Belfast Telegraph

Forced marriage between Alan Pardew and Joe Kinnear will not work for Newcastle

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With John Laverty

They call him 'JFK' on Tyneside. I'll leave you to guess what the middle initial stands for.

So, no love lost then for Joe Kinnear's return to St James' Park.

If you thought Rafa Benitez got a hostile reception at Chelsea, think again.

And of course Kinnear has not helped himself by proving, over and over again, that he and the truth are rather distant cousins.

Indeed, he has uttered so many porkies in the last few days that Newcastle United fans are now starting to wonder if it's being done deliberately to wind up the local media.

At least Benitez only had to deal with hostile fans at the Bridge; Kinnear has to win over scribes subjected to that notorious, expletive-ridden rant during his first stint with the Magpies.

Does any of this really matter? Not really, especially if Kinnear's appointment as 'Director of Football' alongside 'manager' Alan Pardew brings rewards on the pitch.

It won't though, for two fundamental reasons:

1. These forced marriages rarely, if ever, work in football. I'm astonished that modern professional clubs still persist with this nonsense arrangement. The only way it could work is if Kinnear really wants to be director of football, and not Pardew's successor.

2. Kinnear wants to be Pardew's successor.

Meanwhile, before the whole thing unravels, Kinnear will at least get to know Newcastle's large contingent of French players.

They may well have to excuse his French.

One thing is certain; the Gallic lads will learn some new Anglo-Saxon words...

Belfast Telegraph


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