Are we in danger of shooting ourselves in the foot over Kinnear?

Posted on July 23rd, 2013 | 22 Comments |

Mick Harford.
Mick Harford – Warned off by Toon fans before he even started?
Whilst searching for inspiration yesterday, this piece by Jackie Smithfield in Newcastle United blog The Mag caught my eye. Entitled ‘Newcastle fans help Mick Harford to decide Millwall is better bet’, it bragged of fan power scaring away Harford from his former club before he’d even started, claiming:

‘With an overwhelmingly negative reaction, no doubt Mick Harford has also got on the ‘blower’ to friends and family in the North East to gauge which way the wind is blowing:

‘On this basis, it would be no surprise to see Harford saying thanks but no thanks. Shame his mentor JFK is slightly thicker skinned when it comes to the reaction he produced on his appointment.’

And to put it mildly, I just couldn’t see the wisdom of that. Joe Kinnear might well be thick skinned, but the writer of the above is just thick if he or she thinks a policy of fans attempting to force out anyone Joe Kinnear tries to appoint to enhance the Newcastle United’s scouting before they’ve even started won’t be damaging to the club.

Putting aside the notion that Harford may have just preferred being an assistant manager at Millwall to being an Assistant Director of Football at Newcastle United, will there really be a section of the fans giving the same ‘negative reaction’ to anyone Joe Kinnear tries to appoint in the hope it scares them away? I sincerely hope not.

Harford was brought to assist Kinnear to expand the club’s scouting network beyond Graham Carr’s rather linited Eurostar triangle of Lille, Paris and Amsterdam into the UK, which is something the club now needs to do as we can’t just go on signing French players forever due to UEFA’s ‘home grown’ grown rule, which states firstly that a club must be limited to a 25 man squad for all their Premier League matches, and secondly that this 25 man squad must contain at least eight players who are home grown.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be English as Tim Krul also qualifies, but they must have spent at least three years either in the academy or the full squad of an English or Welsh football league team. Though the flying Dutchman himself qualifies as a home grown player, since the departure of Danny Simpson, Steve Harper, and James Perch, not to mention the imminent departure of Dan Gosling and the fact that Ryan Taylor will almost certainly be out for a whole season, we are left with players like Paul Dummett, Conor Newton, James Tavernier and Shane Ferguson to pad out the 25 man squad.

But enough of the technicalities, I just want to know why on earth should we fans want to damage the squad’s development in this way just to give Joe Kinnear a poke in the eye? If I may continue with the body part analogies, wouldn’t we just be cutting off our nose to spite our own face?

This blog was originally written for my ‘blog on


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22 Responses

  1. I dont disagree that we need to have a soloution for UK scouting, I think the negativity is caused by the appointent of some one really unpopular with everyone, some one who has done nothing to enhance his reputation or standing, what I find hard to believe is that Mike Ashley the business man that he is, I am not going to slate him as he has a proven record of success, can appoint someone like Joke, thats the bit I dont get, I cant work our the motive or thinking no matter how devious I think it maybe.

    My only thoughts are that Mike genuinley has no time or interest in the club and has been persuaded by the confidence trickster drinking partner to trust him with his mistake, thats the mistake he bought (the club) when he thought it was easy and cool to own one and be on the same level as Abramovich.

  2. The suggestion that Harford’s decision was significantly affected by some theoretical “reaction” by supporters is weak weak rhetoric. He took what he thought was the best job, period. Maybe it was wages? You’ve pointed out more than once here that AP is on wages more typical of the championship than the PL. Perhaps we can assume that’s typical of the wages of the entire front office? This whole angle is speculative guff and strikes me as a more nuanced version of “stop being negative and get behind the team [no matter what]!”

    To reiterate: many, I would guess most, of us who disapprove of the Kinnear appointment do so on the eminently reasonable grounds of his poor health, apparently rude character and lack of recent employment in football. Many, I would guess most, of us who raised our eyebrows at Harford did so because we felt he represents the same dated school of football tactics as AP. There’s no witch hunt on, just folks waking up to the reality that NUFC is very poorly run these days.

    Oh, from the last thread-point taken about the slick Montel loans. Sign of the times. Still, you don’t see “” partnering with NFL franchises…yet.

  3. Now that the dust has settled on this one, I think too much has been made out of it.
    I think he just spoke to Ashley and Kinnear, Out of courtesy, Listened to what they had to say, But his role at Millwall was probably more hands on, Than his role at Newcastle was going to be.
    I think if he had of been approached to be Pardew’s number two, He would be here now.

    I think Mike Ashley has done the damage to himself, After the “Keegangate Scandal”, And more or less put paid to anyone decent ever working here, Under his Sweat Shop Regime.
    I wish the idiot would realize the game is up, And actively look for a buyer, Instead of his non attempts to sell, In the past.
    There really is nothing left for him in the World of Professional Football, And it is only going to get worse for him, If he stays.
    He is a Pariah in English Football, And no one wants anything to do with him.
    If he carries on doing what he’s doing, He will never get his money that he wants, And the club could be worthless to him, And more of a millstone, Than it appears to him now.

  4. Agree MA’s Number is up.
    He is surrounded by yes men (bitches)and the fans are now well and truly fed up to the back teeth with him.
    I think the future looks bleaker by the week and I would take a relegation down at least two divisions if it meant him selling the club.

  5. STJ, I think that may well end up being the reality, If Ashley carries on with his way, Of running the Club.
    We could find ourselves in League One, Within the next few years, That’s how little i rate Ashley, And his current set up.

    It doesn’t have to be like this though, If he would employ the right people.
    The Club would tick along the way he wants it, If he would only see sense.
    Surely he must realize putting people who are not equipped to do the job, Is not creating stability, And he has to keep interfering regularly, Because his staff are not up to it.
    This approach is going to cost him a lot more in the future, When he could just spend the money now, And secure the club, For years to come.
    With proper stability, And not this rubbish with joker’s like Alan Pardew etc , The Club will increase it’s value, And someone may be willing to give him what he wants for it.

    If he persists in running this Club like a League One club, That’s where we’ll end up, And you only have to look at big Clubs like, Leeds Utd, And the two Sheffield Clubs, To see how easy you can fall!

  6. SJT, yeah you are probably correct but which Toon fans really want to see us go down two leagues, I don’t.

    Ashley is probably doing ok financially with the club as his flagship leader, if Workys comments re share prices recently are correct. So it will probably take a massive buyer to get him to sell or the scenario you mentioned.

    We all realise that Ashley makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a spendthrift and only spends big if the EPL status is threatened so a Sunderland type spending spree aint going to happen.

    One or two new players is probably the best we can hope for and will probably (using that word a lot) happen.

    I reckon we fans are just going to have to bite the bullet and hope that somewhere, sometime, Ashley either gets a road to Damascus moment or a big offer and if he does we don’t end up with a worse owner.

    You sometimes have to be careful what you wish for.

  7. Grumpyoldtoon, Ashley must be insane, If he thinks you can continually do a Harry Houdini, And spend a few quid to stave off relegation.
    The upshot of that is, Certain relegation down the track, As you have seen with numerous Clubs, Down the years.
    Those who continually flirt with it, Will go down, And Ashley does not seem to have learned anything, From the last demotion.
    We are heading towards another disaster, And make no bones about it!

  8. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    “We all realise that Ashley makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a spendthrift”

    Grumpy, Whenever I hear the name “Ebenezer Scrooge,” I always think of John “Gibbo” Gibson in the Chronic.

    “You sometimes have to be careful what you wish for.”

    Aye Grumpy, but I still wish for a new manager without hesitation.

  9. Its not the appointment of Kinnear that annoys me but his stupid utterances.Any fool knows unless you have a prepared statement you say nothing to the press they can twist the smallest word to fit whatever they want.As his job will most probably mean talking to them it fills me with dread.
    Also I don’t go with the theory that he is there to force Pardew out.I’m sure in a couple of post match interviews Pardew stated he would like some backroom help football wise.I don’t think Ashley would do it that way either even though I would never trust him.
    I figure he thought he would try and mend it by replacing Liambias with someone more football oriented.I just hope he has a plan B.

  10. Joe, well, yes you are probably correct.

    my problem is that I continually hope for more.

    Suppose that puts me in the optimistically deluded section. :( :)

  11. Nutmag says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    “Its not the appointment of Kinnear that annoys me but his stupid utterances.Any fool knows unless you have a prepared statement you say nothing to the press they can twist the smallest word to fit whatever they want.As his job will most probably mean talking to them it fills me with dread.”

    Well I think it’s safe to say that he hasn’t had alot of media training and he does make a bit of an arse of himself in interviews sometimes, Nutmag.

    However, it’s the sense of perspective that gets me. An old man gets things a bit wrong in an interview vs stuff like stadium renaming, Wonga, the frequent deceptions of the fans, the relegtion, almost relegated again last season, watching the manager sending out the lads to play football so excruciating that we’re wanting to stab our own eyes out as we try to endure it until the final whistle.

    Sometimes it seems as if the fans are as obsessed with badmouthing poor old Uncle Joe and trying to undermine him than they are with all the other stuff put together. As I pointed out in a blog some time ago, he isn’t so much different to Graham Carr, except for the fact that Kinnear was a much, much better manager. I think he could actually be an asset to the club’s scouting like Carr as we really need to expand it’s scope. Perhaps the solution is to have one of Mike Ashley’s minders following him around at all times with a roll of Gaffer Tape in case someone appears with a microphone?

  12. BTW, for anyone who’s interested, the Pacos de Ferreira game this evening should be online and I will be doing a “match banter” blog on here this evening.

  13. Grumpyoldtoon, Your not deluded to want better, And Ashley has the means to do a hell of a lot more, For this club.
    The way the club is being run now, In some ways reminds me of The Mckeag years, Where there is no hope, Full stop!

    He could change all that around, And has the means to do so, If he does not want to, Then he should do the right thing, And turn the Club over to someone, Who has ambition for it!

  14. Worky: glad to see your sabbatical didn’t stick. You’ve done more blogs since you made that announcement than before :) Admittedly, there haven’t been any epics or in depth stat analyses.

    Looking forward to the season previews. Please let us get a couple of players in before we start to at least give us some hope.

    I see Pardew is up to his old tricks again with his doublespeak of addition by non-deduction i.e. Cabaye is staying

  15. GS says:
    July 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    “Worky: glad to see your sabbatical didn’t stick. You’ve done more blogs since you made that announcement than before”

    It’s the Metro, GS, they just don’t seem to know what they’re doing when things go wrong. My blog on there has been habing problems for weeks and every time they try to fix it something else seems to come up. I could probably fix it if I had the access and I’m sure Hugh could fix it blindfolded with both hands tied behind his back. I’ve spent hours getting nowhere with ’em. All the blogs you’re seeing on here were supposed to be gannin’ on there.

    This lot we’re playing this evening should be a bit better than the Rio Ave side who beat us last time. They were third behind Benfica and Porto last season and are in the Champions League.

  16. I feel like we are in a much better position with jfk than llambias, think we need to give the guy a break and judge him on his signings.
    even though they seem to be non existent at the moment!!!!!

  17. worky @ 11: reasonable take. For me, the appointment is a part of the bigger picture of Ashley’s tenure. That’s not knocking Kinnear. He may work out just fine. But, again, we have a chancer in a high position because AshleyCo’s shambolic stewardship of this club will have scared off any actual football people of good and recent pedigree.

    Regarding signings, the rumors lately are ominous. Remember when Fat Sam came to help us with his market nous and ended going after obvious discount targets (Barton, like Bent-both surprisingly difficult to sign for unwanted players) and guys we’d been circling for several windows (Viduka, like Gomis)? Remember how that ended?

    But for now, match banter-sweet!!

  18. Could it be wor Joe was signed for the same reasons we had the idiot Llambeezie here, to deflect
    blame from Ashley, a media lightening pole if you like, cause I don’t see him performing any other role, do you ?

  19. ……….to deflect blame from Ashley!

    Or maybe Ashley just doesn’t give a stuff and has given a job to someone who was thick skinned enough to come up here and take the constant barrage of abuse from Newcastle fans…Mick Harford obviously wasn’t. In my opinion if fans want a part to play in the fortunes of the club, then that part needs to be a positive one…all I’ve seen since the first walking out of Keegan is groups of Know-it-all fans who make massively public displays of petulance every time a decision is perceived as being anything other than total devotion to the club, the NE and the wonderful Geordie fans. People need to get over themselves and remove the planks off their shoulders…you either support the club or you don’t. Mike Ashley isn’t a Geordie…doesn’t give a shit about the club or the feelings of the faithful, and is unlikely to make any decisions that are anything other than hard-nosed ones. He might be cocking it up and the club may well be going on a rapid decline into liquidation, but unfortunately all we can do is watch and decide whether or not to part with our hard-earned in the meantime. Negative outpourings of rage\grief every time a new appointment is made is helping no-one!