Gary Speed will be at St James’ Park on Sunday to watch his former team mate Kevin Nolan in action, when Newcastle take on 6th placed Everton, in another crucial league game.
Kevin Nolan – born leader who can play at Newcastle for many seasons
Gary played with Kevin Nolan when he left Newcastle in 2004, and joined Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, where he went on to play for them for four years and appeared 121 times and score 14 goals.
Bobby Robson decided to cash in on Gary, who was turning 35 when he left the club in 2004, and Gary didn’t want to leave at all.
But that transfer is generally thought to have been a mistake by Newcastle, as we missed Gary in our midfield in the following few seasons, when Gary was playing just great at Bolton.
But we must remember that players can play until they are a lot older these days and there’s no reason they will not be able to play until their late 30s fairly soon. Certainly goalkeepers can go on a little longer than that even.
Gary talked about Kevin Nolan to the Evening Chronicle today:
“Kevin is a natural born leader, and if something isn’t right he won’t hesitate to tell people – that’s what Newcastle need at the moment.”
“He’s got so much to offer and, at 26, I think Newcastle will see his best years.” “I really enjoyed playing alongside Kevin, he’s a quality player.”
“He can be a big asset to Newcastle – especially in their current situation.” “He was similar to me and the way I play, and we worked together as part of a five-man midfield at Bolton.”
“We had the experience of former Real Madrid man Ivan Campo sitting in front of the back four and we were allowed to push on either side of him.”
“Kevin’s a very good friend of mine and I was delighted to see him get a big move to Newcastle.”
Speed hopes that Nolan can enjoy an equally productive spell on Tyneside, as Gary had. Speed was at Newcastle for six years, from 1998 until 2004, and was a first class player and role model at the club.
“I loved my time at Newcastle and I hope that Kevin can have a similar experience.” “To be honest, I never wanted to leave the club.”
“It was the happiest period on the field and off it for my family.” “We didn’t win anything, but we helped the club get back into the Champions League and had some high finishes up the table.”
“It was a sad day for me when I left.” “But I told Kevin to grab the opportunity with both hands.” “He rang me when he was going up there for talks and I told him to go for it.”
“I said that it might be turmoil up there now, but once it takes off it can be unbelievable and that he had to be there to see it.”
“Regardless of the team doing well or not, there are gates of 52,000 up there.” “No disrespect to Bolton, but Kevin has a chance at one of the biggest clubs out there now.”
Gary Speed has also of course played with our other midfielder Danny Guthrie, who was on loan at Bolton last season. Danny has enjoyed a very good first season at Newcastle and the lad is still just 21 and has looked a very good midfielder, as he learns his trade at Newcastle.
Gary is hoping to see Nolan link up with Danny Guthrie at some stage this season.
Danny is out at the moment with a hamstring injury, but he is now back in light training and should be ready for the game at Bolton on 1st March, another crucial 6 pointer for the Magpies.
“Danny is also another player for Newcastle who will come back into the mix.” “He’s a different type of player to Kev.”
“But they can really complement each other when Danny is back to fitness.” “He’s the sort of player who just loves spraying passes around and opening things up.”
“The can be a real force if they get the chance to play together.”
With the acquisition of Nolan, our central midfield is looking quite good these days with Barton, Butt, Guthrie and Nolan, and it looks that we’ll try to bring in either Miguel Veloso from Sporting Lisbon or Michael Johnson this summer to further strengthen the engine room at Newcastle.
And by the way don’t believe those recent stories about Johnson not wanting to come to Newcastle, there’s just more garbage about the club.
Next season, when we get our next injury crisis at the club, we’ll have enough players to see the crisis through, which we’ve never been able to do over the last several seasons.
Upward and onward.
Next step is to get 3 points against Everton and we’ll be flying.