World Football

Joe Kinnear and the Worst Premier League Director of Football Appointments

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

Joe Kinnear and the Worst Premier League Director of Football Appointments

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    Less than eight months after his appointment at Newcastle's Director of Football, Joe Kinnear has been relieved of his duties, as per an incredibly terse statement on the club's official website:

    Newcastle United can confirm that Joe Kinnear has this evening resigned from his position as Director of Football with immediate effect.

    The Club will be making no further comment.

    "Judge me on my signings," said Kinnear when he assumed the role. He also boasted of his enviable contacts list, respect within the game and superior intelligence to the Toon Army faithful. 

    With absolutely no signings and just two loan deals organised during his reign—with Kinnear having nothing to do with Loic Remy according to the Guardian—he can consider himself well and truly judged. 

    The former Wimbledon and Nottingham Forest boss leads our list of the worst Director of Football/Sporting Director appointments... 

Gianluca Nani

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    Italian sporting director Gianluca Nani has been lending his skills to Watford recently, but he made his name in England with West Ham United when he joined them in June 2008.

    The man credited with developing the likes of Luca Toni and Andrea Pirlo made plenty of expensive signings that did little to help the Hammers, including giving his old club Brescia a club-record £9 million for Savio Nsereko.

    The forward made only 10 appearances for West Ham and has since represented nine other teams—scoring for none of them.

    Nani got his marching orders at Upton Park in February 2010.  

Dennis Wise

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    Former Wimbledon and Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise became an integral part of Mike Ashley's "Cockney mafia" in January 2008 when he was given the title of "Executive Director (Football)" at Newcastle.

    After bringing in players of exceptionally questionable quality such as Xisco and Ignacio Gonzalez, manager Kevin Keegan quit the club, with a dig aimed clearly at the actions of Mr Wise:

    It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want.

    Wise was often spotted attending Chelsea games instead of Newcastle ones and was let go in April 2009 upon the desperate appointment of Alan Shearer as manager.

    When the former striker subsequently relegated the club on the final day of the 2008-09 season, Wise was said to be in Dubai on holiday with his wife, apparently not feeling too concerned for the team he had helped build. 

     

Sir Clive Woodward

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    After a rugby coaching career that saw him pick up a World Cup with England, Sir Clive Woodward made the move into football in 2005, becoming Performance Director at Southampton.

    Despite a difficult relationship with manager Harry Redknapp, he stayed at the club and eventually became Director of Football when 'Arry left and George Burley came in. 

    After having little impact and apparently making few friends, Woodward left the club in August 2006, a few months after chairman Rupert Lowe departed. 

    Having not learned from mixing sporting expertise among their management, the Saints are now thought to be interested in bringing in former ice hockey coach Ralph Krueger

Damien Comolli

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    After spending seven years as a scout for Arsenal, Damien Comolli became Technical Director at St Etienne in 2004 and then Tottenham in 2005. 

    Despite bringing in marketable talent such as Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Kevin-Prince Boateng, his flop signings were blamed for a rapid drop in Spurs' form, culminating in his and Juande Ramos' departure at the beginning of 2008-09 when the club started the campaign with two points from eight games.  

     

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