It’s Joe Kinnear day in the Sunday Sun today, as the former Newcastle manager has given many different interviews to the local paper.
Joe Kinnear - has given lots on interviews this week
And one thing that was obvious when Joe was on Tyneside, is that he always seemed to get on well with Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, and also with Derek LLambias, the Managing Director.
And Joe was given a standing ovation when he was introduced last Thursday night at Dunston’s Lancastrian Suite, when former managers and coaches were present.
That was for the all-out efforts he made to keep Newcastle afloat during our relegation season – and it was fitting, because Joe Kinnear worked his socks off for Newcastle when he was manager of the club.
Joe talked about owner Mike Ashley today, and it’s fair to say that Mike has had a little bit of a thawing in relationships with Newcastle fans, over the last couple of years.
This is what Joe said:
“I’m delighted to hear the fans are coming around to Mike and he deserves that. He has put an awful lot of money in that club and it’s now run the proper way.” “Mike knew nothing about Newcastle before he bought the club.”
“It was only much later on when he admitted to me that I was right when I kept telling him how big it was.” “I had bumped into Mike a few times over the years at various functions and knew he was big into sport. I think he would have bought Tottenham, but they weren’t for sale.”
“I still get on with him. I get the odd phone call now and then and we meet for a pint and talk football.” “I asked Mike one day if he had ever been to the training ground and he said no, that he left that to the managers.” “I pointed out that he was paying for the thing and told him to come down and have a day with the lads.”
“So he did that and I brought him over to meet a few of the boys such as Joey Barton, Nicky Butt and Michael Owen. I introduced the owner to them and joked that he was probably as young as some of them.
“Mike came and had lunch with the team and afterwards the boys all said that he seemed a nice guy, a good guy – and that’s what he is.”
Since then Mike Ashley visited the training ground when Chris Hughton was getting Newcastle promoted from the Championship, and he still makes fleeting visits to discuss things with manager Alan Pardew at the Benton Training gorunds.
It’s a good thing that Mike can take the time out to do that, but things seem to be in very good shape at the club right now, and all we need to do is bring in some four or five very good players over the summer months.
And we also need to keep all of the good players we already have at the club, although when you read the Sunday newspapers each week, it looks like all our top players are moving to other clubs this summer.
If we lose one and bring in a suitable replacement that would be okay, we suppose, but we cannot lose more than one top player this summer.