He was referencing how he has not received plaudits for buying last season’s Newcastle player of the year Kevin Nolan, forgetting that during Kinnear’s doomed and expletive ridden reign at Newcastle, Nolan hadn’t hit anywhere near what in football terms is called ‘form’.
He went on to say how much he disliked Charles ‘Insomnia’ and that was the basis for selling him (though in all fairness there are few in Newcastle that ever really found the petulant Frenchman that endearing). However if most fans were given the option of keeping the sporadically brilliant Frenchman or the consistently demented cockney, most would choose the first option.
This is not the first time a bitter ex-Newcastle manager has spouted claims of disillusion and embitterment when referencing their usually short stints there. Graeme Souness, who initially joined Newcastle to instil discipline and imprint his ‘hard man’ image on the ‘Magpie Asbos’, has also used the press as a soapbox for his excuses.
“The last job well and truly sickened me.’’ Ranted saint Souness to Irish radio ‘RTÉ Radio 1’ in 2008. ‘The Newcastle one was a bad experience. I believe Newcastle is a club that gets 52,000 people paying to watch them every other week and they have 22,000 supporters and 30,000 customers. They are extremely critical. You ask yourself why are they so unforgiving? They’ve done nothing since 1969, so where this opinion comes from that they are a big club and should be winning things comes from . . . .”
This is Graeme Souness who inherited a team from Sir Bobby Robson that had just graced the Semi-Finals of the (then named) UEFA Cup. Souness who bought in the likes of Luque, Boumsong and the man made out of porcelain; Michael Owen. Oh and this is Souness that was deemed ‘football’s worst manager’ by a broadsheet paper. It’s easy to weigh up the evidence here.
A pattern is developing. And there is more. ‘Big Sam’ concluded after being sacked by some small team situated in depths of the North-East that; ‘Newcastle probably wasn’t big enough for me – it didn’t live up to my ambitions in the short time that I was there. And because it didn’t do that the club missed a chance to realize its own ambitions’. Interesting. Well with rumours circulating that Guardiola is heading for Arsenal there is a space at Barcelona for Allardyce, should the Nou Camp be able to accommodate him and his swollen head.
These three managers should form a lonely men’s club for managers whose reputations have been defecated on by the daydreaming fools that swarm around St James every other week. Managers that don’t get the credit they deserve despite not winning a single accolade and for managers that, despite spending millions on abysmal players, feel their multi-million golden handshakes aren’t enough. Worth a thought.
By Jack Lingard.