Early Doors

Time for Smokin’ Joe Kinnear to disappear into the shadows

Early Doors

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On the cusp of Wimbledon, the querulous former Wimbledon martinet is never far from spouting some ill-advised rhetoric.

Sporting a short sleeved shirt and a nifty pair of blue jeans, Early Doors was overjoyed to see the ongoing Joe Kinnear cut a picture of blooming, as he himself might put it, health yesterday.

In a an interview with The Sunday Times, Kinnear, 66, revelling in his new role and a new lease of life seemingly, looked far from a figure who suffered a heart attack for a second time only five years ago.

Kinnear has been subjected to some real vitriol from various sources since he was installed as Newcastle United's director of football last week, almost as if had he made off with the city's entire stock of Newkie Brown, but he is giving two barrels back in the direction of his detractors. Is this wise conduct? Probably not.

None was more scathing about Kinnear's return to St James' Park than Newcastle's record goalscorer Alan Shearer, who is of a mind that the club is a laughing stock after a week in which Kinnear arrived declaring he had the final say on who the club signs over manager Alan Pardew.

The fall-out from this palava saw the erstwhile chief executive Derek Lllambias tender his resignation to owner Mike Ashley after his role apparently became redundant.

"Right now people are laughing at the club I support, and that sickens me," wrote Shearer.

"I promised myself years ago to never be surprised by anything which happens in football, particularly when it came to Newcastle. But this situation really is stretching it a bit."

Kinnear seemed apoplectic with rage about Shearer's outburst. "What Shearer says is diabolical," fumed Kinnear.

"This is a guy who hasn't got a clue about coaching. The last game of the (2008-09) season he came up with the master idea of playing Damien Duff at left-back.

"Damien is one of the best left-wingers in the business, but can't tackle. And we went down with an own-goal from Damien.

"Shearer keeps slagging me off. He is being disrespectful to me. I am entitled to fight back."

Indeed, he is. But Early Doors does not think picking a quarrel with a figure as popular among the Newcastle supporters as Shearer is the path best trodden.

Shearer's bar at St James' Park has been rechristened Nine, but it will never douse the flames of passion the club's fans have for their former striker, a man who scored 206 goals in 404 games for the Geordies.

In a popularity contest, Kinnear is onto another loser in a verbal joust with Shearer. Whatever Shearer says should not prompt Kinnear's ire.

He has more pressing issues than responding to criticism every time a former player sticks their neck above the parapet to have a go.

Kinnear's blunderbuss should be dusted down and reserved for a moment when or if Newcastle are making the type of progress he claims they will this season.

He suggests Newcastle should finish in the Premier League's top 10 next season. He sees no reason why they cannot win the FA Cup, or some sort of trophy in the next three years.

That all sounds plausible enough, but the time for talking, from his perspective at least, is over.

Despite his penchant for a word or two and his brusque exterior as highlighted in his previous time at the club, Kinnear has encountered real hardship in his life, losing a stepson to cancer four years ago.

He may not be a beloved figure, but at least Newcastle fans know they have a man on board who will care deeply for his new project. He should also be admired for recovering his gait from the ticker trouble.

ED would like nothing more than Newcastle to enjoy a fruitful season under their new experiment. They have an ardent fanbase that deserves to be well-treated. Low and behold, Kinnear may well be a success working alongside Pardew.

"Everybody thinks Pardew is under pressure," he said. "He's not. I am. I could get sacked."

Kinnear is mouthy and opinionated which shows he has a passion for the job, but sometimes in life it is better to say nothing. Despite what Shearer or anybody else thinks of him, Kinnear has to be bigger than spending his time responding to the barbs of his detractors.

Decorum is the order of the day. Rather than picking fights, 'Smokin'' Joe Kinnear should be picking players.

It would be best for all concerned if he retreats promptly into the shadows to concentrate on his new remit.

Enough has been said.

Desmond Kane

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