Kevin Nolan Can Be The Difference For Newcastle

Some good news for Newcastle fans is that Kevin Nolan will be back against Arsenal on Saturday, after serving his 3 game suspension, for being sent off  after a terrible foul on young striker Victor Anichebe, during the Everton game.


Kevin Nolan – can make huge difference for Newcastle

Kevin Nolan was a tremendous acquisition by Newcastle in January, for just £4M from Bolton Wanderers, where he had been since he was a youngster, but Kevin was at the Liverpool Academy before that – his home-town club.

Kevin has today insisted that Newcastle United’s future is still very much in their own hands, when we expect him to start against Arsenal this coming Saturday.  Nolan seems a good lad, and has those fighting qualities we missed so much on Saturday at Hull.

After the foul against Anichebe, Kevin quickly apologised to the African player moments after the foul, which was just a badly timed tackle, but it looked just horrible.   And unfortunately for the Everton striker, he will not play again this season, as he required surgery on the knee injury he sustained from the tackle.

Kevin is a born leader and he is naturally also a positive person and he talked today to the Evening Chronicle about what Newcastle need to do to survive this season:

“When you’re playing the top four it’s always going to be tough because they’re all great sides.”

“But it’s down to us now. We know what we’ve got to do. We’ll be positive.”

Nolan’s return will give coach Chris Hughton some selection posers, but we think Nolan must start against Arsenal, and probably play alongside Nicky Butt in midfield, so we utilize experience as much as we can.

Alan Smith, Nicky and Geremi have been playing in central midfield, but we think they will need to give way to Kevin, and then the question is who should play on the wings.

We do not want to see Alan Smith playing on either wing, because he cannot play there, and when Big Sam was here Alan kept proving that.  We’d like to see Peter Lovenkrands start on the right wing, because of his goal scoring ability, which was sadly missed on Saturday.  

And either Gutierrez, who missed a sitter on Saturday, or Damien Duff on the left, but it looks like Alan Smith and Geremi may have to start on the bench on Saturday, after playing quite well in the last few games.

Not surprisingly, Nolan seems up for the challenge against Arsenal and welcomes the competition for places.

“I signed because of the potential we’ve got in the dressing room.” “The lads are confident we can go in the right direction.”

Of course Kevin has been fighting against relegation at Bolton when he first made the first team, and that experience should be helpful to Newcastle, and the other players in the ruun-0in now he is back from suspension.

The side has missed Kevin in the last 3 games, but there’s no way to know if we would have done better than the single point we got.

Roll on Saturday, and a win against mighty Arsenal would really be what all Newcastle fans want to see.

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #1

    He wants to get his fitness up, he looks very slow.

    It might be a good partnership with him sitting back a little and Barton pushing on. In fact I can’t wait for the Nolan/Barton/Guthrie selection problem, all 3 talented battlers.

  • dougnufc

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #2

    I would prefer Barton sitting back and Nolan going forward. Nolan is a natural scoring midfielder and we should not prevent him from doing that.

  • dougnufc

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Between, just realised West Ham have been doing very well this season. Zola looked shakey in the beginning but now looks like a stable manager who plays good football.

    And….We are stuck with Hughton.

  • clinta

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #4

    You would of been better off staying at shitty Bolton lad!

  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #5

    I think that with Nolan’s lack of pace/fitness and strength and love of a tackle, he’d be best to sit back, with Barton quicker, not as ‘big’ as Nolan, and quite creative.

    The 2 players we’ve really really missed this season are Beye and Barton.

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #6

    Spriderman, Nolan and Martins are my favour!!!

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #7

    Clinta – Where are Bolton and where are we? Who is the shitty?

  • Bill F

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #8

    I reckon he was a desperation buy to try and appease us. He is going to have to do a lot better than he has so far to convince me. I would rather see Guthrie or Taylor in the midfield than Nolan.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #9

    Bill F – I think that Nolan will now think he has to win the supporters back and a player with ambition and drive to succeed is what we need!

  • Alex

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #10

    Anyone know , how far is Barton from his comeback ? Barton & Nolan midfield with Jonas left and Lovenkrands Right would see us avoid the drop . That midfield would provide enough chances for Oba &Mo and also score a few themselves .

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #11

    All I want to see is some positive thinking and creativity from the midfield. Just how Hughton expected that on Saturday with his selections is beyond me.

    The major concern for Saturday is Nolan’s match sharpness, but his fitness should be ok at least. I agree with Ed that Butt and Nolan in the middle would be a good starter. In fact, I think I agree with Ed on the whole starting line-up:

    Beye – Colo – Bassong – Enrique
    Loverboy – Butt – Nolan – Duff

    You could argue that we should swap Steven Taylor in for Colo and that Ryan Taylor needs to be there somewhere for throws and dead balls… but where?

    Dunno – but it’s a nice problem to have for a change.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Anybody got any good ideas for other formations apart from 4-4-2? Now we have our squad back there must be possibilities like the 4-3-1-2 KK played so effectively this time last year.

  • Bill F

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #13

    Graeme I certainly hope so, but I can’t say that we have seen much of those qualities as yet. Also I never see much gain in sticking players straight back into the side after injury although I’d make an exception for Habib.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #14

    Alex – the NUFC.COM site says Barton is back in training, but no date. Physioroom lists him as back 4th April.

    Like the idea of that midfield you mentioned, btw…

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #15

    Get back as soon as you can Joey B.

    Had a gut full of injuries this season like!!

  • Matt

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #16

    First it’s Owen, now Nolan can make the difference. Make up your mind.

    It’s not one single player that’s going to turn around our fortunes. It’s the squad playing as good as they did against Man U every week. Consistancy and hard work is what we need, not one player coming back from suspension/injury.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #17

    Is this a bit mad for the 6-pointers against fellow relly fighters?

    Beye – Colo – Bassong – Enrique
    R.Taylor —–Barton—— Jonas

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #18

    Agreed, Matt. Same old. It’s a bit like the constant clamouring for new managers every year – one day you have to just realise that it’s never that simple.

  • Alex

    Mar 17, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #19

    Whumpie – Thanks for the info , For Saturday i think the team you posted could very well be the team that starts . I would like to see Jonas in for duff though . Jonas seems to bring the best out of Enrique when playing down the same side together .

  • batty

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #20

    ED who do you think kevin nolan is superman he,s just another average midfielder

  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #21

    Whumpie there’s NO WAY we’d ever see a 3 man midfield with our caretaker managers.

  • Alex

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #22

    Totally agree Matt , the reason we are in this position is we haven’t been able to put the same team out for a long run of games . If we had our best 11 for a 15 game run we would have been up with the likes of Everton and not where we now are .

  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #23

    Doubt we’d be up with Everton, but yeah stability and continuity has basically killed our season, and I mean this in the sense of both the team and management.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #24

    Then again – how many teams have been able to put out a consistent team? Ever?

    That lack of depth in the squad is bad enough, but we compound it with a ‘leave it to luck’ approach to conditioning. Allerdyce showed it could be done right, but alas we threw that baby out with the bathwater. I’d trade any member of our squad to have BSA’s conditioning regime back in place.

  • jim

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #25


    I’m desperately trying to understand what is going on with the club and maybe you could offer some of your own insight into the following:

    1) Why are we persevering, as a club, with Kinnear, Calderwood & Hughton?

    2) Are the rumours of a new contract for all three true? How can this possibly be, when they are all doing such a poor job?

    3) Are we really supposed to believe the “five year plan” guff Mr. Llambias came out with? Surely if there was a five year plan, the involvement of Joe Kinnear should be long gone whilst we invest in a proper management structure to take the club forward?

    4) Further on the five year plan, why would this ‘plan’ be allowed to be devised and managed by Llambias and Wise, two individuals who have none of the credentials necessary?

    5) What ARE NUSC doing? They are entirely maverick and don’t appear to have the slightest clue as to what is needed at the club.

    6) Why are we offering contracts to Ameobi, Butt & Carroll, three players who have all contributed heavily to our dour situation and who have all proven time and again that they have none of the attributes needed for top flight football?

    7) Why do we still have Smith, Geremi, Viduka, Gonzalez and Cacapa on the payroll? This must be a massive drain and I struggle to believe they are of more worth than Doninger, Godsmark, Ranger, Inman or Donaldson?

    8) Finally – what the hell is going on with the reserves? I appreciate that we have struggled to field our strongest XI, but by the same token players like those already mentioned (Ameobi, Butt, Smith, Geremi, Cacapa, Duff, etc.) are massively responsible for this appalling season. Why are those same players persevered with, game after game, ahead of some pretty bright talent? Why does Hughton believe that the same players who have been disgustingly hopeless for ¾ of the campaign are suddenly the right ones to get us out of the trouble they’ve put us in? It beggars belief and I refuse to believe that the owner, the one who stands to lose far more than I do, can’t see it. And if he can’t, why is he even involved with football?

    I appreciate you guys may be as baffled as I am and probably have no answers to any of the above, but unless we take a stance of asking these questions, important questions that can help shape a better future, then we’ll get nowhere. If our front is continually perceived to be NUSC and their “Wise Oot” banners, we’ll continually be perceived as idiots. I would personally like us all to do more – I have recently seen an “open letter” on the net (through Newsnow) which is no better than anything I, or others like me, have been saying for a while – it’s simply more eloquent than NUSC could hope to achieve, hence it gets airtime. But surely if some of the more intelligent among us clubbed together, we could get something done?

    Let me know, if you get the time.
    Neil Crossley.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Don’t think he will make much difference TBH looks a shadow of his former self and hadn’t played that well for BOLTON (FFS) in eons…a spent force in my opinion…squad player.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #27

    I think Neil makes the same mistake as so many others: he assumes that the majority of people will agree with him and that therefore a clear message can be put forward.

    While a common message is quite difficult to achieve when asking questions, it is impossible to do when providing answers. Yes, we can all have a go at just about any player, manager or decision – but ask 5 “Hughton out” shouters what exactly should be done instead, you’ll get 5 answers.

    This management team may be pretty dire in a lot of ways – but doing things right is a hell of a lot harder than pointing out where they’re going wrong.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #28

    Bit of Waffle Spotting

    “I signed because of the potential we’ve got in the dressing room.” “The lads are confident we can go in the right direction.”

    Potential in the dressing room errrr expand please.

    “The lads are confidant….”do they look at the premiership table?

  • Alex

    Mar 17, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #29

    Think he maybe went stale at Bolton . Too long at one club does that to some players , if he gets back to his best with us we can expect goals from him . I think this challenge will bring the best out of him .

  • Stardust

    Mar 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #30

    Whumpie – two threads two perfect posts “but doing things right is a hell of a lot harder than pointing out where they’re going wrong.”

  • ambledan

    Mar 17, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #31

    Agree Nolan’s power and determination will be a big plus for us but cannot believe you are saying Geremi has been playing “quite well in the last few games”….. The man can hardly walk never mind run and has the passing range of a one finned koi carp.

  • cosmicMini95

    Mar 17, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #32

    Lovenkrands on the wing?? :S Couple of times hes played out there hes looked shocking…

    Whumpie, I like the look of your team, though Barton wont be back for the weekend. Not sure if its a bit sucidale starting like that against Arsenal too.

    For the Arsenal game I would love to see:

    Bench: Forster, Colo, R.Taylor, Smith, Duff, Owen, Carroll

    With a view to maybe going a 4-3-2-1 against Stoke etc:


  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #33

    I have seen nothing from Nolan in 2 years to suggest he can be the difference. He looks overweight and slow as is no a patch on Barton or Guthrie.

    Also agree with cosmicMini. Lovenkrands looks like a lost puppy on the wing. He looks at best just off the front man.

  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 17, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #34

    For Arsenal







    *Owen never does well against the big 4
    * Coloccini is a fantastic DM, if we give him a go their

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #35

    Looked absolue pants as a DM v Man City.

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 17, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #36

    I dont think I’d risk Beye and Guthrie by starting them v Arsenal, even though I want to.


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