Kinnear facing tough battle to win over Newcastle hearts

With the recent news that Joe Kinnear is to take over as director of football at Newcastle, fears have been voiced by many within the media that the club are starting another downward slope into laughing stock status – or indeed even that they have taken the leap and reached that stage already.

One man who does not seem at all happy with the appointment is beloved Toon hero Alan Shearer. The former Newcastle striker, who hung up his football boots in 2006 following a highly respected career with Southampton, Blackburn – where he won a Premier League winners’ medal in 1995 – and Newcastle, spoke to The Sun last week and aired his belief that the appointment of the former Wimbledon manager over Alan Pardew’s head had completely undermined the former Southampton boss’ position at the club.

Kinnear, meanwhile, returned fire by claiming that Shearer has “no clue” about coaching, citing team selection on the day Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League (a game in which Shearer was managing the club) as an example that Shearer knows nothing about management.

Kinnear ended his diatribe by saying: “Shearer keeps slagging me off. He is being disrespectful to me. I am entitled to fight back.”

This is a battle that only has one winner, at least in the eyes of the Newcastle fans who still adore Shearer and have warmed to Pardew during his time at the club so far. Kinnear, meanwhile, is an unpopular appointment which has already seen Derek Lambias unceremoniously resign from his position at St. James’ Park.

Lambias was one of Pardew’s biggest allies, and his departure seems to further weaken Pardew’s position, yet also appears to strengthen Shearer’s point.

Another Newcastle legend, Malcolm Macdonald, believes that club owner Mike Ashley will have a plan in place, stating that he would not make such a bold move without an idea of a payoff at the end.

Speaking to the Daily Star, he mused: “Is it because they chat in the same pub and have a pint together? Did he feel sorry for Joe? But is that how you run a multi-million pound company? Ashley doesn’t do stupid things. He might be bizarre but he’s not stupid.”

So what exactly could Ashley’s expected endgame be? Could he really have underestimated the impact of bringing Kinnear back to the club in such a way? Is he perhaps trying to find a way of getting Pardew out of the club without having to pay the manager’s termination? That is all speculation, though Macdonald certainly intimates at the possibility, continuing: “You don’t help your mate out by putting your own managing director’s nose out of joint. Alan Pardew has given the simple line that he will continue at the club and has no doubt consulted his lawyers as to what constructive dismissal is.”

Whatever happens, it is difficult to envisage a scenario where Ashley and co. emerge as winners without having some sort of financial shortfall. The real victims are sure to be the fans either way. Those same people who have stuck with their club through thick and thin will surely be the ones left tearing their hair out, as it is difficult to see such a situation not spilling over onto the pitch in one form or another.

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