Newcastle Have Come A Long Way In A Short Two Years

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. 😀

Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • Brutooon

    May 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #1

    If we don’t lose 5-1 to Bolton,
    If we don’t lose to Stevenage,
    AND if we don’t lose Andy Carroll to Liverpool….

    Then i can say its a perfect start to the premierleagu

  • Hebburn Mag

    May 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #2

    Yeah we’ve come soo far in 2 years, but unless we keep building and developing the whole team from the youth to the 1st team we arent going to go anywhere or achieve anything. We done fantastic to get promoted 1st time last season but the EPL is a different ball game to the CCC and we must keep on developing and not selling out best players if we are wanting to achieve.

  • kilcline

    May 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #3

    Nolan with AC in the team = decent

    Nolan since AC left = average at best and not good enough for our team next season.

  • Jose Enrique

    May 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #4

    This article should be dedicated to Geoff777

    He needs to realise we were in the championship las season and arent in a position to challenge for the title next season.

    As for Nolan, it is pretty stupid for people to be saying Nolan is avergae a best. Our top scorer, our captain and you obviously must not watch much football if the only thing you see is the goals he scores. If you hadnt realised he is playing CM not CAM like the start of the season. he is a lot better technically then people give him credit for.

  • NathanH NUFC

    May 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #5

    Well its pretty safe to say that “kilcline” doesn’t watch football as Nolan has been one of our outstanding players this season. No doubt about it.

  • Brutooon

    May 21, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #6

    Nolan is a good leader, the reason we improve compare to 2 seasons ago. His strengths are his header and running from midfield, and he is suitable player with a big and GOOD striker as Andy Carroll

    Without Nolan Contribution, we will be down there

  • boater

    May 21, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Allardyce described him well – outside the box: a decent, mid-level, premiership midfield grafter, in the box: an instinctive, goalscoring predator.

  • kilcline

    May 21, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #8

    I was on here a few seasons ago saying that Carroll would be class and we should give Barton a chance as he was by far our best midfielder, the amount of stick i got then was hilarious.

    If you think Nolan is class then it’s you who doesn’t watch enough football. Tiote has carried him and done his running for him, he is poor in a 2 man midfield and can only get away with it in a 4-5-1. Don’t get me wrong his goals have been importnant but he has offered very little else and someone tell me what he has done since the end of Jan?

    Also can you name me any teams in the top 8 who would have Nolan in their starting 11?

  • boater

    May 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #9

    @brutoon – Are you even English? Do you mean?

    Nolan is a good leader and one of the players that have helped us to improve from two seasons ago. His strengths are his heading ability and running from midfield; and he especially combines well with a big, GOOD striker; such as Andy Carroll

    Without Nolan’s contributions, we would have finished considerably further down the league.

  • Brutooon

    May 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #10

    Boater : thank you mate

    For anyone who don’t understand any of my post, ask boater to rephrase it again (In English)

  • dave 1961

    May 21, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #11

    I watch football and totally agree take the goals away from Nolan and you have very little else, its true with out his goals we would be in trouble, but the facts are since Carroll went Nolan’s found it difficult to score as often.

  • boater

    May 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #12

    @kilcline – I know what you’re saying but it’s up to another player to come in and take his shirt off him. Without his goals we’d be in the bottom 3, and yet no one has him in their team sheets for next year!?!? 12 goals – 6 assists I think.

    Fine if we bring in a player that replaces him over time, then so be it but it frustrates me when I read this kind of player bashing.. why are we always throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

  • kilcline

    May 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #13


    I am not bashing Nolan as such, i thank him for what he has done (including last season) but i know he doesn’t offer enough long term to be considered, we are not good enough to carry people especially just because they are captain.

    Since AC has gone he has gone missing.

    Give S Taylor the armband and make him grow up on the football pitch once and for all and become an England player.

  • Brutooon

    May 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #14

    Kilcline : I do agreed with you, the success of our thrashing of Mackems and Aston Villa is because of Nolan playing behind Andy Carroll

    During setpieces, the opponent focus more on Andy Carroll and always forget Nolan running from midfield.

  • GeordieGerman

    May 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #15

    How can people say Nolan isn’t PL quality? 12 goals this season. Highest scoring midfield player in the league. If he isn’t good enough then who is?

  • kilcline

    May 21, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #16


    How many goals since Carroll left?

  • GeordieGerman

    May 21, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #17

    kilcline, I’ve been trying to find that out. Could you tell me? But if he has dried up since Carroll left then that doesn’t lie with Nolan it lies with the lack of service he’s been getting since Carroll left.

  • Jose Enrique

    May 21, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #18



    When Carroll left hes been playing more CM then CAM, a blind man could see this.

  • The Entertainers

    May 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #19

    The most influential player at our club. Ok not a world beater but very, very good player, should have been capped by England for his earlier season form.
    He walks into my x11, any day.

  • FarAwayGeordie

    May 21, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #20

    Him and Barton’s leadership got us back from a 4-0 deficit vs Arsenal .. Great Midfield Generals


  • coolcatcarter89

    May 21, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #21

    11 appearances (all starts) 2 goals, since AC left. Boater, stop making up stats to aid your debate; he has 2 assists all season.

    Make of it what you will, but it says to me, he isn’t a CM by any stretch. He’s an ACM or even a ST, who relies heavily on others.

    Doesn’t have the stamina, mobility, passing ability, dribbling, defensive awareness or anticipation to play in a 2 man CM.

    Sorry, but the harsh truth is, HBA is twice the player in his favoured position, could equal him on goals and obliterate his assists record, all the while promoting a better brand of football.

    We’ll see less of him, but he’ll still be crucial. We need a variety of players – horses for courses – all the top teams use this method. He’ll start about 1/3 of games next season, in my opinion, though he could be the headline grabbing super-sub of the season.

    There’s more to been a club captain then just been on the pitch, a good one recognises that and will help the TEAM any way they can.

    That’s my balanced view.

  • roshan MAGPIE

    May 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #22

    this NUFC team is made for each other

  • Brutooon

    May 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #23

    Nolan play well with a good lone target man

    With Carroll, both of them compliment each other

    With Leon Best, Nolan still can play with his strength (eventhough not that much but still ok)

    With AMEOBI, everything not working! hehe

  • GeordieToon89

    May 21, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #24

    coolcarter your being abit snappy with boater ther if u read his comment he says 12 goals and 6 assists ‘I THINK’ did not say these are his definate stats he was just saying what he thinks without actually checking up

  • geoff777

    May 21, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #25

    Dedicated to me … that’s sweet.

    I support the lads think they’ve done really well.
    I just think they should have been a few more of them.

    I’m negative about the owner & board not the players.
    I positively support all our players in fact I don’t like the posts I read about Perch, Guthrie, Smith & Ameobi etc.

    A couple of signings in January including a striker and we could have pushed on.
    Instead 50,000 home fans plus the amazing travelling fans had to watch some toothless patched up teams take the field.
    In other games the bravery of the players papered-over the fact that we just didn’t have enough players.

    The manager is usually in charge of the transfers & squad but in our case it’s Mike Ashley and his PR act “Pards”.

    I think they were very lucky to get away with rocking the boat twice and not strengthening in January.

    Applaud them if you wish. I can’t.

    But I always cheer the players.

  • solano

    May 21, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #26

    HBA has a lot to live up to as it seems a lot of fans already think he is some kind of messianic talisman …..based on 3 appearances (and 1 good performance)….I know he has loads of talent and potential after speaking to Pedro in Morrison’s but…he may take a longtime to get confidence and fitness back and let’s not forget, he has a notorious history back in France of being tempremental and a troublemaker….just like nearly every Frenchman we have ever had at the club……
    On Nolan…I understand why he is not everyone’s cup of tea…..he is ungainly and doesn’t always catch the eye….but 20% of the teams goals cannot be discounted off-hand…for those old enough to remember, a Ray Kennedy-type of player?

  • Davies

    May 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #27

    I remember seeing Ameobi setting Nolan up from midfield (I can’t remember who it was against, might have been wolves) and thinking that Shola should be playing in midfield and Nolan up front. Having seen Shola play further back against Chelsea (where he did a damn good job), I actually think that would actually have worked pretty well….. Always and option.

    By the way, Nolan has scored four since Carroll left. West Ham, Mackems, Bolton and Wolves. Don’t know about his assists. He’s better than he gets credit for.


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