Sunday 18 March 2018

Pardew cautious of outspoken Kinnear

Joe Kinnear, Newcastle's new director of football
Joe Kinnear, Newcastle's new director of football

Luke Edwards

Alan Pardew wants reassurances that Joe Kinnear will not heap further embarrassment upon Newcastle United as the club's manager considers whether he can work with their controversial new director of football.

Newcastle belatedly confirmed Kinnear's appointment yesterday, stating clearly that the 66-year-old would have overall control of the football side of the club's business, making him Pardew's boss.

The club's official statement, which tellingly did not carry any endorsement or comment from Pardew, came less than 24 hours after a disastrous radio interview.


A belligerent Kinnear accused Newcastle fans opposed to his appointment of talking "tosh", mispronounced the names of several of the club's players, and bragged of the strength of his relationships with Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson.

Pardew is understood to be keeping his options open over whether it will be possible for him to work with Kinnear.

The pair have spoken on the telephone, but they have still not had a proper meeting about how the new structure will work, and Pardew will seek certain conditions from Kinnear before he commits to the new set-up at St James' Park.

As well as staying out of team selection and tactics, one of Pardew's demands will be for Kinnear to stop courting publicity in the media. Pardew and other key figures at the club believe Kinnear, as director of football, should get on with his recruitment work quietly behind the scenes.

That view has been heightened over the past 48 hours as a result of Kinnear's habit of antagonising Newcastle fans in his interviews.

The interview aired by 'talkSPORT' radio on Monday night was especially calamitous, including a series of wild and inaccurate boasts about his ability and track record.

Kinnear had been asked not to speak to the media while the dust settles on his return to a club he managed unsuccessfully during the 2008-'09 relegation campaign.

Pardew is open-minded about his future at this stage, and will wait to see whether Kinnear really can resist interfering in tactics and selection issues when they are working alongside each other at the training ground.

As Ashley's man, Kinnear will be the owner's eyes and ears on Tyneside and Pardew will naturally be wary of being undermined in any way.

The team's manager had initially been expected to contribute to the statement posted on Newcastle's official website yesterday, but decided against it.

If he had been quoted welcoming Kinnear to the club, it would have severely restricted his chance of winning a constructive dismissal case should he decide his new working conditions are unacceptable further down the line.

"The board are pleased to welcome Joe back to the club," said managing director Derek Llambias (referred to as "Llambeezee" by Kinnear in a radio interview). "Joe has many years of experience working within the game, and this experience will be of great benefit to the club in achieving our objectives over the coming seasons."

The statement, confirming Kinnear has signed for three years, added: "Joe will report directly to the club's board as the senior executive in charge of all football-related matters. Chief scout Graham Carr and manager Alan Pardew will report in to Joe."

Although Kinnear's return has been greeted with a mixture of anger and bewilderment by the vast majority of supporters, Newcastle's Geordie centre-back Steven Taylor, who played for him when he was the club's manager, has welcomed it.

"I am really happy to see Joe back and I think his return can only be positive for everyone connected to the club," Taylor said. "We were in a great position under Joe in the league until he got ill and it was after that that things went wrong. Joe has lots of experience and is very knowledgeable."

Other Newcastle players, particularly the large French contingent, are merely bemused by the situation given they had no idea it was going to happen. Yohan Cabaye – called "Kebab" by Kinnear on 'talkSPORT' – still hopes to leave the club this summer, with Monaco his most likely destination, despite the new director of football's claim on Monday he was not for sale.

The only public voice of dissent has come from young winger Sammy Ameobi – dubbed "Amamobi" by Kinnear – who tweeted on Monday night, "at least get my name right". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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