SUMMER was good while it lasted.
A full month without listening to Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew’s ever-expanding list of excuses surrounding his side’s latest surrender.
Instead there was cricket’s Ashes, the British Lions’ rugby union tour and cycling’s Tour De France to enjoy without any of the emotional baggage that following the Mapgies drains out of you.
Even Wimbledon was likely to have its moments before proud British lad Andy Murray reverted back to the status of “useless Scottish so-and-so” around, ooh, men’s singles’ semi-final day.
But no. Trust Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to ruin our well-earned rest by sanctioning former caretaker boss Joe Kinnear’s return to Gallowgate.
Quite what Pardew himself thinks of Kinnear’s appointment as director of football we have yet to find out.
Kinnear, in his first interview since signing back on, did not seem to know if Pardew was still on holiday or not.
Sounds like all the club’s big knobs have sat around the table together to discuss that one then.
If Kinnear does not appear to know where the manager is then what next?
A trip across Europe in his new recruitment role to watch a foreign target who is injured or suspended?
To be fair to Kinnear, his three signings during his brief tenure in Toon four years ago did not fare too badly in the end.
Kevin Nolan eventually started to notch from midfield on a regular basis, Ryan Taylor is immortalised in song for spotting that Sunderland keeper Simon Mingolet was standing at Seaburn for his free-kick derby winner and Peter Lovenkrands proved a capable squad striker at worst.
But whether Pardew wants who Kinnear wants is a different issue.
If Kinnear remains in the stands at both St James’s Park and on scouting missions with the volume placed firmly on mute then the club might just get away with his new alliance.
Yet can you really see it given his foul-mouthed rants last time around?
My bet – and fear – is that Pardew may not enjoy his status of the Premier League’s second longest serving manager for too long and that by the end of next season Kinnear will be running the whole show as circus ringmaster himself.
– GAVIN LEDWITH