Speaking on one of his signings, Kevin Nolan, who was voted the Championship’s player of the year for last season, Kinnear said:
“He was Newcastle’s player of the year last year, but do I get any credit for signing him? No, because I’m a cockney.”
He also reminded fans that he was the man who gave £35 million striker, Andy Carroll his debut, also signed Peter Lovenkrands and Ryan Taylor despite having to sell existing players to buy new ones, yet received little or no credit for it.
While there were certainly many laughably incorrect anti London references made in relation to Walsall born and Buckhinghamshire raised owner, Mike Ashley, along with Managing Director, Derek Llambias, and of course, ex Director of Football, Dennis Wise, references to Kinnear’s London roots were much thinner on the ground. The man who could make the greatest claim to being a Cockney, East London born ex manager, Chris Hughton, although derided as a “yes man” who was unfit to manage a club of Newcastle United’s supposed stature in the early days of his management, more or less completely escaped accusations of being a dishonest Cockney “barrow boy” too. Indeed, later on he received much praise for his work in saving the club from Championship purgatory, galvanising the team, winning the Football League trophy in style and making a very decent start on the club’s return to the Premiership.
So if Kinnear is right to acuse Newcastle United fans of Cockneyism, it could possibly be said (or written) that there was evidence on both sides of the argument. If the likes of Derek Llambias and Dennis Wise were black, and the chants and banners of “Cockney Mafia Out!” were “Black Mafia Out” instead, then Newcastle United fans would certainly have faced accusations of being racist. However the man making the accusation of not receiving the credit he deserved, Joe Kinnear, was hardly derided for being a “Cockney”. Rather, he was derided (somewhat unjustly in this writer’s opinion) of being a “has been”, a “Dinosaur” and various other non London related epiphets. It was also a similar case with Hughton with the “yes man” and “not a manager” taunts.
Moving forward to the current holder of the Newcastle United manager’s position, Alan Pardew, he was born in Wimbledon in South London. Though he has faced some criticism for allegedly being another “yes man” to Mike Ashley amongst other things, and has made much of the fact that he will face an uphill struggle to win over fans because of his London roots, there have been hardly any “Cockney” or London references in relation to Pardew, and he has received some credit from a few members of the fanbase for his work so far.
But what do you think? Is Joe Kinnear right to suggest that Newcastle United fans don’t give Londoners like himself the credit thay deserve? Or not as the case may be?
Let us know your thoughts…
Read the full interview with Joe Kinnear