Thursday brought news that Kev Nolan could soon be signing a new contract at NUFC - his current deal has two seasons to run.
Reported in the Evening Chronicle, it is believed that the contract will be concluded within the next couple of weeks. This is great news for us for more than one reason.
On the pitch:
Nolan's goals this past 2 seasons have been vital for us. 19 goals in 44 league games last season (1 goal every 2.3 games) helped to propel us back into the Premier League.
Quite a few supporters expressed their doubt than Nolan could carry this goal scoring record into the top flight but so far this season he has netted 12 times in 28 league games (again, 1 goal every 2.3 games!) - a phenomenal ratio for a midfielder. He is this seasons 8th highest league goal scorer, the 3rd highest English scorer and the top scoring midfielder in the Premier League.
Despite these facts Nolan is continually overlooked by Fabio Capello and receives nowhere near the plaudits that he deserves. Rarely will you see a writer from one of the nationals praise Kev, they prefer to behold Rafael van der Vaart as the be all and end all of attacking midfielders - VdV has also scored 12, but in a far better team.
Nolan is a master of the late run - much like Lampard used to do when he was good. Many of his goals come this way.
Off the pitch:
The role Nolan plays off the pitch is equally if not more important than his role on it.
When we were relegated the Right Honourable Chris Hughton pulled together the players who wanted to stay and fight - Nolan was at the forefront of that and the team spirit that he helped to develop was one of the best I have ever seen at the football club.
He even acted as Landlord and baby sitter for Andy Carroll, taking him in to his family home when the law became involved. OK, when his big pal Carroll signed for Liverpool Nolan let himself down a bit by a controversial appearance on Liverpool's in-house TV channel, but I will let him off for that.
More importantly, Nolan signing on will be the right message to the rest of the players. Joey Barton's on/ off contract talks have repeatedly stalled and Jose Enrique appears to be playing a game of attracting interest from other clubs. Barton has been quoted as saying that if Nolan signs, he will follow suit right away - that is how important Kevin Nolan is to Newcastle United Football Club at this moment in time.
Well played Kev and lets hope Joey follows on soon.
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