• Premier League

'I am not sure what his job was anyway' - Shearer on Kinnear

ESPN staff
February 4, 2014
Joe Kinnear has made the headlines during his time at Newcastle © Getty Images

Alan Shearer has raised doubts about the role Joe Kinnear was supposed to fulfill at Newcastle after the director of football left the club.

Shearer, one of the club's greatest former strikers, said the appointment of one of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's friends was a strange one and criticised the club's failure to replace Yohan Cabaye last month.

"I always say nothing should surprise you in football particularly with Newcastle," Shearer told Match of the Day 2. "I was surprised in the first place particularly the way it was announced when Joe announced it on the radio and got all of those names wrong and had been out of the game for so long.

Kinnear's name game

  • In June 2013, Joe Kinnear gave a bizarre interview with talkSPORT radio in which he incorrectly pronounced names of a number of Newcastle players and directors.
  • During the interview, Kinnear referred to managing director Derek Llambias as 'Derek Lambazee' and the club's former star midfielder Yohan Cabaye as Yohan 'Kebab'.
  • He also pronounced Hatem Ben Arfa as 'Hatem Ben Afra' as well as making reference to Shola and Sammy 'Amemobi' [Ameobi].

"It was a strange appointment. When you sell your best player as they did three days before the deadline you have to have a plan and someone ready to come in.

"There was talk about Cabaye going to PSG anyway so there must have been a plan there. Whether that was Newcastle's way of saying he didn't do his job or he didn't bring players in we are not sure. I hope it is not ill health but I am not sure what his job was anyway.

"There is only one guy who can sign the cheques and that is the owner. If Mike does not sign any cheques then the manager and director of football have got their arms tied.

"On Sunday [when Newcastle were defeated by Sunderland] there was no fight, no heart and it was as poor as I have seen for a long time and they were lucky to get away with 3-0."

Kinnear's tenure at St James' Park was not popular and the club only managed to sign striker Luuk De Jong on loan in January.

Newcastle had also endured a frustrating summer transfer window, with Loic Remy's arrival on loan from Queens Park Rangers their only high-profile signing.

However, a Newcastle statement on Monday night gave no explanation for Kinnear's departure. It said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Joe Kinnear has this evening resigned from his position as director of football with immediate effect. The club will be making no further comment."

Kinnear's appointment in the summer was met with questions about his suitability for the role, not helped by a bizarre interview with talkSPORT radio or reports that he tried to sign a player who was already at Newcastle.

In November, a report in the Sunday People claimed that, while attending Birmingham's League Cup win over Swansea in September, Kinnear had been impressed with midfielder Shane Ferguson.

However, Ferguson, 22, is on loan at Birmingham from Newcastle, having joined the Championship club on a season-long deal in the summer.

A City source told Sunday People Sport: "Ferguson had a particularly good game that night, and Joe Kinnear told one of our officials he was interested in signing him.

"At first, our guy thought he was joking - but then he realised Kinnear did not know Ferguson was already a Newcastle player."

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