Kinnear quits Newcastle: good riddance as Pardew wins battle
Unpopular Irishman departs without making a single permanent signing in eight months
JOE KINNEAR has left Newcastle after an eight month spell in charge of player recruitment during which the Magpies failed to sign any players on a permanent basis and sold key midfielder Yohan Cabaye - a player Kinnear once referred to as 'Yohan Kebab'.
The unpopular Irishman resigned on Monday in the wake of a 3-0 derby defeat at the hands of local rivals Sunderland and some none-too-subtle criticism from manager Alan Pardew, whose position at St James' Park appeared to have been undermined by the arrival of Kinnear last summer.
"If I was in charge, solely, of transfers things might be different," said Pardew at the weekend. "I think I've made my opinions very clear this week and all the rest is confidential."
Pardew has won the power struggle at St James' Park by boxing clever, says The Guardian, and keeping fans and media on his side. "It was significant that following Saturday's defeat to Sunderland the majority of angry chants from home fans were directed towards Kinnear," says the paper.
Kinnear did himself few favours when he arrived back at St James' Park four years after an ill-starred period as manager. He announced the news of his return before the club had confirmed it and then gave a series of bizarre media interviews in which he mispronounced several players' names, proclaimed himself "more intelligent" than most fans and claimed to have a hotline to almost any manager in the world.
But as a key ally of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley - the Guardian calls him "one of Ashley's few close friends in football and a regular drinking companion" - Kinnear appeared to be in a strong position at the club, especially when managing director Derek Llambias also quit his role. But he has paid the price for his inability to deliver on his promises.
Strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong have arrived at the club on loan under Kinnear, but both were long-term Pardew targets, while the failure of Kinnear to identify a replacement for Cabaye, whose exit had been expected for months, was particularly unimpressive.
"The departure will come as a relief to Pardew, who has been forced to answer for Kinnear's failings in public while trying not to offend Ashley," says the Daily Telegraph. "Instead of making things easier for Ashley, Kinnear will be best remembered on Tyneside for failing to live up to a series of wild boasts and supporters will be relieved an embarrassing episode has come to an end."
That was borne out by a poll on the Newcastle Chronicle website, which revealed that 97 per cent of fans were pleased to see the back of Kinnear. The paper also claims that Kinnear has spent most of the last eight months in London and "didn't venture into Europe to scout players like many expected him to".