Newcastle’s former manager Joe Kinnear has been in town and talking about his time at Newcastle.
Joe Kinnear – while manager at Newcastle
Joe came in one night in late September of 2008, some three or four weeks after Kevin Keegan was sacked and tried to right the ship, and we think he would have saved Newcastle.
But Joe suffered heart problems just before the game at West Brom on Saturday 7th February, which we eventually won 3-2 after Chris Hughton took over the team.
Joe was expected back to resume his activities as Newcastle manager, but it was realized that coming back into the white hot atmosphere of Newcastle facing possible relegation, may not have been the best position to put Joe in – from a health viewpoint.
Chris Hughton and Chris Calderwood had taken over, but we were not getting many points on the board, and then on April 1st of 2009, Alan Shearer was brought in to manage the club for the last 8 games of the season.
The move was welcomed by the fans, but we got only one win against Middlesbrough – 3-1 at home – and two draws at Stoke 1-1, with a late headed equalizer from the then 19 year-old Andy Carroll, and we drew at home to Portsmouth 0-0, and we ended up relegated.
One thing that Joe Kinnear will be remembered for is his foul-mouthed blast at reporters in almost his first news conference, after they had criticized him for all sorts of things, and the blast was aimed specifically at Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror.
Here’s our report of it at the time, which was early October, a week or so after Joe had arrived on Tyneside.
Joe said this week that the response to his tirade took him completely by surprise:
“I didn’t think it would carry that much weight until it exploded, and then I thought ‘blimey!” “How many managers are on every front page throughout the world? That week Barack Obama was running for President, and I was on the front page.”
“I said to my missus ‘I’ve got more publicity that Obama’. “That was hard to beat. “One picture was a volcano coming out of my head.”
“I’d never been on a front page in my life. “If it was Barcelona or Real Madrid… I’d have understood it.”
That’s what happens when you are managing a big club like Newcastle, with it’s unbelievable fan base around the world.
We also think that Joe was trying to take some pressure off his players, and to give Joe credit, he worked his socks off when he was in charge of Newcastle, and if his health had stood up to the stress, we think he would have saved Newcastle, and rather easily too.
But his heath didn’t stand up to it – and neither did the hearts of those very well paid players at Newcastle we had at the time, who didn’t have enough fight in them, to get the job done and save Newcastle United.
How very different things are now on Tyneside – in a positive way – and we still have a Cockney manager to boot.