Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Positive Sign as Joe Keeps His Distance

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Positive Sign as Joe Keeps His Distance

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

JOE KINNEAR'S controversial arrival as Newcastle United's director of football may have started in explosive fashion - but his first week at the club's Benton base began well away from the limelight.

When Kinnear first took on the job as director of football, it had been planned that the ex-Wimbledon boss would be taking a place in the main stand at Fir Park for United's first friendly of the summer against Motherwell.

But with managing director Derek Llambias now long since departed from the crazy world of the black and whites, the executive seats in the old wooden stand at Motherwell that were allocated to United were left empty.

Instead, Kinnear must have felt like he'd turned back the clock to his old Wimbledon days as he stood on the sidelines at Little Benton, no doubt evoking memories of when the Dons trained on public fields in south London away from the glare of the capital's media.

It was at the club's Academy that Kinnear ran the rule over a youthful United XI as they went down 3-0 to Scottish First Division outfit Hamilton Academical.

Kinnear met United's reserve team chief Willie Donachie and watched on as promising youngsters like Rolando Aarons, Alex Gilliehead and Greg Olley took on a fullstrength Hamilton outfit. He watched 26 young United hopefuls get their chance in Donachie's side's opening friendly.

The decision to stay away from Newcastle's game in Motherwell is a positive sign as far as the dynamics of his relationship with Alan Pardew are concerned. There must be clear blue water between them.

Kinnear has already vowed to stay away from team selection and tactics and leave first-team training to Pardew and his backroom team of assistant boss John Carver, Steve Stone and keeper coach Andy Woodman.

If the combination of Kinnear and Pardew, a pairing that has shocked the football world, is to work out, and many have their doubts that it will, then this is the most logical football way of making sure it does. …

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