Joe Kinnear: Fact-checking

June 18, 2013 § 3 Comments

[Transcript nicked from the Guardian]

Talksport: Good evening Joe Kinnear. How are you?

JK: Yeah, I’m fine.

[discussion of delay in signing contract]

Talksport: […] Reaction has been negative from the fans. Has that been a surprise?

JK: Yeah but it’s only a certain section. It was exactly the same when I got there. […] But the trouble is that there are a lot of Geordies up there who are influenced and upset and the fact is that because I stood up to about 100 journalists that night – you know, it was the night we beat Tottenham 2-1 and I suppose the journalists always had it in it.

Precise attendance figures for post-match press conferences are sadly unavailable (though will doubtless be rising soon). However, and while I’m happy to be corrected, “about 100” seems a lot. Also, as Simon Bird points out the Mirror, if this is a reference to the notorious “You’re a cunt” rant, then that happened on a Thursday night. Newcastle had lost the previous weekend.

And I am not saying all of the Geordie fans but many of them were sucked into it. If they looked at my job, what I done, carefully they would have said I done a good job.

Five wins from 26 games.

Talksport: Has it upset you?

JK: Look it’s part and part of the game today. […] I’ve never been sacked in my life.

Kinnear was sacked as manager of Luton Town in 2003, albeit in rather peculiar circumstances.

So you know, look at my record, they keep saying to me – what did I do? Where have these people been – have they been on another planet? I have played in five cup finals, I have won the lot.

Almost true. Kinnear won the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup in 1971 and 1973, the UEFA Cup in 1972. The 1967 Charity Shield was shared after a 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

I had over 400 games for Tottenham Hotspur,

According to, Kinnear played 251 games for Tottenham Hotspur.

been manager of the year three times.

Kinnear was LMA Manager of the Year once, in 1994.

I have travelled all over the world as a manager.

This is definitely true. Kinnear has coached in the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, India, and Nepal. He left Nepal in 1987, and Louise Taylor today recounts his claim to have left after the Nepalese Royal Massacre, in which the heir to the throne killed nine members of his family, including the King and Queen, before killing himself. This massacre happened in 2001.

Now this job come up, which I thought was a fairly responsible job, but already they are jumping on the bandwagon ‘Oh watch out Pardo, watch out’, but that’s the snidey press. That’s the people up there or the people round that area that I have upset and they have a grudge so I expect it. It’s water off a duck’s arse.

Well, it might be.

Talksport: When did Newcastle first approach you about becoming director of football?

JK: About 10 days ago, when Derek resigned.

Talksport: And that was the first you’d heard of it? You’re on good terms with Ashley – you hadn’t heard about it till then?

JK: Derek didn’t resign until then. Derek has decided to go back and be in charge of finances. The job really is in detail that you’ve got to be in partnership with the manager and look at the strengths and weaknesses of the team […] So they say I haven’t had any experience in buying and selling players – sure I have. I bought Dean Holdsworth for 50 grand – sold him for £3m.

Wikipedia, for whatever that’s worth, has a purchase price of £650,000, while the Mirror reckons it was £720,000.

I sold John Scales for £3m – he was a free transfer.

Canny work. Scales, incidentally, joined Wimbledon five years before Kinnear.

I sold Robbie Earle for x, y, z.

Here “x, y, z” means “… oh, no, hang on, he retired in 2000 after rupturing his pancreas”.

I sold Marcus Gayle, Leonhardsen, Micky Hartford, John Hartson, Hans Segers, most of them were free transfers.

John Hartson cost £7.5m.

And we sold to survive so I know exactly what type of players are needed and what type of players are needed to play. I played with some of the best players in the world at Tottenham, in the best team in the world in Tottenham, you know I have been through it every stage of my life. Unfortunately for some reason when I went up there I didn’t dance to the tune of the Geordie media.

To put it mildly.

I took no notice, I just got on with it.

“Which one is Simon Bird?”

So whatever they have got to say, fine, say it. I’m single minded, I am not worried.

[discussion of relationship with Alan Pardew]

Talksport: And to the best of your knowledge who has the final say on players coming into the club?

JK: We both do. We both do. [Pardew’]’s the manager and we’ll sit down and discuss it. We have Graham Carr [the chief scout] up there, he also has a say in it – we’ll discuss it. We will look at the strengths and weaknesses between us. No one’s got an ego. I haven’t got an ego.


We will all sit down and discuss what’s best for Newcastle football club. We’ll discuss areas what’s desperate – in my opinion we need a striker


Talksport: And you mention they need strengthening up – is that the only area you think they need strengthening up front?

JK: I think they’ve got some magnificent midfield players: Tiote, Ben Afri [Hatem Ben Arfa], Yohan Kebab [Yohan Cabaye], Sissoko are very solid.

Hatem Ben Afri may well be ‘very solid’. Hatem Ben Arfa definitely isn’t.

Up front if you look at the goals tally last season: I think we lost our top goalscorer in Demba Ba when he went to Chelsea for £7.5m or something like that, he was the top goalscorer with something about 13 or something like that.


Then you had somebody like Sissy [Papiss Cisse] he was the next goal scorer with something like eight.

Correct … in the league. Thirteen overall.

And then after that there was a big drop into midfield where Cabaye and Hatem Ben Afri – you know, he got four.

Correct! Cabaye got six, incidentally.

and then Sissoko got three


– the total wasn’t much neither. So we need a prolific goalscorer to come in there and assist Cisse and I think that’s one of the areas, there might be other areas, I mean this is a side I haven’t had privilege to be with – a lot of players still there that were there when I was still there – I brought Krul to the club and I think he’s a terrific goalkeeper.

Tim Krul signed for Newcastle in 2006, making his debut later that year. Kinnear became manager in September 2008. However, Krul spent 2007/08 out on loan at Falkirk, so perhaps Kinnear meant “brought Krul back to the club a month or so before I joined”.

Shola Amamobi [Shola Ameobi] is getting better and better, he’s a young kid.

Shola Ameobi is 31. Perhaps he meant Sammy.

Galteirez, and of course a lot of other players, Tails [Steven Taylor? Miles Prower?] is still there. Perch is still there. Ryan Taylor is still there so there’s enough players still there but in my opinion, I still think we are short of quality players and we have to compete with the best in the Premiership but we need to be stronger.

[discussion of transfer markets and expectations]

JK: … We finished fifth two seasons ago and last season we were something like 15th or 16th from the bottom and he doesn’t want that.

Just sixteenth. Not sixteenth from bottom.

I think the year we finished fifth we had something like 65 points and this year we have gone to 41 points and so there was a big deficit of 24 points,


so that is a big loss, so I want to sit down with everyone who was involved with us last season and find out the reasons why and if can all put that knowledge together then we’ll make sure that we mend that.

[discussion of Newcastle’s disappointing end to last season]

Talksport: Joe, listen, thanks for coming on. Before I let you go, is there anything you would like to say to the Newcastle fans who perhaps don’t don’t back this decision?

JK: To all the Newcastle fans who don’t do this decision then shall I bring Lambezi back? What do you want, what do they want? I heard that silly comment “what can I attract?”. I can open the door to any football manager in the world, anyone. That’s the difference. I spend my whole life, picking up the phone, talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do, what would you do?

“Hi Alex, it’s Joe.” “For God’s sake, man. Stop calling me.”

Pick the phone up at any time of day and speak to Arsene Wenger.

“Hi, Arsene, it’s Joe. Can I borrow Emmanuel Frimpong?” “Fuck off, Joe. It’s four in the morning.”

I can pick the phone up and speak to any manager in the league, any manager in all divisions. So I don’t know what angle they’ve got. If they want to sit down and argue with me, some of them are talking out their backsides, a load of tosh and I’m not accepting it. It’s as simple as that. I’ve certainly got more intelligence than them, that’s for sure.

“I don’t have an ego.”


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