Early Doors notices its prediction that Joe Kinnear would suffer
a Stalinist airbrushing out of Newcastle United's
history has come painfully true.
Despite half-hearted claims to the contrary, it was always
clear that Kinnear was being elbowed out of the picture.
Now, it is hard to find anyone at Newcastle even willing to acknowledge his
existence. Obviously Kinnear has had health problems but those are not being
cited as the reason why he has been shoved aside. Nothing is.
ED is starting to doubt whether a press conference ever took place at which Alan
Shearer repeatedly said: "I am
here for eight games, and eight games only."
managing director Derek Llambias made it perfectly clear at the same press
conference that: "(Kinnear) needs to concentrate on making a full
recovery before his return in the summer as our manager."
It certainly seemed like a
distant memory last week when Llambias remarked: "We want (Shearer) to be the manager 110 per
cent. He's very good at what he does
and he's a straight-talking guy - we
what he thinks of straight-talking Derek Llambias and he might reply with a
string of expletives to surpass even his legendary 52-F-word epic earlier this
You might think that a man who ploughed a quarter of a
billion quid into a football club would be hailed as a hero by the club's fans.
You might think it, but you'd
Especially if you had spent the cash on an unseemly mass of
has-beens, never-weres and executive directors (football).
Mike Ashley is looking to sell Newcastle again and is reportedly willing to
accept just £80 million for the club - an eyewatering £160m loss on his
Yet despite bowing to pressure to move his 'Cockney Mafia'
out of St James' Park, the country's leading purveyor of slightly rubbish sportswear continues
to rub the Toon Army up the wrong way.
You see, uncertainty over the club's
future has caused Shearer to stall over the offer of the manager's job on a permanent basis.
While Ashley might feel a little hard done by, you can see
the fans' point of view.
decision-making led directly to the club's
relegation. He installed the brains trust of Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez that
brought in players like Xisco and Jose Enrique.
He also authorised a contract negotiation technique that
owed a lot to Peter Ridsdale at the height of Leeds' spending frenzy.
Reportedly, there are 15 Newcastle players on £50,000-a-week or more,
none of them have a relegation clause triggering an automatic wage reduction,
and hardly any of them have a significant transfer value.
Obafemi Martins aside, ED cannot think of a single player
that would fetch more than £5 million. And the only player in any demand at all,
Sebastien Bassong, is one of the few poor saps on a pittance.
So it is understandable that Shearer would want some
assurances about money before taking on a gargantuan wage bill and a squad that
needs a major overhaul.
Ashley might bleat about his personal losses, but he has
nobody to blame but himself.
If you have £10m, spend it on Fabricio Coloccini and then
get relegated, it isn't going to be worth
£10m very long.
- - -
Early Doors has said its
piece about Carlo Ancelotti. Twice. So it isn't
going to bother expounding its theory that the Italian isn't much cop for a third time.
All any pundits seemed able
to talk about yesterday was whether his English would be up to scratch, which
seemed like a slightly odd angle given the success of Fabio Capello with
English, allied to the TV interview in which Ancelotti spoke reasonably well
(although this may have been subject to skilful editing by Chelsea TV).
While it is true that Luiz
Felipe Scolari's English was not
great, that was not the reason he got sacked. He got sacked because he upset
the club's leading players, and
because his idea of a tough training session was a brisk walk around Chelsea's Cobham training ground followed by a barbecue.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Silvio
Berlusconi denies claims he is set to sell Milan
to a Dubai
consortium: "You, like all other
journalists, are completely divorced from reality." Unlike Berlusconi, who
is merely divorced.
FOREIGN VIEW: The British
press thinks Kaka is going to join Chelsea (The Independent), the Spanish press
thinks he is going to Real Madrid (AS) and the Italian press thinks he is
staying at Milan (Gazzetta dello Sport). Somebody is going to look pretty
COMING UP: Day two of our live transfer ticker, featuring rumours, outright lies and just
the occasional real story.