#9 v1 - Page 6

SUPERMAC 06 SAYS “Joe’s crafty, every season he splashes the cash on one big signing and that keeps every one happy for a few months!”. Somebody once said this to me, back in the early 1970s’ a year or so after I made the move to Tyneside, referring of course to then manager, Joe Harvey. It was a rather cynical view and didn’t do credit to the manner that Joe would utilize the transfer market for the betterment of his team. In the summer of 1971 Joe Harvey moved as soon as the season ended to bring me to St. James’ Park. The time to do the best deals I believe. Strike whilst others are still thinking about it. Then in the following July he entered the dressing room where his team was after a morning’s training and stood in front of me. In a stage whisper he announced, “I have just signed the man who is going to make the bullets for you to fire”. Wow! Who was the new signing, Joe, c’mon, tell us. He dramatically took his time before announcing, “I have just signed Terry Hibbitt from Leeds United for £30,000”. WOW! We really were impressed at this, great passer, wonderful left peg. As Joe started to exit the dressing room door he slowed and turned and said, “Mind, he can cause trouble in an empty house!”. And do you know, he was right, on every count. But Joe had made two close-season signings bringing in the highest goalscorer outside Division One and hugely experienced midfielder, and also, to boot, two left feet into a totally right footed team. Balance was created. And so Joe would manoevre on a yearly basis, always looking to strengthen the weak spots and balance the team. The Newcastle United I witnessed last season had little balance and was riddled with weaknesses that spread like an unwanted cancer that nobody seemed brave enough to tackle and do something about. Not helped by a negatively defensive formation of 4-2-3-1 that is as depressing to play in as it is to watch. Ah, but wait a minute folks, we now have a Director of Football whose remit, it would seem, is firstly to search for an assistant and secondly to go on holiday during the relatively limited transfer window. Well, I suppose a fifty per cent success rate isn’t bad going for starters. Although, I do feel I should mention that I haven’t come across a Director of Football requiring an assistant before. So what is Joe Kinne \