Pardew vs. Carr, Kinnear vs. The World

Posted by Marc Duffy

Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty ImagesNewcastle owner Mike Ashley, second from left, has shaken up the club since this picture was taken May 17. Derek Llambias, right, is gone and the status of Alan Pardew (second from right) is tenuous with the signing of Joe Kinnear.

There were no signs of the storm at Newcastle United calming Friday morning when the Daily Mirror's Simon Bird reported that the in-club rifts also include a serious problem in the working relationship of manager Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr.

It was reported Pardew has not been as impressed by the players signed on Carr's recommendation as everyone else has been. The problem there is that Pardew doesn't seem to know how to use them. Moussa Sissoko as a forward or a right midfielder, Vurnon Anita barely used at all and so on. This is not a new issue for Pardew -- he displayed similar reluctance to use Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in his time as West Ham manager despite them being the two best players at the club!

Another issue for Carr has been the arrival of Joe Kinnear into his role of director of football -- a role which gives the former manager the final say over all transfers. It is believed one of Kinnear's first decisions was to scrap the signing of FC Twente centre half Douglas on a free transfer. Douglas would have been a great addition, but by all accounts Kinnear had never heard of him. This angered Carr and rumours were rife that he was ready to follow Derek Llambias toward the exit, but he now looks set to stay after a meeting with Mike Ashley.

Given the choice of retaining only one of Pardew or Carr, it would be Carr who I would support. Pardew failed badly last season and dished up some truly ugly football in the process.

Pardew would like more influence over incoming transfers, but with his track record of signings I'm glad he won't be granted this wish. Then again I dread to think about the type of players Kinnear will force upon him.

This is where the whole structure inside of the football club falls down. You have a scout who identifies (mostly) excellent players at reasonable cost. Most of these players are 'footballers' (yes, I know that technically they are all footballers, but you know what I mean). The manager, on the other hand, doesn't have the need for footballers of this type -- he's much more comfortable using big, physical players better designed for his old-fashioned, route one brand of football. Square pegs into round holes.

In an effort to iron out the conflict between the manager and the scout (among other things) Ashley decided to bring in Kinnear. Yes, Joe Kinnear. As ridiculous an idea as bringing in a bull to clean up a minor spillage in a china shop. Unless of course Kinnear was appointed to force Pardew toward the exit door.

Or perhaps Kinnear's appointment and transfer dealings will change the club's recruitment strategy to the signing of players the likes of which he brought into Wimbledon. This type of player would far better suit Pardew's team setup, although it will make things even worse for the paying spectator.

My feeling is that by Christmas Alan Pardew will be gone. Many fear that this would mean the reappointment of Kinnear, as manager but I can't see that at all. He might take charge for a game or two but of Pardew quits I think the club would bring in a new man.

The club recently talked of stability when they awarded Pardew and Carr 16 years of contract between them, but in reality there is no stability at all. Quite the opposite, it looks like Ashley actually thrives on turmoil. It's a shame that the club doesn't.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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