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A Return To The Dark Ages For Newcastle?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
The regressive decision to bring Joe Kinnear back into football has undermined and seemingly abandoned any of the positives that can be taken from Newcastle over the past two years. It’s been said that owner Mike Ashley turned to Kinnear as someone who could clean up the club following the dramatic fall into the relegation scrap last season.

There isn’t anything wrong with an owner seeking help from outside the box – it’s encouraged more often than not. But this is so far out of the box and into area that should never have been ventured that Newcastle have unfortunately been tagged as a comedy outfit in the Premier League.

That eight-year contract and all it symbolised has gone out the window. It was an act of stability and of keeping faith with a manager who appeared to be the right fit for the club. Alan Pardew had done wonders with what Graham Carr had offered him in the way of bargain players and was deserving of the faith and support that was wrapped up in the long-term contract.

But throwing Kinnear into the mix sends the entire project into disarray. I, like most I’m sure, was waiting for someone to announce that this was just an off-season prank that was taken too far. The embarrassing interview in which Kinnear failed to pronounce key players’ names correctly should have said it all: how can someone of his mind-set in the game have any positive influence in turning around the ship and complementing what has come before?

Newcastle have found their niche in the market, if only temporarily, in the French league, picking up bargains to push the club on. And they’re not poor signings by any means. The manner in which so many arrived last January could have been deservedly questioned, but there was an approach that had the makings of success, however the club wished to define it. Navigating out and away from the relegation battle was part of the process, while also accepting that lessons needed to be learned from the failure to build last summer.

Kinnear is now said to be Ashley’s first line of communication into the football world, and what a small world it’s set to be. Directors of football are distinctly continental with the view from England, so too is the approach to bring in youth and progressive thinking to the backroom staff. Every major club across Europe wants that bright young manager who will lead them into a new era. It is often married with energetic, knowledgeable figures to take over key roles in the building of a team. Where does Kinnear come into play in all of this?

I find it hard to imagine Kinnear advocating the methods that took Newcastle to fifth in the Premier League. He’s old school, and not in a good way. He’ll look within the confines of English football in an attempt to take Newcastle forward, all the while doing his utmost to create a clear division between him and supporters. Maybe it’s funny to some of the ‘neutrals’ who find some form of appreciation for the trigger-happy nature of Kinnear. For English football as a whole, though, it’s extremely embarrassing that we’ve somehow managed to find a place for him in the game.

You have to wonder how Mike Ashley the business man, not the football man, actually views all this. Was he sold on the claim that Kinnear was mates with Arsene Wenger? Maybe the Newcastle owner found comfort in the thought that the Arsenal manager and his new man in charge spent hours discussing the building blocks of a successful football outfit, one that brings in the cash on a tight budget.

And that’s the biggest problem, as it has been for years. Not Kinnear’s backwards view of football and his clear inability to offer anything productive, but rather Ashley’s complete lack of care or sense. Roman Abramovich can get away with it: the Chelsea owner continues to be at the head of the club’s growing trophy cabinet. At Newcastle, Ashley follows up one triumph, no matter how great or small, with a completely damaging decision that wipes away the good that came before it.

Will it be Pardew’s fault if he fails to get what he needs in the way of playing personnel and therefore fails to make any progression of note from last season’s 16th place finish? Probably. Why will others stand for it if Pardew becomes the latest dismissal? Yohan Cabaye is far better than the lack of respect offered to him by Kinnear. Hatem Ben Arfa too. Newcastle are unlikely to be the last club to offer Graham Carr a position as scout. You sense Kinnear would love that. His path back to glory as a Premier League manager is already mapped out.

Written by Thomas Hallett

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