Alan Pardew has given out a lot of praise this morning to Newcastle players.
Kevin Nolan – scoring Newcastle’s first goal on Saturday
And that’s hardly surprising, after Newcastle’s terrific and gutsy 4-1 win against Wolves, in a game that was arguably the most important league game of the season for the Magpies.
It’s nice to win at St. James’ Park again, and that was the first win there since January 5th, when the team hammered West Ham 5-0, with a great hat-trick from Leon Best.
It turns out that Kevin Nolan played against Wolves, despite being under the weather with a stomach complaint, and he missed Friday’s training.
But Kevin phoned Alan Pardew on Saturday morning, and said he was a little better and that he was prepared to play.
And of course Nolan, as usual, got the vital first goal and took his chance brilliantly, from a headed flick-on from Shola Ameobi.
That was Kevin’s 12th goal of the season, and puts him at the head of the scoring charts, and that’s after he scored 16 goals in the Championship last season – what a player this man is.
Alan Pardew has been spreading around the plaudits this morning, and this is what he said about his captain:
“I thought Kevin would miss the game. I was waiting for a call at ten in the morning and half expected him to say he couldn’t play.”
“He didn’t train on Friday and couldn’t hold anything down, so it was good news when it came through that he was better.”
“It’s fair to say that a lot of players wouldn’t have played in his condition, but that’s the character he is.”
“You ain’t got to rubber stamp Kevin Nolan, he’s a proper character and he did all the jobs that you want him to do out there.”
The bad news on Kevin is that he picked up his 10th yellow card of the season, and will now be suspended for the next couple of games, away at Villa Park next Saturday, and at home to league leaders Manchester United two weeks tomorrow night.
However, Ryan Taylor, who was so impressive against Bolton in his come-back game, is back after his 3 match ban for being sent off in that game, , and could see himself in the starting line up against Aston Villa on Saturday.
It would be good to play Joey Barton in the middle of the park, in Kevin’s absence, since Ryan Taylor can play well out on the right wing.
Newcastle mustn’t lose to Aston Villa, who are surprisingly only 2 points above the drop zone on 34 points, 5 points behind Newcastle.
It’s hard to say that Gerard Houllier has made a good start to his Aston Villa management career, since he seems to have upset so many of their players.
Comments always welcome.