Nolan Explains Bigger Picture To Newcastle Fans

Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan has come out today and said the Newcastle defeats at home to Blackpool and Stoke have absolutely nothing to do with the 4-5-1 formation thay have deployed in both games.

Kevin Nolan – displays have nothing to do with 4-5-1 formation

Kevin talked about the formation Newcastle are using this season at home:

“People make a massive thing about it, but every Premier League team play like this,”   “Manchester United and Chelsea play like it at home, so why can’t Newcastle play it at home? Why are we always a 4-4-2 side? I’ve never understood why Newcastle have to play two up front.”

“We’ve got two wingers who ran riot in the first half (against Stoke). Even when we put Shola (Ameobi) on in the second half, it didn’t change anything.”  “We’ve got to be adaptable and I think we are. We can play different formations, but we’re living in an era and a league of 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 if you like.”

“You know, last week we were brilliant at Everton and nobody moaned about playing 4-5-1 then.”  “We started off well against Stoke in a 4-5-1, but we let sloppy goals in and suddenly the formation is being questioned. The formation wasn’t the problem, the little mistakes at set-pieces were the problem. They were costly.”

We don’t think it was a little mistake and when teams play Stoke you know exactly what they are going to do – and it’s simple Rory Delap throws high balls into the box and they cross high balls into the box.

We trained all week to combat this threat but we were unable to defend well against it in the second half – and that’s why we lost the game, and that has to be frustrating – for Chris – the players and the fans.

But Kevin has again come out yesterday and today and communicating things with the Newcatsl.e fans – and you have to compliment his leadership for the  Newcastle team, both on and off the field.

Kevin continued:

“We have to keep looking at the bigger picture. We’re in a new league and we’re a new Newcastle if you like, and we will keep working towards our aims.”   “We’re there or thereabouts at the moment.”

“We know we could have had more points on the table and we probably should have more points on the table if you look at the games we have lost at home, but that’s what this league does to you.”  “I’m sure we will win games we probably don’t deserve to along the way. We’ve already lost games we should have won, but that’s why the Premier League is so punishing. We’ve got to look forward now and get on with it.”

“It’s another setback at home, but that is all it is, a setback. Obviously we wanted to continue from the two great results we’ve had away from home, we wanted to keep the ball rolling.”

“We’ve come unstuck because of two badly defended set-pieces. That has to be a massive lesson for us to learn because we cannot afford to give goals away as sloppy as that.”   “We’d been working on that all week, they didn’t come with any surprises. We controlled the game for long periods and then we got sloppy at the back.”“We gave them more set piece opportunities than we would have liked and they punished us.”

“We were very sloppy and by our standards, it wasn’t good enough.”  “We’ve got to make sure we learn from it because a lot of teams will come here looking to do the same. We can’t get away from the fact that, no matter how well we have played, we’ve been beaten twice at home now.”

“Teams will look to absorb the pressure here and attack us through set-pieces. It’s a harsh lesson, but we have to take it on board quickly.”

We think those are good words from Kevin, but we were disappointed at the end of the game on Sunday that we ended up with absolutely nothing in a game we dominated for long periods.

Kevin is right and we’re sure Chris is building the side in this league, and certainly he is doing the right thing and we expect the lads to give it a good go at Eastlands, and who knows, they may even be able to nab a point which would be terrific.

We’ll be hoping they can get something on Sunday, but it will be tough, and we’d be a lot happier if we can start beating teams we should be beating.

Comments welcome.

48 comments so far

  • Moreno

    Sep 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #1

    I have a lot of respect for Nolan, but he is obviously going to defend the 4-5-1 system with him just behind the striker, as it’s his best position and without it he probably wouldnt get in the team as he is not a box to box midfielder like Joey.

    Blackpool came and played 4-3-3, that’s 3 in the midfield against our 5, and they were the better team. I think that when you get prmoted to the prem league, you should throw everything at every team each game you play. Fair enough, you may take the odd 5-0 walloping from Man Utd (no different to most seasons then!) but you are going to brush aside the Blackpool and Stoke’s with goals. To score 1 goal against Stoke and Blackpool combined at home, when you dominate play, suggests the creativity + finishing is severly lacking.

  • Moreno

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #2

    And as for the quote :

    ”Manchester United and Chelsea play like it at home, so why can’t Newcastle play it at home?”

    Where do I begin?

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #3

    He would say that, if we didnt play that formation, there would be no place for him in the starting line-up

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #4

    Nolan talks too much, I have never known us have a captain who “Comes out and says….” so often.

    Why cant he just come out and play football on a saturday and let that do the talking – lead by example?!

  • RichK

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #5

    Moreno- 4-3-3 is the same as 4-5-1 because the wide players drop in when defending. There is no difference in the two systems. So I wish everyone would stop going on about the 4-5-1 being negative when it’s not, as long as the wide players do the job. 4-4-2 can leave you very exposed at the top level hence why Man U,Chelsea etc play with the same system.

  • Moreno

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #6

    RichK- no it’s not.


  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #7

    @ RichK // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM (5)

    They are not the same.

    If they were the same they would be called the same.


    ****** GK
    RB * CB * CB * LB
    RM ** CM ** LM
    *ST ** ST ** ST

    RB * CB * CB * LB
    ****** CDM
    **RM * CM * LM
    **** CM/AM
    ******* ST

  • Adssy Mccc

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #8

    He says that it was just two errors from set pieces….

    Well, it could have been a minimum of four – if it had not been for the woodwork!

    The biggest problem was that we didn’t defend well in the second half because we stopped giving them things to worry about. Attack is the best form of defence! If we had been playing the football in their half, like we did in the first half, they would not have got so many opportunities to get throw-ins and crosses into our box.

    Basically, we bottled it in the second half and didn’t have the ‘balls’ to keep playing the way we were. Obviously they would have a spell of pressure, but if we could have ridden the storm and then got back to attacking them – we could have gone on to get the win….

  • wynsleap

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #9

    Our too-talkative captain should also see the “bigger picture”. He talks about Man U and Chelsea successfully employing 4-5-1 which is correct but fails to realise that they make it work by having fluid, mobile back up to their main striker.
    On Sunday our supporting striker (Nolan himself) was often sitting on the half way line too slow to catch up with the attack. The result was a huge gap between the support and Carroll with the latter being left alone to cope with three or more huge defenders.
    Yes 4-5-1 can work – if we replace Nolan with Ben Arfa.
    Got to say Hughton’s insistence on employing Nolan will ultimately cost him his employment.

  • lamus

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    I always find it funny when people are like ‘nolan talks too much’. Listen, you think he’s the one approaching journo’s for interviews…no it’s the other way round. Plus if the captain and the rest of the team decided to never speak then people would be criticing him for not communicating with the fans. It’s a no win situation for the players. Besides if Nolan didn’t give his two pence then this blog wouldn’t exist except for matxh days depriving these keyboard warriors their forum to criticise the team constantly.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #11

    Nolan could talk for England. He’s worse than Saylor.

    Somebody somewhere has to realise and tell Nolan in the nicest way he is the weakest link if we are trying to get in behind teams, because he doesn’t make the runs or have the speed to join up with Carroll as often as he should.

    Arfa, Lovenkrands, Jonas or even Ranger would all bring a lot more pace and dynamism to that position, especially as although he’s not slow, Carroll is certainly not the swiftest.

    Nolan is a bottom 8 player, ie Bolton, Blackburn, Stoke type.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #12

    Barton almost gave away a Pen, and was lucky not to.

    Jones hit the woodwork twice with Krul nowhere near it.

    Knowing Stoke’s Arieal threat we still conceeded countless corners, throwings and free kicks around our 18 yard box.

    We were running about like headless chickens 2nd half because Stoke started playing and we couldn’t match them.

    AND . . . .

    MOST OF ALL CAPT. KEV . . . .


  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Did Shearer or Lee ‘come out’ almost every day and say blah blah blah?

    The only person who needs to ‘defend’ the formation and selection is Hoots, not Nolan, he is a player, sure he is the captain, but he does not choose the formation or which players fit into it.

  • Davies

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #14

    Stoke are a team who thrive on set pieces. The formation we played didn’t make any difference to them getting their goals on Sunday.

  • Davies

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #15

    …. though I would like to see a bit more attack at home. 4-3-3 …..

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #16

    Ericles // Sep 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    When is CH going to realise that now he has got us back into the Premiership he now needs to get NUFC playing Premiership level football? We have the players in the squad that can play fast and quality soccer that can compete with the best. Against Stoke we were a poor shadow of the side that outplayed Chelsea. Why? Because CH had us playing against a big built physical team on their terms not ours. If we had used Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Jonas, Ranger, Ryan Taylor (instead of Perch) and Tiotte all together from the word go – playing a fast and intelligent passing along the ground style of quality football we could have thrashed them. But no – we got an unimaginative over the top long ball style ideal for the way Stoke played. Of course we lost. We have the players CH – use them instead of sticking with those who gallantly got us into the Premier but sadly will not keep us there playing your timid tactics. Come on CH – don’t bend backwards clueless. Bend it like Beckham
    Best article I’ve seen in years.

  • Moreno

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #17


    The set piece conceded goals aren’t the issue for me, scoring 1 at home against Blackpool and Stoke is!

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18

    I dont understand how Perch walked straight back into the team after Raylor’s performance vs. Chelski, Bet Raylor doesn’t either!

  • atom

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #19

    Not sure what people are griping about here.

  • roy cropper

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #20

    fatty thanks for putting us in the picture !?! do you think we’ve just – come up the tyne in a biscuit tin – or what !?!

    nee wonder the fans are staying away when the likes of him (over weight & over paid) fizzy player at best tries pulling the wool over our eyes yet again !!!

    try doing your talking on the pitch for a change will ya.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #21

    @ atom // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:42 AM (19)

    “Not sure what people are griping about here.”

    Nolan, Formation, Lack of Goals, Player Selection, Hoots, Home Form……

    And anything else basically!

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #22

    If he wants to look at the bigger picture then we have lost at home to two very poor sides what will happen when we play the likes of Man U, Chelsea, Man C, etc god only knows. We are set up to hit teams on the break we can’t play against teams that “park the bus” we are much better against teams that attack us e.g. Aston V, Everton, Chelsea & Wolves where we were unbeaten. Against Man U away we played okay for 35 mins but once they scored we were overrun. We need to be able to change our tactics when we play the lower PL teams if we can’t I think we are going to struggle. I still think we’ll stay up but I can’t see us being much above 16th at the end of the season.

  • callie9

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #23

    In fairness, man u man c and chelsea play the flexible 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 formation. The difference is their wingers have the adaptibility to move and cut inside. The times are gone where the Keith Gillespie’s of this world get the ball, bomb to the byeline and whip it in for Ferdinand and Shearer. Nobody plays like that anymore. 4-4-2 is so vulnerable. Who would you suggest dropping? The club captain? For who? Shola? The slowest, laziest, least effective striker we have. It’s not the formation that’s the problem.

    Oh and whoever said Blackpool play 4-3-3 is a looney, they played 4-5-1 with their wingers pushing on. ie the same formation we play.

    People loved the formation when we thrashed Villa, and beat Everton. Just get behind the lads, did you really expect us to be mid table and in still in the CC? We’re in a transition period, and if we finish 17th I couldnt give 2 flying ducks.

    Ps yes I hate Shola

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #24

    @ Geordiedoonsooth // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM (22)

    Its funny how you say:

    “We are set up to hit teams on the break”

    But we ain’t really because we dont have much pace in the team, maybe the odd player, but noone can keep up with them to offer support!

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #25

    @ callie9 // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM (23)

    I want to see the McLoven/Carroll partnership deployed.

    Ps yes I hate Shola too!

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #26

    Also to be fair we created very little on Sunday but Stoke are a very hard team to beat the way they play. I’d hate to watch them every week

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #27

    Another thing I noticed on Sunday, which is probably a contributing factor, and takes some of the blame away from the formation/selection/manager/opposition was:


    There was no atmosphere, no 12th man to spur the team on.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #28

    NUFC_Richyg01 post 24 We are set up to hit people on the break that’s what 4-5-1 is meant to be. Two quick wide men 1-2 defensive midfielders I big attacker & someone playing just behind him. When you win the ball it should (& I say that advisedly) become 4-3-3. But only if you’ve got the players for it.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #29

    NUFC_Richyg01 you’re right very dissapointing crowd after the 2 great away wins but maybe they don’t like the way the teams playing or it could be there’s not much money around looking at all of the big clubs home crowds this season not one has sold out yet. Man U, Man C, Chelseas, Arsenal & even Spurs who claim to have a 20,000 waiting list for season tickets haven’t had a sell out yet. Maybe football is losing its appeal to be honest who wants to watch teams like Stoke and even Man C play dull football every week.

  • roy cropper

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #30

    NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM


    watching that crap that was served up is enough to send a glass eye to sleep – that’s why.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #31

    @ Geordiedoonsooth // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM (29)

    Its not really anything to do with low attendances, I’ve known us make more atmosphere at an away match with ticket allocation of a few thousand.

    On Sunday, even when we were attacking, there was not much drive from the fans, just a little clap afterwards.

    Normally we are on our feet shouting at every attack.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #32

    @ roy cropper // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM (30)

    “NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM


    watching that crap that was served up is enough to send a glass eye to sleep – that’s why.”

    OKAY, so you are saying it’s not okay for the players to go to sleep on the pitch, but it is okay for the fans to go to sleep when they are meant to be getting behind the team?

    At home, we should be as important and infuential as the 11 men on the pitch.

  • roy cropper

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #33

    are you for real or what ? – i pay good f@cking money to go and watch these clowns and i dont expect having to wake them out of the trance they all appeared to be in on sunday – if they showed a bit more than the crap that was displayed on sunday then the fans would be getting behind them.

    i’m one of those fans that wants the 3 points & i want to be entertained whilst getting them.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #34

    Okay so the players only deserve your support if they play for it?

    You not think its a two way street?

  • roy cropper

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #35

    of course it’s a 2 way street & i do encourage the players !! but when – watching paint dry – is more entertaining then why bother.

    go ask the other 40+ thousand that were there & i’m sure they’ll tell you the same.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #36

    @ roy cropper // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM (35)

    Im not saying that performance was our fault, I’m just saying that maybe we should look at ourselves too.

  • davvruss 09

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #37

    The slowest, laziest, least effective striker we have.

    how many goals has he scored!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i think we have stikers now who are less effective
    what about viduka etc be real open your eyes and look at what shola has done over the years, the lad has played on with ;ong term injuries and still scored goals. did he not score 2 just last week at chelsea?

  • AndyMac

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #38

    ”Manchester United and Chelsea play like it at home, so why can’t Newcastle play it at home?”

    Soz Kev but Musa playe either 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 against alleged tougher opponents like Liverpool. As for Chelski they play a variation of 4-3-2-1 or 4-3-1-2.

    However in both cases the linking players are top quality internationals such as Anelka and Malouda, not quite in the Nolan bracket methinks ?

    Wake up Kevin its time for you to take a back seat role in this team as you’re not mobile enough and you dont possess that intuitive football brain that can spot a pass before opponent see it and deny the space.

    If we have to play 4-4-1-1 at home then put HBA just behind Carroll but then please get some pace into midfield to help those two out.

    Routledge is fast but has no final ball and Jonas is fast but has no final ball. Maybe thats why they’ve signed the French boy ?

  • BeeGuy

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #39

    Now that Xisco has served his time, everything will be fine.

  • lamus

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #40

    Rob Lee and Shearer wern’t talking everyday becuase the internet wasn’t massive like it is now and you didn’t get fans constantly moaning on message boards undermining the efforts to get behind the team. Our aim is to avoid relegation and right now we are tenth. We know we are going to lose more games than win this season so I can’t imagine the level of negativity that is going to be spouted about when we go through a really bad patch. Losing a game, even at home, isn’t a crisis, there have been some random results happening for all teams in the legue this season…deal with it and SUPPORT


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