Nolan bigs up Ashley and Llambias, sort of

Posted on February 28th, 2011 | 69 Comments |

Kevin Nolan, Newcastle United captain
Cautiously optimistic?
Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan reveals he’s ‘hopeful’ about the future of the club, whilst Alan Pardew praises Nolan as a better player than he thought he was.

Kevin Nolan’s goal against Bolton on Saturday means he now has 11 for the season, which is not bad for a midfielder, albeit one that often slots in close behind the striker(s).

Personally I find Nolan a bit frustrating. He sometimes seems to ‘disappear’ for large portions of the game in terms of his general midfield contribution, but he frequently ‘reappears’ to put the ball in the back of the net, which is not to be sniffed at. Although feel free to sniff if you wish – I’m not a man to stop professional sniffers.

Nolan seems to be cautiously optimistic about the future of the club in the hands of Ashley and his bespectacled sidekick, particularly after the club managed to sign Cheick Tiote until 2017. Nolan said:

I hope and I think that Mike and Derek are in it for the long haul here.

We’re all working together to get Newcastle back where it belongs. It’s going to be bit by bit and we can’t get carried away but it will be nice when they get us back. They can sit and smile knowing they’ve worked so hard.

All we’ve asked for is a bit of stability and giving lads new contracts when they deserve it.

Hopefully we can build a team for the future around Cheik.

So, whilst I wouldn’t say it’s the outright praise for the club bigwigs that some reports seem to suggest, he does at least express hope.

As I’ve said a few times, I’m suspending hope (and abject misery) until after the summer and then I’ll see how things look. Ashley will have to work hard to earn my trust but it’s not impossible.

Anyway, apparently Nolan is a better player than Pardew originally thought:

Only Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard score as many from midfield as Kevin,” quoth Pardew.

Maybe because of Bolton’s style when he was there I didn’t think Kevin was as good as he is. Technically he’s more accomplished than I gave him credit for. He’s as important to us as Gerrard and Lampard are to their teams.

Good stuff.

By the way, my journey to the depths of insanity appears to be continuing apace. I lost my mobile phone this morning, so I rang myself from the land-line to find it and guess where it was? In the fridge, that’s where! I now fully expect to find the lawnmower in the oven, my dinner in the washing machine and the cat in my filing cabinet (under ‘c’).

Incidentally, what happens if you ring yourself and you answer? Is that one of these paradoxes that scientists go on about?

Okay, okay, I’m going!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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69 Responses

  1. At the start of the season I didn’t want Nolan in the team, but at the minute he seems to be the one popping up with the goals so how can we leave him out?

  2. Geordieal, my thoughts too. If it was just his core midfield duties I’d probably leave him out in favour of Guthrie, Ireland, Ben Arfa etc., but he scores a lot of goals and that keeps him in IMHO.

  3. Thinking dan gosling may take his place next season, tbh I haven’t seen much of him but hoping him to be like rob Lee, box to box and scores a few goals to.

  4. Nolan is the best in that position at the present time so has rightly got the shirt.

    I am also excited to see what Dan Gosling has to offer. An old friend who is an Everton fan was gutted to see him go as he was rated very highly by the Toffees.

    The furure is indeed bright!

  5. Nolan is the heartbeat of the team at the minute, captain fantastic, i also am excited about gosling just hope he can get fit and stay fit.

  6. i love mike @27… mike that was a really bad link you gave there if it was trying to prove a point mate as either you have read it wrong or you now just want to back me up cos it shows that out of all the prem clubs since 2006 that newcastle lie BOTOTM of the team league including relegated teams in terms of expenditure on players. It shows in big red letters that we have to date made over 47 million quid since 2006 – THATS MADE, NOT SPENT. In addition mike, thats from 2006 not 2007 when ashely took over, my figures of 60 million in the profit under ashely are therofre clearly accurate as you are taking into your equation freddies last year in charge… a year when we bought owen for 17 million and others and spent big. If this table was from 2007 to 2011 it would show it even worse light for ashley.

  7. rooney no charge..fu..king joke..willamson gets charged and the ref saw it and played on..and if he saw rooney way didnt he send him he hasnt seen it..we should take the fa to court..big teams can do what they wont..

  8. the premier league table on the front page here is wrong. Bolton havent got that many points. just thought i’d share that like….

  9. Aye, tatty, we know. We get the feed from elsewhere and it’s already rumoured that the guy who knocks up that table is a Bolton supporter!

    We’ll investigate.

  10. Nolan’s value’s also in his captaincy. He’s not only pulling the strings to keep the dressing room together and leading on the field but has delivered a message to Ashley and Llambias that says lets see some signs of ambition and investment in the team!

    Same message as Jose and Jonas but delivered with a different spin.

  11. Rooney not charged? Now there’s a surprise. If it’d been Joey, they’d have had the gallows built yesterday!

  12. Lesh – that’s the key to it, I think. Barton, Jose, Jonas, and now Nolan have all put out statements with different headlines but a clearly co-ordinated message to the board: You’ve shaken the belief in the squad with the CH and AC things – you’re on probation now.

    If they don’t buy and buy quickly in the summer, our squad will be decimated by transfer requests. Any experienced club manager or owner would have known selling AC would have this impact and cost a lot more than the fee paid.

    Still – if they do now go out and spend wisely, all will be well. Let’s not assume they won’t; the track record is there – just look at Tiote, Benny, Williamson et al – good signings with value. Personally I’m confident that the wallet will open for the right deal; just not confident that they have the experience to find those deals. We’ll see.

  13. Just goes to show that the fa are ‘totally pro-manusa et al’ & ‘totally anti-NUFC’ & a couple of others.
    Nowt we didn’t already know, so no change there then.

    Wasn’t it JB’s fault, hang the bas…Oh! He didn’t play on saturday, did he?
    Let’s not that get in the way of a good lynching while the hackles are up.
    If it wasn’t so normal/typical i’d be shocked.

  14. Howay whumpie,
    What about all the tying down of contracts that have gone on recently, don’t they count for anything?
    Yea, whomever can leave, contract are worth the p…. etc.
    But if we hadn’t made those moves everyone would be crying out for it to happen. But when it does/has, it counts for nowt.

  15. We’re down to Barton & Enrique to sign longer deals now & both have stated that ‘they’ want to wait ’til safety is proved.
    How is that the clubs fault?
    All the others are signing new deals, we’re getting it done.

  16. Clint – fair point – I didn’t actually mean that the club hadn’t done anything, only that they hadn’t predicted the impact on the club of the AC sale on top of the CH shock. I agree about the recent contracts thing; they can’t win whatever they do, it seems. But they now have a squad that has its agents lining up alternative offers just in case. £35m will be a drop in the ocean if they decide to take them.

    Personally, I think the club are genuinely intending to build big this summer, albeit within their model. That means a lot of fans won’t be happy because we won’t be signing Messi, but I’ll be happy because I know my club will still be in business next year.

  17. Clint – just re-read your post at 21, and the “How is that the clubs fault?”. I hope I’ve answered that. It is their fault, very directly. Up to Jan 30th they had a squad that was here for the long haul because they thought the club’s intentions matched theirs. Selling Carroll, on top of replacing CH with AP, has removed that faith, which is why Joey, among others, suddenly wants to wait. Along with Collo, Jose, Jonas and others. I don’t blame them one bit.

  18. i’ll give kevin nolan his due,he’s scored some important goals,does go missing in games,as he doesn’t have the legs he once did.
    my problem with him,is like a few other people at the club atm,he is too much of an arse kisser,he defends the regime way too much,which after being at bolton under dave gatrside,must seem like a step i suppose his loyalty could be misplaced,i also do not like his self appointed, “i’m mr newcastle united” act,didn’t like the way he spoke about andy carroll’s transfer to liverpool,and the way he was downgrading newcastle as a club.

  19. Whumpie,
    aye mate, & just cos i addressed it to you, doesn’t mean it was just directed at you mate, sorry.
    ‘You know who’ wanted to leave, so left (us, ‘his’ club, in the lurch, last, he knew exactly what impact that would have on all concerned, team mates, manager, coaches, club, fans, area, him in his own land.
    It’s all too easy for us to blame whomever at the club, but either he knows, as do all players, or we’re affording them far too much credit of intelligence.
    Either way, we get our teeth bust, if y’know what i mean?

  20. o/t kevin keegan has been on five live claiming that alan pardew,has a cat in hells chance of getting any of the andy carroll cash in the summer.

  21. Nolan has a tough job as capt. trying to keep us the fans onside, whilst also keeping his employers onside.
    & i reckon that’s a tough job for anyone from outside the area, especially as they learn to know what this club means to the locals. A really tough job that i think he balances just about right really.

  22. Doug @ 7#
    What does Ireland bring we dont already have ?
    Certainly a bit of flair to a team totally lacking in entertainment skills (well excluding BA & Jonas perhaps)
    Excellent awareness and the ability to find space.
    Has the intuitive sense to lay on the perfect pass.
    Gets his goals.
    Tracks back.
    Good technique.
    He has`nt played in a while, so give him some time, when on his game there are few better in the EPL.
    To sign him would IMO be a coup and remember hes still a comparitive youngster.

  23. Ha! Well let’s hope KK’s wrong this time. Can’t deny that he has some authority – if not objectivity – on the subject!

    My bet would be on ‘some of it’. We’ll see a load of rumoured attempts to lands players, most of which will come to nowt due to player or club demands that we can’t justify. A few bodies to come in, most of whom we won’t have heard of, and about £15m spent.
    My main worry is whether that will be enough to keep our key players. Unfortunately, it’s all come too soon for other clubs to have got the message about fiscal responsibility, so we’ll be up against people who are willing to pay way beyond their means. Personally, I can’t wait for all the new rules and financial realities to really bite; the game needs them.

  24. Chuck – ta for that; I hope you’re right. I just think that if we’re going to punt a stack of salary dosh on a player who MAY come good, do it on:
    a) A fit one
    b) One who plugs a hole in the squad, not the opposite.

  25. Clint @28: Good point, and I think Nolan’s words are very carefully chosen. “I hope and think” (not the order of those) is hardly a ringing endorsement of the regime, but can’t be taken as a slagging off either. It simply confirms that they’re being watched and given the benefit of the doubt… until the time comes for them to follow up words with actions and dosh.

    Clever stuff, and much needed.

  26. Well,
    it wouldn’t be the first time kk was wrong then.

    Amazing really, that we can still totally believe what a guy that has let us down before, says.

    I totally agree whumpie, on the ‘fiscal rule changes’.
    Can’t wait for, at least, an attempt to level the pitch.

  27. Chuck: got to say; I think we’ve got one of the most entertaining squads we’ve had in years. Best since SBR days. Just an opinion, mind.

  28. Clint – on the KK thing, I think the whole reason he pushed that court case through was to prove to the world that he WAS right and the honest side of that fight.

    Doesn’t mean he’s right this time, mind. He’s not exactly known for keeping passion and bias out of his comments; it’s one of the things that makes him worth listening to. On this occasion, I’d love it – just love it – if he was wrong.

  29. whumpie,
    you’re a fair minded guy mate.

    If kk had reeled in his emotions, just a little, way back when, we may have a couple of prem titles in our cabinet by now.
    Not know for his patience is he?

  30. On the “whats is name” sale.
    Hey we could have Gervinho, plus Kranjcar and a defender for that kinda money,I certainly don`t blame Ashley for offering his helicopter to make sure the deal was done.
    As for Tiote, phew! thank goodness he turned down Chewsea, which not many would have.
    It`s great we signed him in a six year deal, which means anyone comming in for him, it`l cost them !
    The point i want to make is he and Enrique should have had there contracts extended before anyone had a chance to turn their heads.
    As for Joey, is he perhaps a disruptive or too influential a player for management, because i see no point in offering a two year deal (especially when he has offered to take a substantial cut in wages) unless they want to force him out, which would only compound the already numerous mistakes made by management to date, give the guy three years, he`s playing outta his skin!

  31. chuck,
    Enrique ‘wants to wait’ before he signs.
    That’s HIM, not the club not wanting to sign him.
    No lines to read between this time.
    JB is doing the same, he’s got a year & a half left, plus 2=3.5 years.
    If that’s not good enough, when we have stuck by him through plenty of thin, then i don’t know what is?
    Maybe he’ll get more years, he’s played great this season.
    Not much else to be done, other than cave in to player demands & start building a snowball.
    We all KNOW that ain’t gonna happen, so it’s not worth the gnashing of teeth at this point in the proceedings.

  32. Whumpie
    Errmm ! most entertaining squads since SBR.
    Lets see, we dont have anyone to match the Bellamy, Shearah duo.
    Nobby was not only a great winger he could entertain, as could Robert, Nolan a poor mans Gary Speed, then we had Boyer and the bling boys, fairly entertaining.
    Anyone watch Boyer on Sunday, he , Carr and Obefami, played their asses off, amazing !
    And Ashley thinks Joeys old at twenty eight ?
    Well Whumpie I`m hoping for a permanent signature from
    Ireland, both he and Ben Arfa could bring that entertaining style to St. James, and face it thats what it`s about, a bit of show business.
    Nah this present side without these guys is a bit bland.

  33. Clint
    Appears to be signs Ashley intends to be around into the foreseeable future.
    Which begs the question, can you build a top team on the cheap ?
    The recent signing of Tiote on fifty grand a week may appear a lotta money, but how will it look three years down the road, probably good from the owners part.
    It will take a lot of luck and some good scouting to continue building without having to spend real money.
    Then again a top six side competing in Europe would no doubt be acceptable and could probably earn enough to be self sustaining, but only if extreemly well run.
    Which i dont see happening with our present top management.
    What to do, what to do !

  34. Ireland is good when he fancies it.
    He can be lazy.
    I reckon he’ll wanna prove he’s up to it mind, so it could bode well.
    chuck does have a point about flair through the team, although i would counter with: HBA, Jonas, Jose, Tiote, Colo, Ranger & Ireland.

    Not bad for a no flair team.

  35. chuck,
    like i’ve said all along.
    MA will be here for quite a while yet, it’s been obvious for ages really.
    Can you build a good team cheaply.
    I’d say it’s actually the only way.
    Buying in big money boys comes with a truck each for their massive egos.
    So you can’t ‘really’ buy a TEAM, you can only buy players/egos.
    It seems that the club are ‘trying’ to run the club very efficiently indeed, if you look at it dispassionately, really hard to do for most like.
    Team work/ethic can’t be bought, it’s built on trust between players & coaches.
    On Tiote,
    £50k is a canny wage like, but i’m sure it can be renegotiated later down the line too.
    As ‘you know who’ could’ve done at the end of this season if he hung around & continued to do well.

  36. Clint
    Stretching it a bit aintcha, Colo.Ranger and Tiote I would`nt classify as Flair players and HBA and Ireland are who i mentioned will bring flair to the side.
    Tiote would fit in well in any team, simply playing a defensive role in front of the back four.
    Which he presently does here, making the back fours job a hell of a lot easier.
    I think he has the potential for a lot more and with the apparent dedication he shows, could become the new Roy Keane of the league.
    He has shown an ability to win balls without collecting cards or sending people into the stands, that plus a decent touch and passing ability, not to mention his goal against the Arsenal.
    I believe it will take time but we could have an excellent midfield engine room here, something lacking for some time in the side.

  37. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm (Edit)

    £50k is a canny wage like, but i’m sure it can be renegotiated later down the line too.

    Clint, I still don’t know where speculation that he’s on £50k/week came from. He may be or he may not!

  38. Clint,

    No offense, but apparently you think there are more better teams in league 2 than they in EPL?
    :) Oh, and MA is doing better than Man c owner?

    I know you certainly wouldn’t.

  39. widowmaker,
    no offense taken mate,
    my point being that it takes more than just plain money to ‘build a team’.
    I thought i’d made that quite clear, what with punctuation n’all.
    manc are great to watch like, what a team. How long has it took ‘money’ to win nowt so far (not even fans)?
    I’m not saying this, that or the other about owners, just approaches.
    Colo & Ranger definitely have skills & Tiote is way more than a r keane type, who was a dog.

  40. widowmaker,
    strangely though,
    ‘teams’ from lower leagues frequently beat prima ballerina’s from the PL too.
    Have you noticed that?

  41. & it was plain for all to see that blackpool were gonna be no pushovers in the prem this year, something i warned many of my non-NUFC supporting mates about. They laughed ’til their teams got outplayed & beaten by them. Then they came back & said ‘Ah! You were right’.
    Anecdotal, i know, but hey!

  42. Hugh,
    i was using chuck’s no.s there (£50k for Tiote p/w), not mine mate.

    & yea, blackpool, y’gotta like them, if only cos Holloway is so no-nonsense in his approach & it upsets the prem elitist locals, which is always good.

  43. In fact,
    blackpool are a prime example of ‘team effort’ over big money.
    They played their way into the prem as a very unfashionable
    No hopers, most said, who came on holiday ‘by mistake’ to the prem from lower league football.
    But now they have people applauding their approach to the game.
    Fancy that!

  44. Aye Clint, team effort goes a long way. As does consistency in terms of the manager and the club. I reckon at least 50% of the reason we got relegated was because we changed our manager so often (and in some ways that’s valid regardless of who the managers actually are).

  45. Hugh,
    totally agree on all counts mate.
    Stability breeds consistency,
    & no mistake.

    We find, when we look, that the teams that do well have
    long term managers.
    Re: birmingham.

  46. Yep, it’s interesting that the two best teams in the PL’s history – Arse and ManU – have long-serving managers who have a lot of ‘say’ in things (ie. they’re ‘old style’ football managers).

  47. C`mon Clint ?
    You saying Roy Keane was`nt the standard that midfielders were measured by during his career, if so then you loose any credibility as a judge of football IMO.
    Sure he played for the other United, and we hated him at times, but we cant deny he was the best at what he did.
    I mean , tell me who was better ?

  48. chuck,
    In his pomp!

    I’m not saying keane wasn’t a good player, just that he is a dog(in several ways, lol)
    But he’s not someone i’d hold up as the be all & end all.
    Essien is a great CM too.
    There have been plenty of others too, i’m sure some of our fellow bloggers will chip in with a few suggestions.

  49. Hugh,
    that fact that ‘said managers’ have been there a long time & garnered success affords them ‘the right’ to have say, doesn’t it?

  50. It’s no surprise that when SBR was here for 5 years, we had some of our most successful & consistent league placings.

  51. I hate Roy Keane… He is a total p***k of a man. But he was with out doubt better Viera. The man was the best midfield general in the world. He won games without scoring goals and scared teams into defeat before kick off.
    Clint i think your letting your heart blinker your brain.

  52. DublinToon,
    fair enough mate.
    But, as i don’t possess a heart, that renders it impossible.

  53. hugh about the longest serving managers we all know man u and arsenal have the longest but who else comes to mind can only think of everton with moyes

  54. Benitez won the CL with liverpool, McLeash just won the CCup with brum, he’s been ensconced for a few years now.

  55. Clint,

    You are right, it takes a great deal more than money to build a team. But I would still maintain that you can’t have a decent EPL team without investment. Having said that, I have got no problem with MA’s current approach, as long as they have replacements lined up. Well, my opinion is very much KK has suggested in his interview despite believing AP will have some money to spend in the summer.

  56. Was reading KK’s comments on the money we got from the sale of “He who is not to be named”. I sure hope he is wrong about that one.

    Also a bit off topic but i think Ranger’s offside goal against Bolton might give him a bit off confidence. Well it should cause he was only inches offside and neither he nor the keeper knew it at the time and he scored a great goal. Pardew should take that from the game n drum it into Ranger’s head that he has what it takes. If he does that then the confidence will push him over the line of potential into actual goals.

    Hope Ranger gets about 30 mins against Everton n scores one for real.