Kevin Nolan arrives back at St. James’ Park with his West Ham team on Sunday afternoon, and we just have to hope he has an off-day on his return to Newcastle.
Kevin Nolan at West Ham – we think he just scored
Players leave Newcastle for different reasons, and Kevin left surprisingly, when the club were not willing to offer the then 29 year-old a five-year deal, and West Ham stepped in and Sam Allardyce offered him the security of the five-year deal he had wanted. and he joined the Championship club.
And just like he did at Newcastle, he helped West Ham to get promoted at their first attempt, but it took a playoff win to accomplish that, and Blackpool were the better side in that game at Wembley, but didn’t take their chances – and West Ham did, and they are now doing well in the Premier League.
This is what Kevin had to say today:
“You can just get lost in London. Nobody bothers you. It is so easy in restaurants, nobody comes over and you can really relax and enjoy it.” “It is quite mad coming from Newcastle, where it is pure hectic – fishbowl-type.”
“You’ve got everything else around it like the 02 and the theatre.” “We’ve got it all down here, it is fantastic.” “I didn’t think I would come south.” “I always wanted to come home after a couple of days in London because it was too hectic.”
“But I have loved every minute of it.” “What I saw was that I had a club (West Ham) that wanted me.” “The owners wanted me – they did their best to get me in.” “To pay the money that they did when they had dropped down to the Championship showed what it meant for them to have me at their club.”
“A lot of things got said about my time at Newcastle.” “But I loved my time there and respect everybody up there. It was time for me to move on.” “I don’t think my place was ever under threat at Newcastle.” “If I stayed there I knew I would be in the team.”
Some would argue with that last statement, because before Kevin left Newcastle had just signed Yohan Cabaye from Lille, and the Frenchman has become one of France’s best players and one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League.
And while a lot of us though Newcastle were suicidal in unloading Nolan, Enrique and Barton in one crazy summer, we have done very well without them, and had a wonderful season and qualified for the Europa League and are now top of Group D.
But Kevin is a good player and he could have always played as a second striker up front, if he had stayed, and he got a lot of goals when he played there behind a certain Andrew Carroll, who is now of course at the Hammers with Kevin – on loan for the season from Liverpool, where his career is over, at least as long as Brendan Rodgers is the manager.
We mustn’t forget what Kevin did in the short two and a half years he was on Tyneside, and after being relegated in 2009, Kevin was one of the players who stuck in there, and brought us back up in the first year, and we always thought he was an excellent captain for Newcastle – along the lines of former captain Jimmy Scoular, who captained the 1955 FA Cup winning side.
Side note: We took Manchester City and Don Revie apart 3-1 in that game – with goals from Jackie Milburn, Bobby Mitchell and George Hannah – and City scored a lucky goal from Bobby Johnstone.
We don’t think Kevin Nolan will be booed when he returns to St. James’ Park on Sunday, and since leaving the club he had only has good things to say about the Magpies.
And we cannot forget that hat-trick he scored against Sunderland in the 5-1 annihilation of our local rivals Sunderland, in our first season back up.
We think Kevin did a great job for us in the short 30 months he was on Tyneside, and for the record Kevin played 91 times for Newcastle and scored 30 goals – and that’s a great record in a short two and a half years, during which time we were relegated and came straight back up.
Kevin Nolan deserves enormous credit for what he did for Newcastle.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com