The Newcastle director of football regrets mispronouncing the midfielder's name and says sorry to supporters who he claimed were "talking out of their backsides"
The 66-year-old, who controversially returned to the club earlier in June, spoke to talkSPORT after news of his appointment broke and also mispronounced the names of now-resigned managing director Derek Llambias, attacking midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa and forward Papiss Cisse, as well as making several factual errors.
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"Yohan is a brilliant player and I didn't pronounce his name right," he told the Evening Chronicle, "but I didn't say 'Kebab'. I said 'Keba' and they put the 'b' onto it. They made a meal of it, no pun intended. Typical journalists but it is my own fault and I regret what I said about the supporters."
The former Magpies boss, who was in charge for much of the 2008-09 season before leaving for health reasons, claimed that he had been blindsided by a change of interviewer, having expected to speak to former Wimbledon colleague Bobby Gould.
"I did it as a favour and I am so disappointed," Kinnear continued. "I was on air and he switched me to the other presenter. I thought I was going to speak to Bobby about the old days."
In his earlier spell as Newcastle manager, he drew the ire of winger Charles N'Zogbia after referring to him as "Insomnia", with the Frenchman soon leaving the club.