During last summer the transfer market at Newcastle United seemed haphazard at best.
Kevin Nolan – players now want to be here
That was because Mike Ashley put the whole squad up for sale, and basically wanted to see who he could sell, to reduce the wage bill to get ready for life in the much lower revenues of the second division of English football.
As it turns out we sold Oba Martins, Sebastien Bassong, Habib Beye, Damien Duff, and the club did not renew the contracts of Michael Owen and Mark Viduka, who were always injured during their time on Tyneside, but still picked up their massive unearned wages.
The team spirit last season was hopeless and it’s now a strength, so logic says some of those players were not good in the dressing room last season.
And we knew it would happen, with reporters now coming out and saying it was obvious Newcastle were too good for the Championship – those are the same reporters who were telling us last summer that the Magpies would be relegated to League One.
They don’t know what they are talking about.
Kevin Nolan said today:
“Everyone is now saying it is easy and we should have done it, but at the beginning of the season, we weren’t favourites to win this league, we weren’t favourites to even go up automatically, so it just shows what we have done.”
“There are a lot of ex-players who wrote us off, a lot of pundits who wrote us off, and we wanted to prove all that wrong, and a lot of papers who did hammer us when we went down, and rightly so.”
“But we have found something now which hopefully can be the beginning of something which is going to be brilliant for Newcastle United.”
“And that’s a squad of players who want to play for Newcastle United and love this club as much as we do, and want to be back up there as much as the fans do.”
“We want to be back where we belong. We are back there – it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be relentless again, but we are going to give it our best shot and hopefully make sure we stay a Premier League club now for years to come.”
“This club doesn’t belong in this division, the fan-base, the stadium we have got.” “A lot of mistakes have been made over the years and we have spoken about them, but now this is about learning from the mistakes and slowly building this fantastic club up into a great club.”
We so admire the attitude of Kevin Nolan, because he knows all about the Newcastle club, and while he couldn’t save us last season from relegation, he is the one of the players who has endeared themselves to the Newcastle fans this time around, for his great play and fantastic spirit.
Every time I hear Kevin talk I look for my football boots – but my wife has them well hidden these days – for my own protection.
Newcastle fans are wary of getting carried away about next season, but we are quietly confident that the side, suitably strengthened over the summer, will do quite well next season, and should be able to survive the season.
We hope so anyway.