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Future Newcastle captain says Gary Speed told him not to move to St James Park

4 years ago

Kevin Nolan has been talking about his move to Newcastle United.

January 2009 saw Nolan leave Bolton and move to St James Park.

The midfielder says ‘a lot of people asked what I was doing’ when he made the decision, Joe Kinnear in charge at the time as Newcastle United descended into chaos under Mike Ashley’s ownership.

Amongst those to question his wisdom was Gary Speed, the pair had become good friends when playing alongside each other for Bolton.

Speed had already moved on to Sheffield United before Kevin Nolan made his transfer to Newcastle United but still Gary Speed rang him and said ‘Don’t do it, Nobby lad’.

Kevin Nolan says he needed a new challenge and believes that when Newcastle were relegated four months after he arrived ‘it was the best thing that ever happened to the club’.

He says that dropping into the Championship meant that it cleared out ‘a lot of players who didn’t want to be there and were on inflated wages’.

Whilst on a personal level he was named ‘Player of the Year’ after finishing joint top scorer with Andy Carroll.

Plus, in six days time of course it will be exactly seven years since the 5-1 Halloween demolition of Sunderland, Kevin Nolan scoring a hat-trick!

Kevin Nolan talking to the Liverpool Echo:

“A lot of people asked what I was doing (going to Newcastle).

“I remember Gary Speed ringing me when I was on my way up there. Me and him were close, he called saying ‘Don’t do it, Nobby lad’.

“I told him I had to because I needed a change. Bolton were going through a change and I needed to get away and have a new challenge.

“Everything had become too familiar, it was a bit repetitive.

“Whenever we (Bolton) weren’t doing well, I was the go-to guy to have a pop at.

“I felt going to Newcastle was a new challenge, new surroundings, and you’ve got to make everyone around you believe you are a good player.

“When we got relegated, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to the club.

“It got rid of a lot of players who didn’t want to be there and were on inflated wages and I had a year in the Championship where I was Player of the Year.”


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