Joe Kinnear was born in Dublin, Ireland and raised in Watford, which accounts for his Southern accent (not everybody is perfect), and he seems very aware that Newcastle fans like their team to play attacking football.
The great Bill Nicholson of Tottenham Hotspur
Kinnear played his football under the legendary manager Bill Nicholson at Tottenham Hotspur.
Bill was certainly a one club man, having played 314 times for Tottenham from 1938 to 1955 scoring 6 goals. He then managed Tottenham from 1958 to 1974 and we remember clearly when he did the double in 1961 winning both the FA Cup and the First Division title – the first time that had ever been achieved. The captain of Spurs at that time was Danny Blanchflower of course.
Joe Kinnear has been influenced by the way Bill, who died aged 85 in 2004, managed the great Tottenham side.
Joe said today:
“Just ask any of the players who have ever played for me how we used to play.” “I grew up with push and run.” “I have got all of my qualifications in football and have a degree in the game as well. I have studied for many, many years.”
“But I was always a great believer in the management of Bill Nicholson at Spurs.” “Chris Hughton will tell you this as well – Bill would not allow you to kick the ball long.”
“We were always push-and-run and give-and-go.” “We were just a team that played total football all over the pitch when I played for Spurs.” “When I went to Wimbledon we started with give-and-go, but we didn’t have the quality of everybody else, so we had no other choice but to mix it.” “We had to do that to survive.”
“The players we were getting were from lower divisions, but there were about 11 of them who left as internationals.” “I had a lot of internationals playing under me. There was Terry Phelan, John Scales, Keith Curle, Warren Barton, Dean Holdsworth and Robbie Earle – and they were all good footballers.”
That looks a little like a resume but we know Joe is very anxious to get back into the game, so it’s not surprising he wants to tell people what he has done.
But he will be judged now on how he does at Newcastle, and if he does well it’s almost certain he’ll be given a chance at some club. And certainly the way Newcastle have played under Joe doesn’t look too much different than they were playing under Keegan, and if Joe follows the great Bill Nicholson, he cannot go far wrong.
Monday night is turning out to be a very important game for the club – a game we have to win or at the very least draw.
Here is a famous quote from Bill which just about sums up his simple philosophy:
“Any player coming to Spurs, whether he’s a big signing or just a ground staff boy, must be dedicated to the game and to the club. He must never be satisfied with his last performance, and he must hate losing”
Replace Spurs with Newcastle United and that’s all fans ask of our players too.
Here is Bill Nicholson’s management record at Tottenham for our younger readers – he was one of the great British managers:
1961 FA Cup and League One winners , FA Community Shield winners
The first “double” of the 20th century
1962 FA Cup winners, Community Shield winners, European Cup semi finalists
1963 UEFA Cup Winners Cup winners, League One runners up
The first British team to win any European Championship
1967 FA Cup winners, FA Community Shield winners
1971 League Cup winners
1972 UEFA Cup winners
1973 League Cup winners, UEFA Cup semi-finalists
1974 UEFA Cup runners up