Newcastle fans fear worst under new director of football Joe Kinnear

Appointment could spell the end for manager Alan Pardew believe fans

Joe Kinnear's return to Newcastle could be the beginning of the end for manager Alan Pardew's reign on Tyneside.

That is the view of fanzine editor Mark Jensen following owner Mike Ashley's shock decision to appoint the 66-year-old as Director of Football.

The Magpies are yet to confirm Kinnear's appointment despite the Irishman taking to the airwaves yesterday to deliver an in-depth interview on his latest challenge in football.

However, judging by the reaction he has seen, Jensen, editor of fanzine website http://www.themag.co.uk, believes many fans feel Pardew's days on Tyneside could be numbered.

He said: "A lot of people are assuming because of the Kinnear thing yesterday that Alan Pardew is now in the position that Chris Hughton was in the summer before he was removed, that they (Newcastle) have decided they don't want him anymore and will look for the first opportunity to get rid of him.

"The one thing you can say about Newcastle, as always, is things are never boring in terms of things to write or talk about.

"Unfortunately, it's a massive negative story and most fans think it makes the club look like a laughing stock again."

Pardew, of course, ended last season with many fans calling for his head following a 16th-placed Barclays Premier League finish 12 months after he had guided his side into fifth and the Europa League.

But Kinnear's impending return to the club he managed briefly during the ill-fated 2008-09 season, which ended in relegation, has seen the focus shift from the 51-year-old.

Jensen said: "It's like the old joke: if you have broken your leg and you then cut your finger, it makes you forget about the broken leg.

"It's the context in which things happen. We have a manager who won the manager of the year award 12 months ago who then had a really poor season and he must accept at least a good part of the blame for that - although Joe Kinnear still doesn't accept any blame at all for Newcastle's relegation when he had been manager at the club for most of the games that season.

"Alan Pardew went down in the estimation of a lot of fans last season and there were plenty who wanted the club to get rid of him.

"But there were those who were prepared to see what happens this summer and how we start the season and give him the chance to prove which manager he is, the one who finished fifth or the one who nearly got Newcastle relegated."

Yesterday's news was greeted with consternation in the city, although Jensen admitted Newcastle supporters should never really be surprised after Ashley's eventful six-year reign to date.

He said: "It's amazing the number of people visiting our website and commenting and people I have spoken to personally, and everybody seems to be pretty much like me - on the one hand, they are quite angry at something that's derailed our season already and on the other just laughing.

"There's a lot of gallows humour. We've seen it all this before and you can only laugh about it."

Former Newcastle defender John Anderson was equally non-plussed by the development.

He said: "It's a crazy appointment. I've got no problem with a Director of Football, but with respect to Joe Kinnear, if you are going to bring in a Director of Football, you need somebody who knows the team and who hasn't been out of football for the length of time he has been out of football."

PA

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