We said at the time Kevin Nolan left Newcastle that it was a very sad day.
Kevin Nolan – why didn’t he stay in the Premier League at least?
And for Kevin to actually leave Newcastle for a team playing in the English second division was hardly a step up for the player, and we think he’ll be wondering right now what exactly happened, and we hardly think he will be very happy with things.
Presumably he could have just seen out the remaining two years of his contract, but it seemed to most fans, that he was not in danger of leaving the club for at least a year, even if he didn’t sign a new deal.
And some of the inner workings around what happened have seemed to be revealed in the News of the World today, when a source said to be close to Nolan had this to say:
“Kevin is disappointed with Alan Pardew.” “Kevin is especially disappointed because he made a point of supporting the manager when he first arrived at Newcastle.”
“He thinks Pardew paid lip-service to keeping him at Newcastle.” “He feels let down and he’s furious with his former manager. Kev expected him to try harder to keep him at the club during contract talks.”
“The incentives they wanted put in Kev’s contract were all about how high up the league table Newcastle finished.” “They are managers’ clauses, not players.” “If they’d wanted him to be manager, they should have given him the job.”
“It was a very difficult time for Alan Pardew to take over and the support of the club captain was crucial.” “He needed Kevin Nolan on board and Kevin made sure the dressing room moved forward with the new manager.”
“When the crunch came, the manager did not reciprocate the support and that was very disappointing.” “Kevin was a big character who helped him settle in and that was forgotten.”
Kevin has gone and he’ll never return to the club, but why he left to join West Ham – that’s a bit of a mystery – and Aston Villa apparently tried to get Kevin to join them, but very late in the West Ham negotiations.
By then Kevin had given his word to Sam Allardyce and to West Ham, and as we all know Kevin is a loyal guy, and not one to break his word, it’s what makes him such a good captain for one thing – what you see is what you get.
But this event will not help Alan Pardew get away from the impression that he has absolutely no power at the Newcastle club, and that it’s Mike Ashley who decides which players come and go.
Alan is what Ashley wanted to reduce Kevin Keegan to – he coaches the team and he picks the team, and is the face of the club to the press – but not much more than that.
It’s not the old fashioned idea of what an English manager should be, but it seems that Pardew has little influence over Ashley in trying to get even his captain a decent contract – which Kevin surely deserved after his tremendous contributions to Newcastle over the last two seasons.
We would feel a lot better if Kevin Nolan was still at the club, because we wouldn’t have these doubts about the team spirit for next seaosn, and who exactly will become the captain – at the moment there’s not a lot of good choices.
But you also have to be responsible for things you do in this life, and Kevin Nolan was the only one who decided to accept a £55K/week deal for five years at West Ham – a deal he was not offered to stay on Tyneside.
It was a deal that West Ham owner David Gold tried to pacify the West Ham fans with, that it was a huge coup, but the joint owner’s credibility is completely shot, after all the big talk that has only landed the West Ham club in the second division.
We all know what West Ham fans are going through right now, because Newcastle fans went through the same terrible empty misery a short two years ago.
However, it was a great acquisition for the Hammers, and Kevin will be huge for the Hammers next season.
But the big shock was why Kevin Nolan would leave a club like Newcastle at the time he did, with 52,000 home gates in the Premier League, and when he had two years still left on his contract, for a team that will now try to fight its way clear of England’s second division.
That was the biggest surprise to us and as we said, it’s all very sad.
What do you think about all of this?