John Gibson: Joe Kinnear was brought in to supposedly help Alan Pardew - but he has done the exact opposite
When suspicious minds ran rampant Joe Kinnear insisted he was here “to help Alan Pardew” and not replace him.
Rather Kinnear has strapped Pardew into a strait jacket and thrown him in the Tyne with the message “swim, pal, if you can!”
The bottom line is that if there is ever any can needing to be carried, United’s manager will be the one feeling the strain.
While Kinnear boasted of being able to phone any manager and receive immediate access, the truth is that he could deliver nought but a season-long loan deal.
Pathetic, disgraceful, far from enough. Dangerous even. Fifth bottom to where? Dare we contemplate?
The suicidal cut of the wrists is so debilitating, even by the standards of those who judge Kinnear harshly, that you are left with the nagging thought that perhaps he was merely carrying out the dictate of owner Mike Ashley.
He who explains nothing and seems to care not a jot may have decided Pardew spent his only pot in the January window to head off relegation, and if a bad fist was made of it then he must live with the consequences.
What the Toon Army must now decide is how good the financial imports of 2013 are.
Forgetting previous reputations, how well have Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara done here? Are they value for money? Have they increased their stature or diminished it?
Add Vurnon Anita and Papiss Cisse and where are we? Smugly basking in the glow of unearthing gems or worried that familiarity with their new surrounds has only produced mediocrity?
Reputations are on the line – those of Ashley, Kinnear, Graham Carr, all new arrivals of 2013 plus those going back a year, and Pardew himself.
I’m sorry but that is the way it is. This club cannot be abused without judgement being made on those possibly responsible.
There are 50,000 or so dissenting voices and they will be heard.
Those who deserve to avoid personal criticism will. However, those who don’t will be nailed. Fans who threw rose petals on their first coming are just as adroit with acid.
NEWCASTLE UTD RESULTS
NEWCASTLE 1 FULHAM 0 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita 65' (Cabaye), Marveaux 74' (Remy), Shola Ameobi 65' (Gouffran), Cisse
Subs: Gosling, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 0
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux 66' (Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi, Cisse 72'
Subs: Gosling, Bigirimana, Elliot, Vuckic, Dummett
MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote, Gouffran 45+4' (Dummett), Ben Arfa 65' (Sammy Ameobi), Gutierrez 44' (Anita), Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan
MORECAMBE 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi)
Elliot, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux 88' (Sissoko), Vuckic 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi, Gouffran 71' (Ben Arfa)
Subs: Santon, Anita, Alnwick, Streete
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NEWCASTLE UTD 1 FULHAM 0
1. Tim Krul
26. Mathieu Debuchy
13. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
2. Fabricio Coloccini
3. Davide Santon
10. Hatem Ben Arfa
7. Moussa Sissoko
8. Vurnon Anita 65'
22. Sylvain Marveaux 74'
23. Shola Ameobi 65'
9. Papiss Cisse
4. Yohan Cabaye 65'
11. Yoan Gouffran 65'
14. Loic Remy 74'
15. Dan Gosling
21. Rob Elliot
28. Sammy Ameobi
36. Paul Dummett
Hatem Ben Arfa ended Newcastle's wait for a Barclays Premier League goal after 411 minutes to hand Alan Pardew a precious victory over Fulham.
The France international produced a piece of individual magic four minutes from time to create half a yard of space and rifle a stunning left-foot shot past the helpless David Stockdale to claim a first league win of the season.
Until his last-gasp intervention, it looked like being another frustrating afternoon for Pardew and his players as chances came and went without the deadlock being broken.
Papiss Cisse saw a 78th-minute header come back off the crossbar and Yoan Gouffran, who passed up a glorious opportunity against West Ham last weekend, glanced a header harmlessly wide with the goal with his mercy after Yohan Cabaye had been introduced to a mixed reception as a second-half substitute.
But Ben Arfa's inspiration proved enough to send Newcastle into the international break with the win they craved, although with Cabaye's future unresolved and a desperate search for reinforcements ongoing.
Newcastle dominated for long periods as Fulham arrived prepared to soak up what pressure their hosts could muster and then hit them on the break.
However, the killer instinct which has deserted since the end of last season continued to be conspicuous by its absence as a series of openings, albeit few of them clear-cut, went begging.
Mathieu Debuchy and Cisse were both denied by Stockdale before the break, and the keeper did well to claim Ben Arfa's deflected 62nd-minute effort.
Pardew sent on loan signing Loic Remy, the only new face to arrive at St James' Park so far this summer, with 16 minutes remaining, and his arrival prompted a fresh assault on the Fulham goal, although ultimately to no avail.
And it might have been even worse for the 52-year-old when Adel Taarabt was presented with the ball by Fabricio Coloccini 15 yards out, although keeper Tim Krul, who had earlier clawed away Bryan Ruiz's goal-bound free-kick, saved once again.
NEWCASTLE UTD FIXTURES
Saturday September 14
15:00 Premier League
Aston Villa v Newcastle United
Saturday September 21
15:00 Premier League
Newcastle United v Hull City
Wednesday September 25
19:45 League Cup - 3rd Rnd
Newcastle United v Leeds United
Monday September 30
20:00 Premier League
Everton v Newcastle United
Saturday October 5
15:00 Premier League
Cardiff City v Newcastle United
Saturday October 19
12:45 Premier League
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Sunday October 27
16:00 Premier League
Sunderland v Newcastle United