Newcastle’s Alan Pardew favourite to be first top flight boss to exit
The arrival of Joe Kinnear has had quite an effect on Tyneside.
The former Newcastle boss has taken it upon himself to announce that he has signed a three-year deal to become the club’s Director of Football.
The news has come as a great shock to Toon fans and it is safe to say that the vast majority are not best pleased with yet another seemingly baffling decision from their much-maligned owner Mike Ashley.
The appointment of Kinnear, who won just five of his 24 games in charge at St James’ Park during his five months at the helm between September 2008 and February 2009, has unsurprisingly led to speculation over the future of the man currently in the dugout.
Alan Pardew oversaw a campaign last year in which his United side finished fifth bottom, only staving off relegation in the last two weeks of the season.
It was a fall from grace for a team that had narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification in 2011/12 and talk had already been rife that Ashley may dispose of the manager’s services this summer.
The appearance of the unpopular and bumbling Kinnear has only served to make suspicions stronger and has seen the ex-West Ham boss installed at the 7/4 favourite to be the next managerial casualty in the Premier League.
Kinnear insists that Pardew is happy with his role and that the two will meet along with chief scout Graham Carr to thrash out a strategy for next term.
However, it seems unlikely that a strong willed individual such as the 51-year-old Londoner will allow himself to be dictated to by those from above and may be tempted to walk.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is next in the betting at 9/4 to make a quick dash away from South Wales.
The Dane is at loggerheads with chairman Huw Jenkins over the club’s transfer budget and has been cited in many quarters as being willing to walk out over the matter.
He has been linked to a host of high level jobs at the likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Malaga and the temptation to work with a bigger budget at a higher level may see the Capital One Cup winner opt for pastures greener.