Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan is not guaranteed to start on Saturday at West Ham United.
Kevin Nolan – to start on Saturday?
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton talked about his captain today to the Evening Chronicle:
“Kevin is fit and available.” “I made a decision last week to leave him out completely and allow, in particular, his ankle to have a rest.”
“With Kevin, what you have is a player who can play in one of three positions – in a midfield position, off the front, or up front.” “He has been a big player for us, and he gives me options.”
Kevin wants to play week in and week out, and sometimes, such as if he is carrying a very slight injury, that may not be best for him, and if he is rested for a week it gives those slight niggles time to heal completely.
That seems exactly what Chris did last Saturday and didn’t even include him on the bench so the Liverpudlian was guaranteed a rest.
“Kevin wants to play in every game – he is a wholehearted player.” “He trains well every day and wants to play all the time.” “Sometimes, though, it is impossible to play in every game.” “It was my decision to rest him, and all you want when you do that is for him to come back stronger and fitter.”
“I am sure he will be better for his rest.” “Ultimately, it is not about Kevin – it is about picking 11 players.” “I have to make a decision not only for a particular game, but for every game.” “I have to make a decision on what I feel is the right 11 for a game. Kevin will be no different to anybody else.”
It’s very clear to everybody now, that not one single player is guaranteed a start week in week out at Newcastle, and that even goes for the captain, Kevin Nolan.
Chris certainly has a good philosophy on the game and on the squad system, and he will be hoping that Kevin comes back on Saturday that much better for the rest, and maybe he can even get a goal or two.