Chris Hughton supposedly left captain Kevin Nolan out of the line-up on Saturday, because he was carrying a slight ankle injury.
Kevin Nolan – rested or dropped?
But since Chris played 4-4-2 with Carroll and Lovenkrands up front against Wigan, it was also obvious that the two central midfield players had to be Tiote and Barton on current form, so there’s some questioning about whether Kevin was simply dropped for this game.
Of course with the squad system we have today, it’s not a big deal either way, because no one player can play in every game these days, and Chris has often said that no player at Newcastle has a guaranteed starting place.
This is how Chris explained the situation:
“He is someone who has been playing with a couple of knocks,” “It was my decision to rest him and give him that extra time.” “I wanted to give him a complete rest,” “
He rested for two weeks but it depends on what the niggles are. There are different levels.” “It is my decision. It was a chance to change it.”
Gutiérrez was dropped against Everton in favor of Ben Arfa, although Chris says he rested the player in that game, but it was obvious Hatem Ben Arfa was preferred at left wing in that game.
But Chris is right when he says the reaction to that of the Argentine was just first class, and he’s played well ever since, including providing the assists for both late goals on Saturday, one cross from the left for Ameobi to head in, and one corner from the right that his team mate Coloccini headed in, following a knock-on from Carroll.
Hughton thinks that decision at Everton turned out to be a good one:
“I think his form has got better,” “Sometimes you also get a reaction. I rested him at Everton and I would say since then he has been very good.”
“One thing with Jonás is that you will always get a committed player, a player who absolutely loves playing. We needed his quality.”
It’s important to keep the players fresh and free from injury through the season, and one way to do that is to ensure no one player is over-used and plays too much.
It was a good time to rest Kevin, but of course he’ll be straight back into the team next Saturday at West Ham.