Hughton backs Nolan.

Posted on February 16th, 2010 | 46 Comments |

Can he get his form back?
Can he get his form back?
It’s been a subject of much discussion in recent weeks, our central midfield and their performances, but it seems Chris Hughton is happy with the form of our current top scorer Kevin Nolan and has rebuffed any suggestion of resting the player from the punishing Championship schedule.

Kevin Nolan has looked out of sorts over the last 2 games but was particularly woeful in our last game at Swansea. Add to to that the fact his goals have somewhat dried up in recent times which is another reason why the thought of giving Nolan a rest is crossing people’s mind’s. Speaking on Nolan’s work on the pitch, Hughton said;

“It wasn’t one of his better games, but the stats show he did as much running as he normally does.”

“His physical contribution was no different but as with every player, there are ups and downs in form.”

These will be the Opta stats that Hughton is talking, something most clubs have nowadays in some form or another. It’s just my opinion, but you can run 10 times the distance other players do and still be ineffective. If your not running in the right areas either defensively or attacing wise then you are making youself ineffective. Hughton seems confident that this is not a long term trend for Nolan and just a mere temporary blip, adding;

“Kevin Nolan is very capable of turning his next game into one of his better ones.”

“He’s been a big, big player for us.”

“Apart from his actual contribution to the team has scored a lot of goals.”

Well noted Chris, he is our top scorer after all and I’m not sure how many people knew that! Sarcasm from me of course, but I also see Hughton’s pespective. Against Cardiff, playing in a more conventional midfield role and with the legs of Guthrie making runs, was arguably his best game for us in a while. Perhaps that is the role he will play against Coventry tomorrow night, with Guthrie around him again? It seems either way, Nolan will play. Talking of the options available, and of the squad selection process, Hughton added;

“I have other options and you have to have that. But have I thought about resting Kevin? The answer is no because he’s a big player and valuable player.”

“We do have competition for places, he’s the same as everybody. Nicky Butt will be back soon, Joey Barton will be a bit longer and falls into that category of players I can pick from so we do have options – but resting Kevin hasn’t been a thought.”

“He is very much part of the squad and falls into the same selections process as everyone.”

I’m not sure how Chris Hughton means ‘big’ player? Nolan has looked like he has ‘filled’ out a wee bit in recent weeks but I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way! Another positive snippet is the fact that Nicky Butt looks like he is still injured!

It’s a hard one to call. I mean on paper we have an abundance of central midfielder’s and most of them have played at a very high level, Premier League and Champions League, but it could be that maybe we are suffering an injury crisis in the middle, which is leading to players being played more and not being able to be rested? I mean, we only have Nolan, Guthrie and Smith fit, and Guthrie has been covering on the wings! So perhaps we are all being a bit harsh on Nolan?

Well Kevin, there is only one way to stop criticism, and that’s to do the business tomorrow night!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

46 Responses

  1. Nolans Ineffectiveness has knocked the team off balance!!!

    Drop him now and play Guthrie in his role. Form players only should be picked at this stage of the season. It works both ways….squad rotation, and gives out of form players a kick in the arse!! (In Nolans case ample arse)

    My team for coventry





    Taylor R

    2N 2N

  2. PS.

    Shola out with Hamstring injury….there is a GOD!!

    he wouldnt make my 22….we need players who work for this team and Shola is NOT one of those

  3. Guthrie, instead of Nolan! You’ve got to be kidding.
    Also your comments about Ameobi are up for debate. He has shown to be very effective in this league. He’s finally found his level. I don’t think he’ll ever be a good PL player, but he’s better than most in the CCC.
    We are missing Ameobi.

  4. The amount of times Nolan lost the ball on Saturday was unreal – Always meandering around with the ball and just getting the ball taken off him.

    He looked very tired.

    I think Guthrie should be given a chance in the centre of midfield – Why not? Why should he be farmed out to the wing all the time?

    I’d give Nolan a bot of a rest.

  5. I think when Ameobi is playing well he is can do a job even at premier league level , I dunno what it is with him but he doesnt always play as good as he could , when Roeder was manger didnt he average a goal every 2 games?

    Think Hughtons comments on Nolan are spot on , give the lad some confidence and hopefully he will get back to scoring ways 2moro night!

  6. Stu – Re Nolan giving the ball away.

    Guthrie was guilty of that a few times aswell! I’d question where the shouts from my team-mates were aswell, something like ‘man-on’, you know. The same thing we all did in the playground.

  7. I thought Nolan and Guthrie were both garbage on Saturday. Guthrie at least had some sort of excuse, with being stuck on the left. Though there was no excuse when tripped over his own feet.

    I’d like to see him be given a go in the middle. My only worry is that the two people we’d come to rely on, who would do the dirtier work, Nolan and Smith, are both off the boil.

    Genuinely considered whether Nolan had actually been on the hoy on the Friday night, he was that sluggish at times. It was more of a mental thing, because he shifted when he wanted to.

    I said a while ago in on of the articles, that once he stopped scoring, people would start to question what Nolan brings to the team. I thought he did the ‘Smudger’ role well against Cardiff but otherwise he’s been pretty anonymous.

  8. My only problem is that no matter how sluggish he is he will still keep his place in the team which I dont think is fair on the others waiting to get a run in the team.

  9. Big Dave – Who is waiting for a run though? The only thing you can do is play Guthrie and drop Nolan at the minute.

    Butt – Injured
    Barton – Injured
    Vuckic – Injured

    Smith, Nolan and Guthrie are all we have at the minute.

  10. Aye Aye radgies!!!

    Just got back from a stretch in Frankland!!! Wooo hoo hoo hoo!

    Pure holiday doon there like!

    Met aal me pals, smokin as much tac as a wanted and met Charles Bronson!!!

    A didn’t kna Bronson was a toon fan like! Aye he is like, cos he telt is, he says,



    Anyways, a only ends up being ee’s best mate like!!

    Divvent geddis wrang like, a purely kicked him aal owa the pokey when a first met him, just to make sure he knew a was the hardest in the nick like! He took his punishment well annal. A hit him wi some raker upper cuts like, nearly took his heed off his shoulders man!!

    Woooo hooooo hoooo hooo !!

    Anyways, am oot noo and am ganna gan off it on Wednesday neet! Big Mick and Dekka are treating is for me birthday like! Pure sweet that like!
    Big Mick says a can sit next to him and when everyone sings GET OOT O WU CLUB! Me, Dekka and Big Mick are ganna stand up show wu arses!!!!

    Pure mental radge packet Dekka like, cos it’s his idea!

    Anyways, a’ll see yi’s at the match!!

    Toon Toon!!!


  11. Is it the players or the wrong tactics and coaching? Apart from looking – Solid! – there doesnt seem to be any game plan and when things arent going very well i never see any changes made to the players positioning or players subbed for poor performance.
    I have seen players subbed when playing well, defenders taken off and forwards put on when we needed to close a game down, also benching Williamson was a bit harsh as he has been our best defender since signing.
    The quotes from CH re Nolan are worrying and also the positive way he spoke about the impending return of Butt, at least it confirms who is running the team and it aint Chris by the looks of things.

  12. bigbadbob

    “Is it the players or the wrong tactics and coaching? Apart from looking – Solid! – there doesnt seem to be any game plan”

    Yes your right its been like that ever since Keegan left because we have had crap managers who dont know how to adopt a style of play.

  13. toonsy

    Guthrie was playing out if position again!

    He’s no more a winger than Nolan but at least he’s playing in his favoured posiion.

    Guthrie doesn’t look interested on the wing – He comes inside and that cloggs the entire centre mid up. That’s the major problem imo – We need to make the pitch bigger with the players. That way it allows passing and moving.

    At the minute there’s no room and time to pass and move.

  14. Stu – Fingers crossed that is tomorrow then, We have Routledge and Jonas for the first time since Cardiff I think?

    Hopefully that will naturally spread the midfield out and stop it clogging up.

  15. The issue has already been highlighted by toonsy. There is no competition for the centre of midfield. Why push yourself, when there is no one just waiting to get a chance when you slip up?
    When I last played at local league level, apart from wanting to win, not being subbed in game or dropped for the next game really pushed me on to keep performing.

    TF – If you are right about Nolan, then how come he was being touted as player of the CCC last year? Even Shearer agreed. Also you need to let go of your keegan obsession, it’s not healthy.

  16. Micky Toon

    “Also you need to let go of your keegan obsession, it’s not healthy.”

    I havent got a Keegan obsession and have never mentioned his name for about a year now so shut up! Your spouting out crap little girl!

    And yes the reason he was being touted for player of the year was probably to do with his goal record and nothing else as Ive mention many times before he is anonymous in every game he has played which has been overlooked because of his goal tally.

  17. Toon_Factor says:
    February 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    “Yes your right its been like that ever since Keegan left because we have had crap managers who dont know how to adopt a style of play.”

    Toon, with all due respect, of course they’ve adopted styles of play for better or for worse.

  18. “I havent got a Keegan obsession and have never mentioned his name for about a year now so shut up! Your spouting out crap little girl!”

    Oooooo. That’s me told.

  19. Worky – You seem to have lost some of your post. ;)

    Seriosuly, I can’t believe someone is advocating Keegan as some sort of master tactician. Keegans teams could only play one way and it it didn’t work he was stuffed. It happened everywhere he went.

  20. Worky, so are we to be content with a mind numbing formation against ten men at Leicester or an overrun formation v Swansea or the dross set ups in other games?
    If thats from a coaching manual, they must be reading it upside down.
    One thing is for sure, CH struggles to get the best out of his players, i know points make prizes but a bit of cohesion and football wouldnt go amiss now and again.
    He has even admitted himself that we are playing tripe but thats his job to sort it out, managers with smaller and lesser known squads can do it, just look at Palace for example.
    He needs to freshen the team up with fitter players and get us back on a roll again, attacking teams instead of sitting back, six points there for the taking this week but not if we dont change our approach to the game.

  21. A little off topic here, did anyone notice Phil Airey was transform from a defender to a striker position???

    Oh Jesus,i didn’t notice it till yesterday night.

    I was wondering how come this young defender keeps scoring.


  22. HUGHTON BACKS NOLAN,in the forth coming world championship pie eating contest.
    he,ll win it hands down.

  23. Wish FiFA 10 was like real life


    Running amock in the CCC

    First 5 games scorers

    Gutierrez 4
    Smith 3
    Routledge 2
    Enrique 2
    Coloccini 1
    Simpson 1
    Lua Lua 1 (off the bench)

  24. well how about trying Jonas through the middle , when he was signed Keegan said the lad could play that postion as well . the question then would be who to play out wide . How about
    simpson —Williamson–Colo—–Van annholt
    routledge——–Guthrie———–R Taylor

    This team would have pace going forward and Jonas is more creative than Nolan .It also rests both Smith and nolan who both seem knackerd the last few games and gives Guthrie a chance in his natural cm position . The weak link is R Taylor but he is beter as a winger than a fullback .

  25. Angel, Don’t really matter if Airey is banging them in, he is so far down the pecking ordern he’s not going to get a game.
    CH is doing the right thing in supporting Nolan whether he plays him or not,it don’t help players if the manager starts saying sorry Kevin you are cr&p at the moment but I’ll stick you on anyway as we don’t have anyone else to play.
    Oh and Roy if you are on, this another one of my cr&p posts. I’m happy to post them as long as you keep reading them. :)

  26. willy – regarding nolan , i’ve seen milk turn quicker & houghton should be telling the fat get how it is – he’s not a player out of form he’s a player out of shape. :)

  27. toonsy that could very well work , it would be an inexpirenced left side but with a fair amount of talent .

  28. Roy, I wouldn’t argue with your assessment, what I am saying is that CH has to try and gee them up to get the best out of them. If what you are saying is correct and he has put on weight then there is something wrong with the whole training set-up for which the manager is culpable.
    Man management is so vital a tool in a managers armoury and if it aint working then sooner or later the sh!t will hit the fan. I am hoping Nolans form is a blip cos at his best he is a good player.
    Two players I have critiscised in the past for being slow and clumsy are Carr and Dunne, but their managers seem to have given them a new lease of life and they are having great season, so it can be done.

  29. toonsy,
    Personally I am not concerned about WBA as they are currently the best team in the CCC and will get promoted.
    It’s the chasing pack that we need to drop points i.e. Forest/Cardiff and Swansea.

  30. Happy with the west brom result ,

    Headin over to newcastle for 2moro game and just wondering if anyone can suggest a few good water holes to drink in for the day

    And where would be a decent spot in ground to watch the match from

  31. Johno – Depends wht your looking for in the ground. If your looking for the noise then level 7 sir john hall/leazes corner or gallowgate.

    If your looking for a decent view then avoid level 7. I ususally sit in the Easy stand. It’s where the classy people sit, eh bowburn ;)

    Drinkong, have a tour. Most places are fine. Some of my best sessions have been unplanned :lol:

  32. Cheers toonsy , its my time st sjp so would like a decent view of the game really take it in if you know what i mean

  33. Have a look on the official site. I think they have a seat planner with a photo of the kind of view? I’m sure the ticket office would help you out, although I wouldn’t count on it…….. miserable sods :D

  34. Yeah been on the website a bit buts hard to have a clue when I dont have one :)

    Must admit tho really lookin forward to it , like a kid on christmas eve ;)

  35. I’d defo try for the Gallowgate then mate. All of the views are pretty decent form there and the noise is pretty good too.

  36. Johno – Can you still get online? Give me a shout and I’ll give you some directions and some advice. Might even let you buy me a pint… ;)