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The tale of two talismans


Kinnear 'head and shoulders' above rest

Joe Kinnear believes his managerial experience puts him "head and shoulders above" any other director of football in the English game.

• Blog: Kinnear vs. The World

Kinnear, 66, recently agreed a three-year contract to become Newcastle's director of football - an appointment that was heavily criticised by many fans.

The former Wimbledon manager has begun work on the club's summer recruitment strategy, which is likely to include a renewed bid for Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, considered the Magpies' first choice target this summer.

And Kinnear believes his role - and, more importantly, his experience - will be vital in helping Newcastle to achieve success.

"Every top club in the land has got one [a director of football]," he told the Shields Gazette.

"We haven't - that's the difference. The manager can't do everything. I'm probably the only football manager to be a director of football. I don't know any other ex-managers who have.

"I've been a manager for 35 years. I've been Manager of the Year. I've won every award there is in football as a player. I think all those qualities put me head and shoulders above every other director of football."

The last time Newcastle employed someone to deal specifically with player recruitment - Dennis Wise, whose official job title was 'executive director (football)' - his presence led to a row that resulted in manager Kevin Keegan's resignation.

However, Kinnear is adamant that his decades of experience in the game make him the ideal man to work alongside manager Alan Pardew at St James' Park.

"Some directors of football have never played the game," he added. "I'm lending my experience as a manager for all those years - ten years at Wimbledon, two years at Nottingham Forest, two years winning promotion at Luton and, of course, almost two years at Newcastle. I would still be there had it [a heart attack] not occurred."

Other Premier League clubs to employ a director of football include Manchester City (Txiki Begiristain) and Tottenham Hotspur (Franco Baldini).


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