Kevin Nolan joined us in January 2009 and had it tough for the first five months as Newcastle were relegated to the Championship from the Premier League for the first time ever.
If you had asked fans then if Kevin had been a good buy from Bolton Wanderers (£4M) most would have said no.
But in the next two seasons, he helped us to get promoted at the first time of asking from the Championship.
We survived fairly well in our first season back up and beat Sunderland 5-1 at home in the process – and Kevin got a hat-trick.
Kevin saw Chris Hughton surprisingly fired in December 2009 after we were well-placed in the league and Alan Pardew brought in to replace him.
Kevin was the captain for only his last season at the club, and he was an excellent captain and well-liked by the Newcastle faithful.
Kevin Nolan – while at Newcastle
He has been interviewed by Sky Sports today, and he talks about the current situation at the club with Rafa Benitez possibly leaving in the summer.
Kevin said things are not much different when he was here with Mike Ashley reluctant to spend money at the club.
This is what he has told Sky Sports:
“It’s a club that I love and I love going back there and have been back a couple of times, it’s a fabulous place to be,”
“I loved playing my football there and the crowd and that atmosphere.”
“I think Rafa has made his feelings clear about what’s happened, but it’s been like that since I was there with Mike Ashley.”
“He wasn’t going in with his eyes closed, he knew what was expected of him and he knew it was going to be a tough job as Mike doesn’t really want to start throwing money at it.
“Ashley’s done that in January to help, just to try and make sure they stay in the Premier League so that it’s a more saleable asset.”
“For me, they’ve got to stick together.”
“They’ve got to pull in together and they showed that)last year when they finished 10th with that squad and they’ve added to it now.”
“So what they have got to do is prove their worth again as a team – as a squad – and do it for Newcastle and the supporters.”
“Because at the end of the day they have fantastic support and deserve to be in the Premier League.”
“So they should be going into these next games making sure they’re giving their all and if they do, I think they have enough to stay up.”
It wouldn’t surprise us too much if Kevin becomes an excellent manager in the future – he seems to have what it takes.
And hopefully, we can get a win tonight a Molineux and we are above the relegation zone only on goal difference at the moment.
So it’s yet another crucial game for us in our second successive season fighting relegation.