When Kevin Nolan first arrived on Tyneside in January of last year for £4M, he found it harder than he imagined.
Kevin Nolan – a big hit on Tyneside
And Kevin even lost his starting place in the side, when Alan Shearer came in to manage the club, and try to save Newcastle from relegation.
So after his first six months on Tyneside, he was not considered an enormous success, but then Kevin was one of the first players to buckle down at Newcastle following relegation, and then helped the club to promotion with some terrific displays for Newcastle and 18 goals.
Kevin talked about the Newcastle club today:
“This club is one of them where a lot of people come and fold under the (pressure). It is tough to go out every week and try to play well in front of 52,000, but I love it because I know how much they would love to be doing what you are doing.”
“That is what I did (after relegation). I tried to give myself the best chance of making sure I would do my best for Newcastle United, and I wanted to become one of those players who, when I return to the club ten years down the line, they actually say “Oh hello Kevin” rather than chasing me out of the city.”
“I had a very good career at Bolton and I enjoyed it. It was sad leaving but I was thinking ‘I’ve got to go somewhere else now” but it probably was the making of me.” “It gave me that hunger and desire. Across the whole spectrum, I think it was to prove to people that I am a good player. Not just the fact that I was at Bolton, come through the ranks and they had stuck with me.”
“I have come here and hopefully up to now, I have proved my worth, but I am not finished yet. I want to keep doing well, moving forward.” “This is probably the best opportunity I could have asked for if I was to move from Bolton and not gone to a top-four club. This is one club I always thought would be absolutely amazing to play for.”
Kevin is almost the perfect player and personality to play for Newcastle, and yes, to captain Newcastle too.
There’s no doubting this lad’s commitment to the Tyneside club, and he’s also very sensible and already talking about where Newcastle need to be in five years time. He wants to see Newcastle steadily on an upward climb, but he believes it has to be done patiently, with each season the squad getting better and better.
In fact, that’s very much the way David Moyes built up Everton, when he took over eight years ago at Goodison, after managing at Preston for four seasons.
Back in Europe and safe in the Premier League is where we want to be, and we’re sure Kevin sees himself as one of the prime movers in making that happen on Tyneside.
We wouldn’t bet against a guy like Kevin Nolan.