It’s a very long time since Newcastle had as good a captain as Kevin Nolan.
Kevin Nolan - in action against Sunderland yesterday
That’s not just because Kevin is a very good player, but he has now scored 25 goals for Newcastle in just 69 games, and that’s after getting only 50 goals in 345 appearances for Bolton Wanderers, where he was also the captain.
But Chris Hughton obviously recognized there were a lot more goals in Kevin, and he is currently Newcastle’s top scorer this season with 7 goals, including a fantastic hat-trick yesterday – when it really mattered.
And Kevin dedicated the win yesterday to his manager Chris Hughton, who has surprisingly been under pressure for his job on Tyneside.
And Nolan said after the game:
“He deserves this win for what he has been put through.” “Chris is a fantastic man, a gentleman who gets his point across. Believe me, he is a manager.”
“I have played for a lot of managers and he is a very good one.”"I’m delighted he made me captain and, hopefully, I can repay his faith in me. You could see how much victory meant to all of us.”
Only at Newcastle would a manager who had the side in 9th place in the league with 11 points from their first 9 league games, and has just got them promoted with a record 102 points from the Championship in his very first season in charge – would a manger be under pressure with that record.
And Kevin Nolan, along with Joey Barton, Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi, must have impressed England manager Fabio Capello’s assistant Franco Baldini, who was in the stands at St. James’ Park yesterday.
But surely Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who was seen to be enjoying the game with the rest of the Newcastle fans yesterday, will now give Chris a decent and better contract offer, to tie down Chris over the next several seasons.
Stability and success at Newcastle is now the name of the game.