Fans fear worst with Kinnear
Joe Kinnear's return to Newcastle could be the beginning of the end for manager Alan Pardew's reign on Tyneside.
That is the view of Mark Jensen, editor of fanzine website www.themag.co.uk, following owner Mike Ashley's shock decision to appoint the 66-year-old as Director of Football. The Magpies are yet to confirm Kinnear's appointment despite the Irishman taking to the airwaves on Sunday to deliver an in-depth interview on his latest challenge in football.
"A lot of people are assuming because of the Kinnear thing yesterday that Alan Pardew is now in the position that Chris Hughton was in the summer before he was removed, that they (Newcastle) have decided they don't want him anymore and will look for the first opportunity to get rid of him," Mr Jensen said.
"The one thing you can say about Newcastle, as always, is things are never boring in terms of things to write or talk about.
"Unfortunately, it's a massive negative story and most fans think it makes the club look like a laughing stock again."
Pardew, of course, ended last season with many fans calling for his head following a 16th-placed Barclays Premier League finish 12 months after he had guided his side into fifth and the Europa League.
But Kinnear's impending return to the club he managed briefly during the ill-fated 2008-09 season, which ended in relegation, has seen the focus shift from the 51-year-old.
The news was greeted with consternation in the city, although Jensen admitted Newcastle supporters should never really be surprised after Ashley's eventful six-year reign to date.
He said: "It's amazing the number of people visiting our website and commenting and people I have spoken to personally, and everybody seems to be pretty much like me - on the one hand, they are quite angry at something that's derailed our season already and on the other just laughing. There's a lot of gallows humour. We've seen it all this before and you can only laugh about it."
Former Newcastle defender John Anderson was non-plussed by the development. He said: "It's a crazy appointment. I've got no problem with a Director of Football, but with respect to Joe Kinnear, if you are going to bring in a Director of Football, you need somebody who knows the team and who hasn't been out of football for the length of time he has been out of football."