Alan Pardew is very quickly finding out who the important players are in his Newcastle squad, and of course one huge player for Newcastle United is captain Kevin Nolan.
Kevin Nolan and that daft duck walk – after scoring last Sunday
Kevin had a tough time of it when he first arrived on Tyneside two years ago, but last season he was phenomenal for the club with 18 goals in 48 appearances, and this season he already has 10 goals in 21 appearances, and of course assumed the captaincy last August.
Andy Carroll is rightly getting the accolades for making the step up to the Premier League this season, and the Geordie lad has 11 goals already to his name, but Kevin is just one goal short of that total – and he’s a midfielder.
Alan Pardew thinks that Kevin Nolan should get an England call-up from Fabio Capello, since worse players have played for Capello in the last couple of years.
This is what Alan said today:
“Kevin could play for England,” “Have there been players who are not as good as him who have played for England? Yes, there have been.”
“Could he play in the future? Personally I would really hope that he would get a cap. If you can deserve a cap for England, he deserves one.”
As the Newcastle captain Nolan represents the players in a weekly Monday morning meeting with Pardew at Newcastle training grounds at Benton, to talk about the weekend game and to discuss any issues there may be.
And apparently last Monday Alan told Kevin that he was a better player than he had thought, and Pardew has seen quickly that Kevin is a right character and a great talent too:
“But the one thing that I said to him on Monday is that I actually think he is a better player than I thought he was,”
“That is a compliment to him because we all know he is a good player but he is so efficient. He doesn’t really waste possession.”
“Wherever it comes to him, whatever angle, he seems to control it and keep the ball. He is not elaborate with the ball. He is not a manoeuverer of the ball.”
“He is efficient with the ball and when it comes in the box he has a nous and a strikers nose for goals. We were looking at it and he must have seven goals from set-plays.”
Kevin missed Thursday training with a throat infection, but we hope he’s in the side today against Spurs, and is not a shock omission because of his sore throat – take a bunch of lozenges before the game – that should do the trick.
It seems that Alan has also recognized that Kevin has everything needed to be a top manager himself, when his playing days are over, but at just 28 years old Kevin still has a lot of season to play for Newcastle.
“It is important that when you are a senior player you need to change your game,” “At certain points Kevin will have to change part of his game. You cant get around the pitch when you start getting older.”
“Kevin has a real manager’s knowledge of the game and I could probably see him doing that role one day. You can see he has the credentials for that job. No problem.”
Kevin will be an important player today, against Tottenham, because from those corner kicks he stays on the goal line, and seems so adept at being in the right place at the right time.
How many goals has he scored from two yards out this season from those corner kicks coming in from Joey Barton?
Quite a few, including the goal against Sunderland last Sunday.
Maybe he can get one or even two of those today.