Robbie Earle was a key player for Kinnear during their successful time together at Wimbledon.
Brian Barwick with Robbie Earle in February
Robbie Earle is one of the participants in The FA’s new Advisory Group, which is helping to spearhead Soho Square’s Get into Football campaign.
The former Wimbledon and Jamaican international will sit on the Race Equality Advisory Group, which has a goal of boosting football participation in ethnic minority communities around the country.
Robbie is one of the real gentlemen of football and he told The People today:
“Joe is a clever man. He has been in the game a long time and played at the highest level.”“If he thinks he is taking pressure off the players with all of this fuss he will be happy.”
“He will be willing to be a sacrifice. When I saw what happened I wondered if he had considered it in advance.”
“It’s the type of thing Joe would do – it creates a siege mentality, a ‘them and us’ thing that can work for a team.”
The news today is that Kinnear has also sounded out Earle, as well as Gerry Francis, about helping him out at Newcastle for a few hours a week. Robbie has his coaching badges, but also has TV commitments, but he has still promised to fly up to Newcastle as soon as he can.
Earle tells that at Wimbledon there was a lot of planning behind the scenes, that people didn’t see:
“I went there from Port Vale thinking they would be a pub team. But I was amazed to find out how far ahead they were with so many ideas.”
“We had fitness coaches before anyone else, we had dieticians. Big Sam Allardyce got all the praise for bringing in those things at Bolton – we were doing it at Wimbledon in 1991.”
“But the clever thing was that Joe played up to this image of us as the poor relations with all of the madness going on.” “In fact, we were well prepared in every way. That was down to Joe and his staff.”
Robbie is well aware that Kinnear must make up for lost time since he has been out of the game for a while, but he thinks his hunger and enthusiasm for the game, will bridge that gap very quickly. He has also shown a marked enthusiasm for the Newcastle club this last week, and has praised the club continually.
“Joe will see this as an opportunity. He wants to get back into the game. I think he has been disappointed he has been overlooked for so long.”
That’s one reason Joe is pushing so hard because, for his own sake, he’d like to do so well at Newcastle, that he gets another crack at management.
If he does well at Newcastle, there’s not doubt he will get that chance – no doubt at all.