Newcastle's newly appointed director of football defended his position at the club in a gaffe-strewn interview during which he incorrectly pronounced several players' names
Read the full transcript of Joe Kinnear's conversation with TalkSPORT.
Newcastle are yet to confirm your appointment– why is that Joe?
Because I only signed the contract last night. So that was someone speaking to Mike but it's been on-going for the last 3 weeks. Derek Lambeese [sic] was the director of football – Derek has resigned now.
Reaction has been negative from the fans – has that been a surprise?
Yeah but it's only a certain section – it was exactly the same when I got there. I got over 10,000 letters when I had my heart attack and that was a wonderful thing and I felt really proud of that. I thought I'd done an excellent job there and no way would we have gone down. But the trouble is that there are a lot of Geordies up there who are influenced and upset – and the fact is that because I stood up to about 100 journalists that night – you know – it was the night we beat Tottenham 2-1 and I suppose the journalists always had it in it. And I am not saying all of the Geordie fans but many of them were sucked into it. If they looked at my job, what I done, carefully they would have said I done a good job.
Has it upset you?
Look it's part and part of the game today. You look at managers today over the last two seasons – the fans have feelings and if they aren't happy with what is going on the manager gets the bullet. Unfortunately for them I've never been sacked in my life. So you know – look at my record – they keep saying to me – what did I do? Where have these people been – have they been on another planet? I have played in five cup finals – I have won the lot. I had over 400 games for Tottenham Hotspur – been manager of the year three times – I have travelled all over the world as a manager. Now this job come up – which I thought was a fairly responsible job – but already they are jumping on the bandwagon "oh watch out Pardo – watch out" – but that's the snidey press. That's the people up there or the people round that area that I have upset and they have a grudge so I expect it. It's water off a duck's arse.
When did Newcastle first approach you about becoming Director of Football?
About 10 days ago – when Derek [Llambias] resigned.
And that was the first you'd heard of it? Your on good terms with Ashley – you hadn't heard about it till then?
Derek didn't resign until then. Derek has decided to go back and be in charge of finances. The job really is in detail that you've got to be in partnership with the manager and look at the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Look anyone who wants it – I had to do that as a manager – with Bobby Gould beside me – look when you're at Wimbledon – there ain't no budget – you find the players yourself – there ain't no budget.
We didn't have any scouts and Bobby will tell you and we worked there at Wimbledon – well I did – for over 10 years. And if you look what we had to go out – we went to non-league clubs and found players. We trained and worked with them and then sold them for millions – as simple as that. So they say I haven't had any experience in buying and selling players – sure I have – I bought Dean Holdsworth for 50 grand – sold him for £3 million. I sold John Scales for £3m – he was a free transfer. I sold Robbie Earl for x,y,z. I sold Marcus Gale, Neil Ards, Micky Hartford, John Harkes, Hans Seigers, – most of them were free transfers. And we sold to survive so I know exactly what type of players are needed and what type of players are needed to play. I played with some of the best players in the world at Tottenham – in the best team in the world in Tottenham – you know I have been through it every stage of my life.
Unfortunately for some reason when I went up there I didn't dance to the tune of the Geordie media – so I didn't play what...I took no notice, I just got on with it. So whatever they have got to say, fine, say it. I'm single minded – I am not worried.
Have you spoken to Alan Pardew since your appointment?
I am meeting Alan tomorrow for lunch. I've spoken to him on the phone and we're having lunch tomorrow to discuss and have a game plan for the upcoming season.
And to the best of your knowledge who has the final say on players coming into the club?
We both do. We both do. He's the manager and we'll sit down and discuss it – we have Graham Carr up there – he also has a say in it – we'll discuss it. We will look at the strengths and weaknesses between us. No one's got an ego. I haven't got an ego. We will all sit down and discuss what's best for Newcastle Football Club. We'll discuss areas what's desperate – in my opinion we need a striker and I see that as desperate – as my opinion – when I speak with Pards tomorrow he may see some other position that he wants to look better of or get a better player for that area.
But will it be him instructing you or you instructing him?
It will be 'who have we got in mind' – I shall ask Alan who is seeing and I shall sit down with the scout – they seen those players, I want to cast my eye over them. It's as simple as that – I will have a look – if I say to them I've seen somebody better but what do you think? This is not about me coming in – not the crap that's being said – about me coming in taking over. It's absolutely nonsense. And then I read another article recently that I am coming and 'watch over your shoulder Pards' – I mean – what a load of crap. And this is what's going out there. Unfortunately they're feeding it to all the Geordie fans and I just hope they're not daft enough to believe it.
The interview that you did once with very 'limited English' in it do you regret that?
Not really Bob – I meant it at the time – I was just so fed up with them wanting me to dance a tune and dance to everything they want to say. I wasn't having it – I am a football manager – I just want to get on with it. Look Bob – I remember it – we beat Tottenham that night 2-1 and the first question I was asked was 'how do you feel about everyone in the ground chanting there's only one Alan Shearer' – you know – and I don't think there was a person in the room that actually said well done. I think they were all gutted 'cos we won. And that's the way I see things and I'm not worried really.
Have you seen much Newcastle over the last season?
And you mention they need strengthening up – is that the only area you think they need strengthening up front ?
I think they've got some magnificent midfield players – Tiote. Ben Afri [sic], Yohan Kebab [sic], Sissoko – are very solid.
Up front if you look at the goals tally last season - I think we lost our top goal scorer in Demba Ba when he went to Chelsea for £7.5m or something like that – he was the top goalscorer with something about 13 or something like that. Then you had somebody like Sissy (Cisse) he was the next goalscorer with something like eight. And then after that there was a big drop into midfield where Cabaye and Hatem Ben Afri [sic] – you know – he got four and then Sissoko got three – the total wasn't much neither.
So we need a prolific goalscorer to come in there and assist Cisse and I think that's one of the areas – there might be other areas – I mean this is a side I haven't had privilege to be with – a lot of players still there that were there when I was still there – I brought Krul to the club and I think he's a terrific goalkeeper. Shola Amamobi [sic] is getting better and better – he's a young kid. Galteirez [sic] – and of course a lot of other players, Tails is still there. Ryan Taylor is still there so there's enough players still there that I know, but I still think we are short of quality players.