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Kinnear In, Llambias Out: An Unbalanced Equation?

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It's been an interesting week to be sure at Newcastle United. Of course it has. Where does the management shakeup leave us?

Sweet Llam-bi-as.. Good times never seemed so good
Sweet Llam-bi-as.. Good times never seemed so good
Stu Forster

Supporting Newcastle United is sometimes like living a constant cycle through the stages of grief - and this week was one of those times. Following the emergence of Joe Kinnear from underneath whichever rock he had been hiding since he ended his 2-year stint at Newcastle* for medical reasons, many of us were hoping to wake up to a story that the self-proclaimed super genius was merely making his own news and there was no merit to the verbal diarrhea that he was spewing to anyone who would pay attention. This, of course, did not occur.

*Actual amount of time spent by Kinnear as manager of NUFC may vary in your perception, but remember: Joe is smarter than you are.

The club verified to the press in a very subdued and understated "statement" that Kinnear had in fact NOT managed to somehow create a reality in his brain independent of actual life following Joe Kinnear's TalkSport interview in which he broke the news that Derek Lambeezy had resigned as "Director of Football" and was stepping away from his involvement in football matters to deal with the numbers. As it stood, there was a terrifyingly obvious path for Joe Kinnear to be installed as manager once again at the club that he wasn't managing when it got relegated.*

*Actual truth: If you give Kinnear credit for the victory against West Brom on 7 Feb 2009 for which he arguably did the prep work even though he was not on the sideline, Newcastle were 13th on 27 points. 4 points above the drop zone. If you go by the last match he physically managed, Newcastle were 15th on 24 points. 1 point above the drop zone. Anyway, not the point here.

Fast forward to moments prior to the announcement of the Premier League fixture list for the 2013-14 season (a momentous event in the dearth of information regarding transfer activity early in the summer window), where the club announce that Derek Lambeezy, long-time friend, confidant and ally of Mike Ashley, defender of Alan Pardew, loather of Kevin Keegan has resigned from the club with immediate effect. Reports are suggesting that Llambias is out as he had not been consulted in the process of bringing back Kinnear (contrary to Kinnear's assertion in the TalkSport interview). Speculation then followed that Alan Pardew was on thinner ice than ever so far as his position as manager of Newcastle United. This is where it gets a touch murky.

We at CHN had been among those who felt that a Kinnear in move could have been a move made to re-establish an Ashley/Llambias/Kinnear management structure in a somewhat underhanded attempt to have Alan Pardew show himself the door, thus absolving the club from any severance money a firing would see Pardew owed, and for a day that made sense. This now seems unlikely. While there always seems to be something behind Mike Ashley's moves, it would make very little sense to bring in Kinnear as "Director of Football" with the intent of him taking the management chair if Llambeezy's position was known to be coming open. Exactly how this equation is going to balance is still in question - the club are now without a Managing Director to run the business side of the club. As with any of the other bizarre decisions that have hallmarked the Ashley era of Newcastle United history, we will have to wait to see what the endgame is.