Both Newcastle and Everton managers today have defended Kevin Nolan, and although his tackle on Anichebe yesterday was a sending off offense, both managers were quick to add that Kevin is hardly a dirty or malicious player.
Kevin Nolan – not a dirty player
Hughton talked about Kevin Nolan today:
“It’s a disappointment to lose him because he’s a good player,” “But I didn’t think there was any intent or malice. Kevin’s apologised to the lad and to David Moyes.”
“Kevin’s a competitive player, as are players like Nicky Butt and Steven Taylor. You expect them to perform competitively. But there was no malice in the challenge.”
“He’s a very honest professional. We accept it wasn’t the best challenge, but my impression is it was poorly-timed.”
David Moyes, the Everton manager had a similar reaction of the 44th-minute tackle and said today:
“It was a sending off and a bad tackle,” “I’ve not known Kevin to be that type of player but it was undoubtedly a red card.”
Only Marouane Fellaini, who replaced Arteta very early in the game, when the Spaniard was stretchered off after a 3rd minute injury, but still managed to pick up another yellow card for dissent yesterday, has more Premier League bookings than Kevin Nolan’s ten yellow cards this season.
Fellaini also tried his hardest to be sent off yesterday, in the second half, as he was continually complained to the referee after his booking – this lad needs to grow up quickly.
The Newcastle midfielder will now be suspended for next week’s trip to his former club Bolton, and the visit of Manchester United, and the following important game at Hull City, so Kevin isn’t exactly going to be helping the side in the next three games.
Everton were easily the better side in the first half, but in the second half, with just 10 men, as so often happens, the side with 10 men upped their game and Newcastle played extremely well defensively, and even deserved the solitary point on the day.
What we could have done with Nolan in the side in the second half we’ll never know, but we’d have taken a point at half time, that’s for sure.
Peter Lovenkrands missed the proverbial sitter after 31 minutes and it really looked easier to sweep the ball into the net than put it just wide, which is what the Dane did.
Peter cannot miss too many chances like this if he wants to stay at Newcastle past the summer, and he had rather a quiet game before Alan Smith replaced him after 77 minutes. Smith looked good when he was brought on for his very first appearance of the season after a long term Achilles problehe picked up last August .
“In the second half we knew it was going to be difficult for us to score,”
“But the best chance of the game fell to Lovenkrands, and it was probably the best move of the game as well.”
Heartening for Newcastle was also the return from injury of substitute Obafemi Martins and the form of Shola Ameobi, which was hardly good, will beg the question why aren’t we using Mark Viduka while he’s fit?
Some of those Ryan Taylor crosses were just asking to be nodded home by a good header of the ball like Mark, and maybe he can even earn his money at Newcastle, if he is given a chance in the last 12 games.
Our bench was very strong yesterday, and this helped us once Nolan was dismissed and Chris added:
“What helped us was the quality of player we have and the options we had on the bench,”
It was a good point at the end of the day, and takes us 5 points off the relegation zone, so that’s an improvement of a point, which cannot be bad.