In all honesty, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen Mike Ashley‘s rather strange recent appointment of Joe Kinnear as Newcastle United sporting director.
The 66-year-old Kinnear has been dogged by controversy throughout his entire managerial career and it certainly seems to be a rather bizarre appointment by Ashley, a man who isn’t exactly thought of in high regard on Tyneside thanks in part for his sacking of Chris Hughton and the sale of Andy Carroll.
Kinnear’s appointment has not only sent shock waves through the Premier League, but has also shaken Newcastle to its very foundations — and the club has begun to collapse from the inside out already.
A day after the news was officially confirmed by Newcastle, managing director Derek Llambias sensationally quit in disgust at the decision. It would seem that Ashley is indifferent to the damage he causes within and, for now at least, his motivation for Kinnear’s return must remain secret.
What makes the decision to bring Kinnear back even more baffling is Ashley’s desire for current manager Alan Pardew to report directly to Kinnear and that the final decision on transfers will be Kinnear’s not Pardew’s. According to the Telegraph, Pardew is playing a waiting game to see whether or not Kinnear manages to heap further embarrassment on the club before he decides his future.
Pardew is known to be a composed, statesman-like, humble man who is proud of Newcastle United and it’s heritage. Kinnear on the other hand is a bumbling, erratic, controversial figure who is more likely to berate people and embarrass the club rather than promote them. All you have to do is read the transcript of his recent radio interview at the Guardian to see that Kinnear has a slight tendency to embellish the truth.
In the interview, he claimed credit for signing players that other managers had signed and attempted to persuade listeners that he could attract any manager to Newcastle he wanted.
Kinnear went onto embarrass himself further by getting executives and players names wrong then referring to Monaco target Yohan Cabaye as Yohan “Kebab”. This childish and infantile waffling continued from Kinnear and the final straw for many bemused Newcastle fans came when he turned on them and attacked them for “having less intelligence.”
If Kinnear wanted to alienate the fans immediately, it’s sure to say he has succeeded in that task.
All in all, it’s hard to work out why Ashley has appointed “Crazy Joe”, and no doubt there will be further revelations as to the real reasons as time goes by. One thing is for sure though — the damage has already been done and the only people who actually seem pleased with Kinnear’s appointment are the Sunderland fans.