Premier League: Kinnear's Newcastle return a concern

Joe Kinnear is the new director of football at Newcastle

It seems a strange one on paper as Newcastle owner Mike Ashley brings back Joe Kinnear as a director of football...

"It's abundantly clear Newcastle must improve on a woeful season in which they narrowly avoided relegation, but this appointment raises many questions, not least for Pardew himself."

Mike Ashley is a hard man to fathom at times, but the guru of affordable sporting goods has swayed even further left-field with his latest decision.

Less than a year on from rewarding manager Alan Pardew with an unprecedented eight-year contract, Ashley has now undermined Pardew's position entirely by bringing back former boss Joe Kinnear as a director of football.

Astonishingly, 66-year-old Kinnear, who managed the Magpies' for five months back in their 2008/09 relegation campaign, will now be the man responsible for player recruitment at St James' Park.

"I'm a very good judge of player and a good tactician," said Kinnear. "I see a good player and know a good player. I have no other agenda. If I see players at the club right now and don't think they are good enough, I intend to move them on."

Kinnear then went on to tell Sky Sports News that he didn't envisage any reason for issues to arise between himself and Pardew going forward, insisting that he will not in any way be involved in picking the team or tactics.

It's abundantly clear Newcastle must improve on a woeful season in which they narrowly avoided relegation, but this appointment raises many questions, not least for Pardew himself.

The Magpies boss has already been told a top-half finish is the minimum requirement next season, with Newcastle currently priced at 2.226/5 to achieve this, though can the manager really adapt to this loss of control?

Geordie fortunes will surely now rest on who Kinnear decides to bring to the north east and which players he deems surplus, but if this clashes with Pardew's own assessments then trouble could surface even before a ball is kicked.

The cynical observers could see this appointment as the first step towards ousting Pardew by Ashley himself, as a tactic of wearing him down rather than being seen to renege on the sizeable contract.

Kinnear's ill-fated spell in the aftermath of Kevin Keegan's short-lived second reign on Tyneside ended through ill health and it's difficult to see this latest relationship being good for the health of the current manager either.

This could end badly for Newcastle, or Pardew at least.

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