With Joe Kinnear newly appointed as Director of Football at Newcastle United, critics are asking whether his appointment will bring about a change in transfer policy by the club. In his first spell in the North East as manager in the relegation season of 2008-9, the Irishman bought in British based players. Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands were signed by Kinnear in January 2009. Although Lovenkrands came from Schalke, he was well known from his time at Rangers.
Nolan was crucial in getting Newcastle back into the top flight, he also contributed to surviving back in the league in 2010/11. Overall he weighed in with 29 goals in 85 goals. Taylor has also proved to be a shrewd bit of business as he played in a number of positions and was also an important member of the team that finished 5th in 2011/12, playing in 31 games. His most memorable moment as a Newcastle player was his free kick winner in the Tyne-Wear derby in 2011 at Sunderland. Lovenkrands was a cult hero at St James Park as he scored 13 goals in the promotion season. His tireless work ethic and unselfish play was openly appreciated by the Toon Army.
If Kinnear had a huge say in signing these three players, then his return could see the club having a bigger transfer budget to be spent in the British market to supplement the talented French foreign legion currently at the Premier League outfit. This would be a promising move for Newcastle as there have been rumours about the club losing it’s English identity. Also the addition of British players would introduce a better fighting spirit within the team which it lacked at times last season. It’s important for players to understand what it means to play for Newcastle, and last season the players somewhat lacked this understanding, leading to an embarrassing derby day defeat at St James Park.
There have already been two English names linked to Newcastle recently in the form of James Tomkins and Darren Bent.
Tomkins would be a decent low budget buy with West Ham needing to sell some players after their big money move for Andy Carroll, originally on load to the Hammers, from Liverpool. Last season Tomkins had a 78.79% tackle success rate, which bettered Newcastle’s main centre back partner Steven Taylor who only managed to have a 75% tackle success rate. He was also better in 50-50’s both in the air and on the ground with 73% and 70% won respectively. Taylor only managed 63% and 59% respectively. The West Ham defender managed to make more interceptions in less games with 33 to 18. Furthermore he made less defensive errors than the Geordie.
Aston Villa striker Bent had a poor season with a lack of game time but still managed to have a better chance conversion rate and shooting accuracy than Papiss Cisse. Bent also played 2200 less minutes than the Senegalese striker while trailing him by 5 goals. This shows that even the current Darren Bent could be an improvement to the Newcastle starting eleven. Pardew is a huge fan of the former Sunderland striker who he worked with at Charlton Athletic. He had a 25% chance conversion while netting 24 goals. A move back to the North East could benefit Newcastle and Bent himself who could see himself back into the England squad for the World Cup.
Kinnear could have a very positive effect on Newcastle if they do invest in the British market as he has previously shown a great knowledge of the market. Also it will stop critiques of Newcastle and their foreign transfer policy. It could split the Newcastle power figures as Graham Carr will want his recommendations to be made preferred targets while Pardew will want a bigger pool of British talent within his squad. However a mixture of the two could provide a winning formula for Newcastle as they will have the ability and passion to challenge regularly in the upper echelons of the Premier League.