Nicky Butt has today talked to the Newcastle Journal and indicated that Joe Kinnear was very good on match days for the Newcastle side.
Joe Kinnear – can Joe save Newcastle this season?
And that’s exactly what Nicky thinks is missing right now – that inspiration that Joe can provide to the players before they go out and play.
Asked how much Newcastle have missed Kinnear since his triple bypass operation, Butt said today:
“It has not helped. When you have a manager at the helm, it is someone to look to and that is important.”
“The manager was not one for doing great coaching sessions day to day with the players. He comes in to his own on the day of a game. He was very much a man-manager on match day and that’s the bit we have missed.”
“We have gone backwards in the last few years and we are under no illusions about what we must do. We have massive games ahead. We have to keep this club in the Premier League.”
We’ve gone backwards all right in these last 3 seasons, when we’ve been fighting relegation on an annual basis.
Kinnear’s man-management abilities on match days was apparent when he was in charge at Newcastle, as the players always seemed to go all out and just never gave up. And we were doing OK until we suddenly had 11 first teamers out of the side injured.
The match against Manchester City probably illustrates Kinnear’s abilities best, when we had Habib Beye sent off after 9 minutes for a dubious foul on Robinho, and we were a goal down to the penalty Habib gave away. His sending off was later reversed – but not the result of course.
In that game Newcastle were winning 2-1, with 10 men, until the lads tired near the end and Stephen Ireland got the City equalizer on 86 minutes. A terrific and gutsy performance from the lads, and something we badly needed last Saturday, but didn’t get.
And it’s clear if we don’t improve and something changes quickly, the likelihood is that we’ll be a Championship side next season. There cannot be many teams in the Premier league with a worse record than Newcastle have over the last 11 league games – just 7 points and a single win against WBA.
But even WBA picked up a point at Upton Park last night, in a very decent performance against a weakened West Ham side, but WBA fought all the way, to their credit.
And while we don’t want to sound too negative, because the lads can still pull away, we’ve lost a little confidence that Chris Hughton can get the job done. It seems it will have to be up to a returning Joe Kinnear to save us – if we are indeed to be saved.
But that’s more than a little hard on Joe, who’s coming back from triple bypass surgery, for heavens sake, to try to fix the mess the club is in.
Newcastle need points – and we need to get them quickly, and since we didn’t pick them up against teams like Hull and Bolton, we’ll now need to get them off teams such as Arsenal and Chelsea.
That’s the task ahead, starting on Saturday against the Gunners. We sincerely hope that Chris Hughton can prove us wrong, and we’ll be just delighted if we can win against the Gunners – that’s for sure.