The release of Shay Given’s autobiography this week will give Newcastle United fans a timely insight into the Mike Ashley regime as the unpopular owner prepares to sell the club.
Given, who made over 450 appearances in goal over a 12-year spell at St James’ Park, releases his book titled “Any Given Saturday” on Thursday and is heavily critical of Ashley’s attitude.
Given recalls: "We just could not believe it. I was shellshocked. Joe was the interim manager while Chris stayed as first-team coach but whether it be for one game or a thousand, I never believed Kinnear was the right fit.
"No disrespect to Joe but he’d been out of football a long, long time. The foreign lads didn’t have a clue who he was. Everyone felt down after the appointment. There was a general feeling of absolute despair.
"I feel for Joe when I say this because he’s not a bad bloke but, basically, this was Newcastle United and he was a guy who hadn’t worked at the top level for 10 years. It just sort of summed up Mike Ashley’s tenure, it felt like everything he was doing was on the cheap, to wind the fans and players up."
Given’s apprehension over Kinnear’s arrival was not unfounded as he lasted less than a full season as Magpies boss.
As BBC Sport reports, Ashley announced earlier this week that he has put Newcastle up for sale and hopes to conclude a deal before Christmas.
He bought a majority share in the club in 2007 and has overseen two relegations to the Championship, with Given’s tale helping to explain why things went so wrong.
Given added, also via The Chronicle: "The club gave me everything but I gave the club everything back in return and, thankfully, it will be around a lot longer than Mike Ashley will."
Nobody could have put it better.
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