where the blame lies for me and probably a lot more besides.

  • DavidDrape

    As a person I would probably like JPK. He has done well for himself considering his early background. Even though at times I thought JPK was being honest on many occasions when being interviewed, however, the fact is he didn’t help himself at times & wasted what NUFC needed or up to the standard even though he previously had a good playing career and early management success’s but hej who’s going to turn down the offer of managing Newcastle if your mates comes knocking on your door & turn down a massive wage? Not many. Good luck JPK as I don’t want to see your health suffer anymore bcoz if something more serious had happened to you whilst at NUFC it was Ashley that put you in that position. Thanks fr your small contribution & giving us plenty to giggle over.

  • LeazesEnder

    A polemic is a disagreement or argument against! ….and if Ryder is in favour of Carver then he’s wearing his Liverpool for ever hat to keep the problems of this ridiculous club going!

  • DavidJames2211

    I just wanna point out that Andy Carroll scored three goals that season, gaining two points from draws against West Ham and Stoke. Ova Martins pulled out of said game against Stoke with austerities hamstring injury, whereas I don’t think Mark Viduka actually scored a Premier League goal in 08/09 (correct me if wrong).
    So it’s a bit harsh blaming Shearer for playing Carroll.

  • jimblag

    Nicky Butt in midfield….how bizarre???????
    This article is in danger of giving Ashley ideas.
    It’s a good job we got relegated then because then he’d probably of been given the job full time. Sometimes you need to destroy and rebuild.

  • SimonM68

    There are some valid points, but don’t like the idea of comparing Kinnear’s contribution to Hughton’s, because Hughton was the polar opposite – a very decent, dignified bloke who was ridiculously dispensed with, rather than a ridiculous potty mouthed bloke who should never have been appointed in the first place. IMHO anyway….

  • Jarra MIck

    Going down that season was a godsend getting rid of utter [email protected]@s like Owen. I think if we had stayed up things would only have got worse sooner than they eventually did. At least we had a season in the championship where the football was good and the crowds were pulling for the team. Probably the best season we have had in recent times, or should I say the most enjoyable.

  • Carlo Gambino

    JFK was in charge for the game against the mackems and as the manager, sold Given after telling everyone he was going nowhere. Perhaps if he had kept Given he may have gotten the point that would have saved us.
    To even attempt to blame Shearer for any of the mess that season is scandalous although if he had of picked himself he wouldn’t of missed the 2 easy chances Owen did against pompey!
    He was also the first manager in nearly 30yrs to lose at the dark place.

  • DownUnderMag

    Joe “Tourrettes” Kinnear should never have been allowed anywhere near our club.   From day one, his press outburst set him in some illustrious company of worst appointments ever.  He seemed to live in his own drug induced fantasy whereby he was one of the best/most successful managers in the world, had all the contacts he would ever need and was revered by his peers.  The reality was that he was a foul mouthed incompetent who in times gone by would have been committed under mental stability junctures.  Made for some amusing anecdotes though….

  • Vito Genovese

    8points?? We needed 35. Ashley is to blame for constructively dismissing KK and replacing him with Jfk. End of story!
    Actually glad we went down as the crack on the way back was brilliant!

  • Jim Joe Billy Bob

    WOW! ‘In defense of Joe Kinnear’ a statement never heard before north of the Thames, let alone north of the Tyne. You must keep us informed regarding your medication, things will eventually get better and the illusions will go away, get well soon…