It was two years ago that Newcastle lost 1-0 at Villa Park, in a game where most of the players appeared not to care less.
Kevin Nolan – Newcastle’s captain supreme
That was the shame of Newcastle, and in that summer there was a clear-out of the playing staff with players like Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Habib Beye, Seb Bassong, Damien Duff, and Oba Martins all leaving.
Make no mistake, the Newcastle club was on its knees in the summer of 2009.
But fast forward to today and Newcastle have a team that fights with the passion and heart of any previous Newcastle side, and they have had great wins this season at Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton and good draws at home against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – in a game that witnessed the greatest come-back in Premier League history.
Newcastle have also hammered Aston Villa 6-0, Sunderland 5-1, West Ham 5-0 and Liverpool 3-1 at St. James’ Park this season.
As captain, Kevin Nolan has played a major part in Newcastle’s comeback from the depths, and he deserves huge credit for leading the team back to respectability this season.
This is what Kevin told the local Newcastle press corps today:
“Look back to where we were two years ago.” “Look what we have achieved this season compared to two years ago.” “Whatever happens, we cannot be too disappointed at where we end up.”
“A lot of people were writing us off and saying we did not have a good enough squad.”
“That was early in the season, but we quickly picked up good results against established teams and we can be proud of beating the likes of Arsenal away, Liverpool at home and giving a good account of ourselves against Chelsea in the three games we have had with them.”
“There have been other good results, but I liked the way we went to Chelsea in a Premier League game and really soaked up their pressure.” “We were well deserving of the draw.”
Nolan will of course be at the game tomorrow on crutches, and we are hoping there will be a full house to congratulate the players on such a terrific season, after so many doubted the team last August and two years ago.
And Kevin is a huge hero on Tyneside, and was mobbed last week at a fans’ dinner in Dunston – which is a sign of the passion for football that exists in and around the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne – and always has done.
Kevin Nolan is on his way to becoming a legend on Tyneside, with 12 goals this season, 18 goals last season – and a hat-trick against local rivals Sunderland last year – so you see what we mean.
There’s a decent chance the lads can make the top 10 with a win tomorrow, and Kevin thought that would be great, as he continued::
“That is the aim – if we get three more points that will hopefully push us into that top 10.” “If we do achieve that, that will be a fantastic achievement.”
“At the beginning of the season, it was all about survival, and we have managed that.” “We have three points up for grabs now, and hopefully we will get them tomorrow. We will see where that leaves us.”
It would be very fitting to get all three points tomorrow, although West Brom are an in-form side under Roy Hodgson, and it will be good to see the celebrations from the players after the game tomorrow, whatever the result.
The lads have done fantastically well over these last two seasons, let’s not forget that. 😀