After already angering supporters with the recent announcement that Player of the Season Joey Barton would not be offered a new contract, Newcastle United’s chiefs are again suffering the wrath of the fans after controversially selling club captain Kevin Nolan to recently relegated West Ham. However, are some ’Toon Army’ fans reacting prematurely in deciding this is a bad move for the club? My opinion is yes, they are.
Being a Geordie and lifelong fan of the club myself, I too understand the passion that surrounds NUFC, I too had my heart ripped from my chest when we were relegated in 2009 with a 1-0 defeat away to Aston Villa, and I too felt as proud as every other supporter when we were promoted straight back to the EPL after dominating The Championship the following season.
I also know that without any question there has been many major errors made at the club since the arrival of owner Mike Ashley and his ‘cockney mafia’, yet this time, I don’t believe they are making the same mistakes as in previous years. This time I believe the club are finally looking like they can progress to the next level, and if the fans get behind the team, rather than against, I believe the future looks to be a bright one at St James’ Park.
No follower of football would argue that ‘super’ Kevin Nolan hasn’t been a truly inspiring player in his last two seasons for Newcaslte, as well as being a great role model to all youngsters at the club. This will quite rightly see that he is remembered as one of the top captains in the club’s recent history, which is no understatement.
In our Championship campaign just a mere two seasons ago, Nolan scored an impressive 17 goals and was named as Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards, his goals and all round play were a key reason for the team making a quick return to England’s top flight. His brilliant season didn’t stop there, though; he followed that up with an outstanding 12 goals in the Premier League this year and hit an historical hat-trick against fierce rivals Sunderland, leading us to a respectable 12th place finish and winning him a place in the hearts of all Geordies across the world.
After reading that, it becomes very clear why so many loyal supporters have been infuriated at his reported £3m sale, yet my theory is that the club have offloaded a player, who although brilliant in recent years, will now surely see his playing attributes starting to decline. Nolan, who turns 29 in just a week’s time, has never been a player of great stamina levels, yet he was reported to be seeking a 5 year contract at St James’, which would take him up to the age of 34 and still see him earning a massive £50k per week, a wage that the Newcastle bosses understandably didnt think was warranted.
Many fans will never forgive Sports Direct and United owner Ashley for the errors he has made in the past, me being one of them, yet I can’t help but think that many supporters now simply set out to aim abuse at him, and will use any excuse possible to do so, this being one. To sum it up, the way I look at this sale is simply that we have lost a cracking player, but having already signed a top class player in Yohan Cabaye from French champions Lille on a long term deal, and with the optimism now surrounding the club in the current transfer window, it won’t be too significent.
Some fans seem to have forgotten that we still have the massive £35m from the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, which manager Alan Pardew has been promised is available to spend, and having already named a wealth of targets in mind, such as Swiss star Tranquillo Barnetta, Senegalese striker Demba Ba and Turkish international Mevlut Erding, the 2011-12 Premier League campaign may yet prove to be a very promising one for us Magpies.
I may not have changed the opinion of many loyal supporters with this article, yet I can’t understand what is to be achieved by causing unrest or starting yet another protest against Mike Ashley. This time, I hope all of our amazing fans can simply get behind the whole club, and who knows, maybe propel us to challenge for a European spot in the forthcoming campaign. After all, who has as great an influence on their team as our famous black and white army?
Article courtesy of Gary Watson from This is Futbol