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Nolan award highlights Newcastle turnaround

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Paul Fletcher | 09:57 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

It was late July and the atmosphere inside the Newcastle dressing-room was funereal after their 6-1 pre-season thrashing at League One Leyton Orient.

Shell-shocked players stared at their boots, their thoughts hidden and unspoken but nearly all the same - how had that happened and what can we do about it?

Fast forward to Sunday evening and Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan was named the Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards.

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As the 27-year-old reflected on the first major award to come his way since he scooped an Academy Scholar of the Year gong a decade ago, his thoughts drifted back to that balmy if disastrous afternoon at Brisbane Road.

"That result played a big part in our season," said Nolan. "We were hurting and a lot of stuff rose to the surface. After that you were either in or you were not."

Nolan insisted that he felt he had a debt to pay to the club's supporters after their relegation from the Premier League the previous season and I would challenge anyone to suggest he has not done that.

The amiable Scouser has scored 13 goals from midfield so far this campaign and created countless others as his team have opened up a four-point lead over West Brom and, significantly, a nine-point advantage over third place Nottingham Forest.

Newcastle's Kevin NolanKevin Nolan scoring at St James' Park against Preston in Feburary

If the first few months of his Newcastle career after his £4m transfer from Bolton in January 2009 were notable only for their mediocrity then he has been reborn to be, in my opinion, the best player in a largely average Championship. I said as much in a blog I wrote in mid-December and I have seen nothing to persuade me to change my mind.

What Nolan will not do is accept any suggestion that Newcastle are home and dry. He might not have been on Tyneside for all that long but he is savvy enough to know that nothing can be taken for granted at a club that has proved to be a rich source of mirth for its many detractors.

West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans and Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp were the other shortlisted candidates.

In the five-year history of the awards no goalkeeper has been named Player of the Year in either the Championship, League One or League Two.

And despite endorsing the choice of Nolan, I would nonetheless have been pleased to see the excellent and committed Camp scoop the top prize.

Peter Whittingham, Paul McKenna, Charlie Adam, George Boyd and Steve Harper were some of the other names that I considered when I thought about the award, although I am sure countless others are worthy of mention.

Strikers and attacking midfielders always seem to figure extensively and that was the case in League One as Leeds forward Jermaine Beckford saw off Southampton's prolific Rickie Lambert and Norwich's creative Wes Hoolahan for the top prize.

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I often wonder if any judge can possess the knowledge and expertise to make an accurate and considered analysis when dealing with so many different clubs. The numbers of goals scored by a striker is easy to find out but the contribution made by a deep-sitting midfielder such as Forest's McKenna is a lot more difficult to assess.

The other fundamental problem is that the judging takes place in January. So much can change between then and the end of the season that it renders any judgment flawed. Than again, a ceremony such as the Football League Awards could not be held in the summer because all the key personnel would be taking a hard-earned holiday.

Beckford was not at the ceremony but manager Simon Grayson collected the award on his behalf and outlined his fervent hope that the striker will hit top form to help stuttering Leeds get over the line and seal an automatic promotion place that looked an absolute certainly a month or so ago.

It was on several different levels that I was pleased to see Rochdale's Craig Dawson take the League Two honour.

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In part this is because he is a defender and thus in another position that is far too infrequently recognised with this type of honour but also because Rochdale are heading for their first promotion since The Beatles were still a going concern and deserve some time in the spotlight.

Then there is the fact that 19-year-old Dawson was playing for Radcliffe Borough last season and is therefore a cracking example of why young players should not give up on their dreams of playing professionally.

Youth development is something that I feel very strongly about and so it was a great honour to be a judge for the Apprentice of the Year awards.

Cardiff City defender Adam Matthews was the stand-out candidate in the Championship. If you don't know a lot about him now you will in the summer when he joins a top Premier League club (probably).

The League One award was won by Norwich's Tom Adeyemi. One can only look with envy at this young man's prospects - a talented footballer and superbly gifted academically, he is both likeable and personable.

Cheltenham's Kyle Haynes won the League Two award. I would suggest that he might need to do a little work on his interview technique, having answered three of host Mark Clemmit's questions with the solitary word 'Yes'.

But if Sunday evening's awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London was about celebrating everything that is great about the Football League, then some of the real heroes are those who rarely grab the headlines.

Bradford's Zesh Rehman took the PFA Player in the Community award for the incredible amount of work he has done to take his club into their local area, while Brighton won the Football League Trust Best Community Project for their Making a Difference disability scheme.
Reading, Huddersfield and Shrewsbury won the Family Club of the Year in their respective divisions.

There are so many people at football clubs who work tirelessly to build and nurture links with the local community and ensure that supporters enjoy a safe and enjoyable matchday experience.

They are the lifeblood of a football club and are the type of people that ensure a club is so much more than the form of the first team. They so richly deserve their recognition.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Kevin Nolan wouldnt get into the Forest midfield ahead of Mckenna & Majewski

    FACT

  • Comment number 2.

    "I would have been pleased to see the excellent and committed Camp scoop the top prize."

    So would I. I just wish QPR had shown the same commitment to Campy - he could still have been putting in outstanding performances for us had Briatore not forced him out.

  • Comment number 3.

    nolan is surrounded by ex prem and expensive players. Only one attacking midfielder has carried a team, scored more than Nolan and has more assists.

    Charlie Adam of Blackpool was robbed, head and shoulders above all those mentioned although Dorrans is pure class.

  • Comment number 4.


    The_Honey_Monster - are you Billy Davies in disguise? No- then quit with the hyperbole; I doubt your pairing have scored half the goals that Nolan has this season??

    As a WBA fan, I would take Nolan to partner Dorrans any day- and keep them together in the Premier League when both NUFC and WBA (as will most likely happen) take the automatic places.

  • Comment number 5.

    Congrats to Nolan for scooping the award.

    What has especially impressed me this season has been the attitude of Nolan and the other senior players at the Toon (Smith, Harper, Gutierez ect.) These are guys who might have started throwing the toys out the pram in the summer and demanding transfers to the prem. Instead they accepted the fact they lost their right to play in the prem got their heads down and decided to earn that right again. IMO they would fully deserve to be prem leaugue players next season. Still hope we pip them for the title though.

    As for player of the champ this season I would have gone for Dorrans (although I am a bit biased). He's the most complete midfielder I have ever seen in Blue and White stripes, considering his age I think he's far more talented than Nolan



  • Comment number 6.

    Nice article although you seem to have forgotten one award!

    Southend and Watford jointly won the Community Club of the Year award which for these clubs is a massive achievement baring in mind that both are/were on the brink of going into Administration/wound-up, yet they still have the time and commitment to provide the local communities with support for youngsters... But I guess they are not worth a mention unless it's something negative about their finances?

  • Comment number 7.

    All my credit must go to Craig Dawson. As a follower of the dale but also a friend of the man himself, I must say he has been absolutely unbelievable this year and deserves all the accolades that come his way! The way he plays is enough, but he has also outscored most of the strikers in the division which is quite remarkable from centre half.

    P.s Glad to see the dale finally getting some publicity lately

  • Comment number 8.

    Well deserved for Nolan I think, he has been brilliant for us all season and scored some really important goals. Lets hope he can see us through the end of the season and make sure we come away with automatic promotion.

  • Comment number 9.

    Notable ommission - Jose Enrique, head and shoulders above any Newcastle player this season. As for opposition players, obviously limited to watching highlights but Dorrans has been exceptional.
    The_Honey_Monster, its a shame your superstar midfield could not get you closer than 9 pts to us having played a game more!! Enjoy another season in a the championship next season.

  • Comment number 10.

    Have to agree that it is a bit of a joke that the votes for these awards are cast in January. If any of the judges were at St Marys on Saturday then I'm sure they would have had a re-think about giving the League 1 award to Beckford. Can understand why he wasn't there to collect it though, he's more than likely still in Fonte's pocket...!! :)

  • Comment number 11.

    Newcastle have turned around and picked themselves up after all their 'messiah' manangerial choices of last year made them look like a running soap opera. Great to watch if you weren't a Geordie. A lot of the credit should go to the quiet approach of their coach/ manager as well as the commitment of the senior players in their squad. I'd love to see NF back in the top league again but NUFC will probably get there.

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree with jacksk1. Firstly, player of the year in January? After 6 months of the season (including August)? This is hardly representative of a season. Secondly, Beckford misses more than he scores, though fortunately for him he plays in front of the creative Robert Snodgrass and co. On the basis of my inconsistent and completely unrepresentative observations of league one action this season (so, presumably similar to that of the panel who judged these awards) I would nominate Grant Holt. I've seen very few forwards or players in general match the commitment he puts in to each game. His performances by themselves are worthy of the £20+ admission fee which seems standard for league one football.

    OTBC (obviously I am a Norwich fan)

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm the first to admit Coventry's shortcommings but it is utterly ridiculous not to include Keiren Westwood in the list. He is the best keeper in the Championship by a country mile.

  • Comment number 14.

    Keiren Westwood? Come on mate how can he be the best by a country mile when Campy got third in the awards.

    Just because you watch him everyweek doesn't make him the best!

  • Comment number 15.

    Nolan has been great for us this season but I'm astounded that he's beaten Dorrans to the prize.

  • Comment number 16.

    Charlie Adam has scored in the Champions League.

    He shouldn't be playing in the Championship.

  • Comment number 17.

    The player awards are voted for in Jan/Feb with the shortlist confirmed the beginning of March. It's the club related awards that are judged in January. Get your facts right BBC and I think you will find that these awards are very representative of how players have performed over the season.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm surprised no leicester players were considered in the awards, you know we were the team that went up from league one and have more than punched above our weight laying comfortably in 5th position.
    I would've nominated Chris Weale and Jack Hobbs, the best out of our back line, Chris Weale being a goalkeeper who has attracted interest from the premier league after sitting on the bench at bristol for the past few seasons. Jack hobbs being only 21 has shown real class against the top players and strikers in this division, I think by the time he's 35 he will have more than his fair share of england caps.
    As for other clubs, Well Charlie Adam at Blackpool is a definite stand-out, Adel Taarabt at QPR i blame morale for him not having a better season after many managerial changes, Graham Dorrans is absolute quality too. Kevin Nolan has had an incredibly strong team around him to play with but is absolute quality in his own right.

    Oh well, at least we won most family friendly stadium, which as another word for "Least Passionate" :(

  • Comment number 19.

    "Cheltenham's Kyle Haynes won the League Two award. I would suggest that he might need to do a little work on his interview technique, having answered three of host Mark Clemmit's questions with the solitary word 'Yes'."

    Harsh. The boy is paid to play football, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Comment number 20.

    Newcastle deserve to go up. Instead of over-paid stars moaning and requesting a transfer, they've rolled up their sleeves and torn the Championship apart! No other side in that League has been as dominating as Newcastle have at times.

    Nolan, is, and always has been, one of my favourite players. Committed, talented, energetic and most importantly, passionate!

    The only thing i'd like to know, is how on earth has Beckford, a guy who needs 10 chances to score 1 goal, took the League 1 Award ahead of Hoolahan, or even Holt of Norwich. The Canaries are by far the best side in League 1, much like Newcastle, they're playing 1 level too low based on quality & form. Paul Lambert has transformed them around, and the front trio, more specifically Hoolahan & Holt, have been outstanding! Leeds on the other hand? Average! I've never understood how a "Player of the Year" Award can be handed out in MARCH! So regardless of how poor any of the winners are for the next 2 months, they'll still be PotY? Same old Football League, clueless . . .

  • Comment number 21.

    Keiron Westwood is indeed a very good keeper, as is Camp. there are a lot of good keepers in the championship, Carson, Lonergan, De Vries, but with my Newcastle head on and probably being a bit bias I would take Harper over them every time.

  • Comment number 22.

    I always enjoy these articles, no exception here.

    I watched Nolan many times over the years at Bolton and he's pretty average technically but he does have the ability to make a difference in games with goals, assists and well-timed runs into dangerous areas.
    Also, he seems to have knuckled down and improved athletically this year so fair play to him on his award.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nolan has done well to score that many goals but I don't think he is anywhere near the best player in the Championship. My opinion that he does nothing but score is shared by most Newcastle fans I speak to. It is acceptable for a striker to do nothing but score, but as a midfielder he should be contributing more. He is too slow and never tracks back, Smith has had to do the work of two this season.

    I would say Jose Enrique has been the best player in the Championship, though I have been impressed with Dorrans, Adam and Ambrose this year. For team of the season I would go for:

    De Vries
    Gunter
    Coloccini
    Taylor
    Enrique
    Ambrose
    Adam
    Dorrans
    Whittingham
    Chopra
    Carroll

  • Comment number 24.

    Gavelaa - although Charlie Adam is a good player, the face he has scored in the champions league doesen't prove this so its a very closed minded statement in my opinion. Guitierrez is probably the most exciting player in the championship and excitment should be encouraged so i'd possibly at least nominate him for the award. Who would everyone vote for as best player in premiership? I'd go for Wayne Rooney, not becuase he's any good but because he scored in the champions league... aha

  • Comment number 25.

    steviemac14

    Could not agree more, I have been saying that about Nolan for months, although his goals have been vital I would have Enrique, Coloccini, Smith, Harper, Guitierrez, Carroll and Lovenkrands all ahead of him as Newcastle player of the year. And since moving more central Guthrie has been far more influencial.

  • Comment number 26.

    Otters_Pocket

    Agree with all of those suggestions, Guthrie has been brilliant in the centre and we must keep him there. Don't care who partners him as long as its not Butt.

  • Comment number 27.

    I notice alot of people are saying a player from their club should be player of the year. I'm sick of Forest fans thinking they have got the best players in the League, when they haven't!

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm a Leeds fan and I cannot understand why Beckford has won this award. I can only assume it's down to his performances in the FA Cup against Man U & Spurs, when he actually put in a decent shift as a solitary striker. In League One, he is lazy and petulant and despite his goal tally, he fails to hit the target too often. Robert Snodgrass is the key to the Leeds side. I'd take him over Beckford any day

  • Comment number 29.

    Now then - thanks for your comments. Sorry for not replying earlier but I have spent the day at Antenatal on something of an extraordinary learning curve.

    The Honey Monster (post 1) - on some days yes, on many others no. McKenna has been outstanding and Majewski sometimes brilliant but occasionally disappointing.

    pieface (post 6) - bang to rights on that one, a massive shout to both those clubs. If we were communicating face to face I would be able to look you squarely in the eye and tell you that their omission from the blog had nothing to do with their respective financial situation but everything to do with human error - my human error.

    Camborne78 (post 17) - not too sure about that. I can tell you for a fact that the Apprentice of the Year awards were decided in late(ish) January because I was there.

    The respective player of the year awards for the three divisions are based on the FourFourTwo Top 50 list. Even if the process of putting that together only started in early March then there would still be loads of the most important part of the season left that was not taken into account.

    It is not a direct criticism of the Football League, who I think do loads of good stuff in many areas of the game (youth, community etc), or the magazine, but an inherent flaw of the awards system. After all, nobody wants this season's awards to take place next season when everything has started afresh.

    And to all those talking up Charlie Adam - quite right! Who knows what he might have won if he played for a more fashionable team.

  • Comment number 30.

    As an Everton supporter, it's nice to read about some of our future players :)

  • Comment number 31.

    Absoultely no idea as to why Beckford was chosen for L1 Player, he's a complete muppet. He's a better diver than Tom Daley.

  • Comment number 32.

    Oh - and Kill_Bill_Vol_2 (post 19) I take your point about Kyle Haynes.

    He was the only bloke in the building wearing a tuxedo and not a lounge suit after being stitched up by the Robins secretary.

  • Comment number 33.

    Paul i wondering how did the judges come to the conclusion that Camp was the third best player and therfore the best keeper?How is the best keeper judged?Surely a striker gets judged on its goals so a keeper should be judged on its clean sheets?So i have no idea why De vries didn't come above Camp.Clearly yet again only the bigger clubs are involved in theses decisions.

  • Comment number 34.

    I get the feeling that Mr Fletcher is trying to be your poor man's Stan Collymore. Say anything, whether it makes sense or not, as long as it gets a reaction. I'd love to know what a "largely average championship" is meant to mean since there is only one championship so it would have to be the average wouldn't it?

  • Comment number 35.

    RememberScarborough

    I am assuming that you are an equally successful journalist, is this the case?

  • Comment number 36.

    Im a Newcastle fan and he has played well all season !!

    He has been very important in our midfield and has scored goals aswell.

    Theres Only 1 Kevin Nolan !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    I have to say I don't think Nolan is the best player. despite the F1 connotations of my user name I am a Newcastle fan and I think we have many good players. yes nolan scores goals but he hasn't scored as much recently. look at caroll and lovenkrans, the only reason Nolan has scored more league goals is that he started more games. as for setting up goals that award should go to guttierez, he's epic and his two goals this season were superb. in short, yes nolan is good but i feel he's being outshone by many of his team-mates.

  • Comment number 38.

    Kevin Nolan is an average player, I have spoken to a few Newcastle players this season and they have all said that he goes missing in games. This is no suprise to me, having watched him at Bolton since he broke into our first team. Just because he scores a few goals does not make him the best player in the championship. Please watch him closely during a game, you will see what I mean.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ carlth; i am very worried about that. we have good players so that means they will be bought by the top premier league teams. that means they will keep winning and we will be relegated again. thats simply how professional football works.


    It's just dismal isn't it.

  • Comment number 40.

    the 6:1 REVERSE might have been a wake up to players that everyone else had woken up to a long time ago. Newcastle were rubbish. Their attitude was rubbish, their management the lot. I genuniely believe if it hadn't been for having a decent keeper they would have been relegated before. I wanted them gone, I was tired of hearing how great they were and their owners escapes were as tiresome as hearing the latest installment in the Beckams saga as he flies to Finland.
    however all credit where it is due. Something happened. Chris Hughton is proving he can manage which he couldn't do in the permiership.... Is it the team pulling together, is their manager reborn? Or is the championship so bad that even a very bad team can win it?

  • Comment number 41.

    Oi have you become a dad?

  • Comment number 42.

    I still haven't forgot about Nolans tackle on Anichebe last season, I find it a disgrace while Anichebe was out for 12 months for Nolan to still be playing.

  • Comment number 43.

    I have to agree with the posts of previous Newcastle fans in that Nolan has been far from our best player this season let alone the best in the league.
    He has scored important goals that have earned important points, but his all round contribution as a central midfielder has to be questioned. As a season ticket holder I often see the game bypassing him and our midfield has looked significantly better in recent weeks with Danny Guthrie moving in-field from the right.
    There are a lot of candidates for this award, Dorrans has impressed me along with Charlie Adam and the Polish lad from Forrest but I consider Jose Enrique head and shoulders above anyone else in this division, his contribution in both defense and attack is outstanding.

  • Comment number 44.

    costheresnobodybetterthanmikelarteta

    Should these rules be enforced or all players, or just ones that have injured your players? Everton are renowned for being one of the dirtiest teams in the league so you'd be buggared if so.

  • Comment number 45.

    I'm a Newcastle fan (duh?), and I agree with most people here when they say that Nolan is an undeserved winner of an award which is given at a silly time - he's had a good season overall, and has scored vital goals for us, but a lot of games do pass him by and he just hasn't contributed as much to the cause, certainly in terms of effort, as the likes of Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Harper, Gutierrez (he really did pick up after a slow start) and Guthrie (in recent months).

  • Comment number 46.

    Steviemac14 Could you tell me how Everton are regarded as one of the dirtiest teams in the league?. I think you are getting them mixed up with your team Liverpool.

  • Comment number 47.

    Re post 32. Having just watched some highlights it seems pretty clear that I was actually thinking of Rochdale's Craig Dawson in terms of the player who wore a tuxedo!

    As for Nolan - football is a game of opinions and I would be pretty upset if plenty of you did not disagree with me on this point. Even so, I imagine that Newcastle fans would be more or less as one in celebrating their current position.

    RememberScarborough (34) - I've never been compared to Stan Collymore before. Slightly scared to be honest. I just mean that having watched quite a few games I reckon that some distinctly average teams remain in the hunt for promotion and that the overall strength isn't as good as many previous seasons (though don't think I'm trying to say that doesn't mean it won't be as exciting).

  • Comment number 48.

    I think Charlie Adam should have been in with a shout for player of the championship.

    Nolan is better than average no doubt about that but adam has been outstanding for Blackpool in an outstanding season for a team tipped to be relegated

  • Comment number 49.

    "Cheltenham's Kyle Haynes won the League Two award. I would suggest that he might need to do a little work on his interview technique, having answered three of host Mark Clemmit's questions with the solitary word 'Yes'."

    Don't blame a young footballer for an experienced host's inablility to ask closed questions that could be answered with a single word answer. Train the interviewer to ask open questions

  • Comment number 50.

    Paul, Charlie Adam did play for a fashionable club, Rangers, who obviously didnt rate him, he came to Blackpool, where Olly has helped make him the player he has been this season.

  • Comment number 51.

    Charlie Adam has been briliant this year, there is no doubting that. To be honest im more than surprised having watched him over the last few seasons play for Rangers he was way below average and didnt seem like he could cut it, even in the SPL which fair to say is of a poor standard itself.
    Good on the lad though, he was always a tryer and looks like its starting to come off for him now.

  • Comment number 52.

    notokirkby

    I hate Liverpool, really really hate Liverpool. I don't hate Everton, just think they have dirty players like Neville, Cahill, Fellaini etc. Its just my opinion anyway, please don't throw your toys out the pram and accuse me of supporting Steven Gerrard +10 Others FC.

  • Comment number 53.

    Paul, what do you think to Leeds' promotion hopes this season? you say we are stuttering, do you think we can hold off the likes of Millwall? ( who appear to be the only team in the play-off positions on a good run of form)
    A Leeds United fan.

  • Comment number 54.

    Comment by toms7

    "Charlie Adam has been briliant this year, there is no doubting that"

    Charlie has TRULY been brilliant and at 500K is probably the best "£ for £" player in the Championship.

    Where else could you get that sort of talent for half a million..............what a buy!

  • Comment number 55.

    Paul,

    I used to enjoy Nolan's blogs in 2006. Any chance of bringing him back?

    Also, just to throw this out there: What if we undid some of our thinking about the England midfield and threw in someone like Nolan or Parker. Just a thought. Someone with grit.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ive watched every home game this season and to be fair I think Nolan has done little to merit player of the season. He regularly gives the ball away and looks at times to be totally off the pace of the game. Jose Enrique is head and shoulders the best player in this league. Having said that he has got an eye for goal, but is that enough to get this award ? I think not.

  • Comment number 57.

    Jonboyswan wrote (post 33): "How is the best keeper judged? I have no idea why De Vries didn't come above Camp."
    De Vries has conceded 33 goals this season, Camp 30. Nuff said.
    Why no mention of Wes Morgan and Kelvin Wilson? Both outstanding all season in central defence and, with Camp, a major reason for Forest's fine season.

  • Comment number 58.

    It's encourgaing for myself to see so many young Scottish players being mentioned. A little surprised how well Adam has done, he always had talent and a great left foot, but the pressure up here was obviously too much for him but hopefully he can push on to the top level from here. Only dissapointing thing for me is the players Rangers are letting go on the cheap, Adam for 500k, Burke on a free transfer and even McCormack for a couple hundred thousand. We really could have used the money these guys are worth now!

  • Comment number 59.

    Yet more media eulogising over Newcastle and Forest - mentioning fairly average players like McKenna (good championship player at best). Nolan has been playing in the top flight for most of his career so is obviously going to be good at this level.

    Dorrans should have got this award as countless fans above have said - cost a fifth of what charlie adam did (100K) and is twice the player. One of those rare players that you could put anywhere in the outfield and he would still do a good job.

    I agree Lee Camp is one of the players I would look to sign if we get promoted.

    I agree Camp is an excellent keeper.

  • Comment number 60.

    Grumpyblackpoolfan - Living The Dream wrote (post 54): "Charlie Adam has truly been brilliant and at 500k is probably the best £ for £ player in the Championship.
    Fair point, but three other great signings: Paul McKenna £750,000, Paul Anderson £250,000, Lee Camp £150,000. Surely Camp must be the bargain of the season.

  • Comment number 61.

    He's not even our best player this season, never mind the best player in the Championship. Absolute shambles.

    Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez and Steve Harper have all been more important to us this season than Nolan. Kev scores goals but his overrall contribution to the team is poor. He often goes completely missing in midfield and his fitness levels are terrible. Nice enough guy but will be shown up drastically next season.

  • Comment number 62.

    £750,000 for McKenna and he is never going to cut it at a higher level.

  • Comment number 63.

    There have been at least three players better than Kev this season:

    1) Graham Dorrans
    2) Jose Enrique
    3) Radoslaw Majewski

    Honourable mentions to Nolan, Harper, Lovenkrands, Camp, McKenna, Adam, Whittingham, Moses* and Ambrose.

    *I realise Moses was only there for half a season but he had an impact.

  • Comment number 64.

    RobForest

    Yeah bargains but surely bargain of the season - Peter Lovenkrands free transfer. If we had got him in summer and he had a pre season he would of been running away at top of the scorers list.

  • Comment number 65.

    As a Scot it's really nice to see a couple of Scottish names involved in here and really nice to see that a lot of guys that have played in Scottish football in the past are doing really well in all levels down South this season. When the last international squad was announced i commented that Charlie Adam should be the first name in the squad based on form along with Dorrans as both have been brilliant. Those two have been standouts for me. I think nearly every team in the championship has a first team player who has came from Scottish football.

    Congratulations to Nolan but in my opinion he has always been a Premiership player and he's been playing in a team primarily made of players that could/should be in the Prem so it makes it easier for him to get awards like this. Guys like Adam who has played at a team not tipped to do well is probably more of an achievement and i'm sure there have been other guys at other respective clubs in a similar position.

    GrumpyBlackpoolFan - Adam wasn't worth half a million when Rangers let him go. The main reason was because he was played out of position on the left wing when clearly he is better inside. He wasn't really much better than average in the SPL (even though he loved a goal against us) and at half a mill i think Rangers fans were laughing that they got that for him. But for half a million we got Anthony Stokes and we got Liam Miller for free, definate bargains. playing in a different league but certainly more than capable of playing in the Championship.

  • Comment number 66.

    Kevin Nolan deserves that award he has been on top form for us this season and our top scorer he could get into the forest squad but were not willing to let our best player go there so up yours forest fans!!! Kev is premier league material no doubt about it hence all the goals hes scored and the form he's been in is outstanding were very pleased to have him at Tyneside. Now we've received a few awards like Manager of the Month, I can definitely see us going back up this season WELL DONE KEV YOUR ON TOP FORM MAKE US GEORDIES PROUD BY PUSHING US UP INTO THE PREMIERSHIP!!!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Beckford is a waste of space!!! Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan, Adam Lallana, Jordan Rhodes, Jonjo Shelvey, Grant Holt, Lee Barnard, Nicky Bailey all much more deserving. Cant wait for Leeds to not go up again!

  • Comment number 68.

    Robforest post 57.I think you need to learn how to count.De vries has conceaded 23 not 33 goals.nuff said.

  • Comment number 69.

    The sad thing is Beckford won't even win Leeds player of the season. From what i've seen Kisnorbo & Snodgrass have performed better.

    Not turning up for the awards also sums up his attitude. Leeds should of sold up in January.

    Lambert has been great for us, but Hoolahan would be the best player i've seen this season from the oppo

  • Comment number 70.

    steviemac14, I take it you are a football fan and purport to know something about the game? Take a look again at Nolan's tackle on Anichebe, then rewind and watch it again, then again. Can you name a more deliberate, vicious and vindictive challenge than this? If you have ever played the game at any decent level you will know that this cowardly act is the most reviled 'tackle' in the game. It is a permanent stain on Nolan's reputation and could have cost an honest and talented kid his career, as it was it put him out of action for a year. The coward Nolan jumped to his feet protesting his innocence before being sent off and there is something inherently unjust that he only served a 3 match ban for the offence. The league needs to look at punishments again and the PFA should have spoken out about the assault!
    On another note, Everton are not remotely known as a dirty team in professional circles. Fellaini, in his first season in the EPL has been 'raw' and his tackles. and elbows, have betrayed his youth and inexperience at times, but he has been targeted by referees accordingly and is, ironically, laid up for 6 months after another shocker of a tackle by the greek centre half for Liverpool (Krygiarous?) who got a three match ban!
    Nolan is a coward and, hopefully, retribution and justice are just around the corner for him.

  • Comment number 71.

    How does it highlight Newcastle turnaround?

    He only has this award because Newcastle and him were bad enough to get relegated despite having a mid-table premiership team. Until they get back to achieving that at a minimum they will be under-achievers and dont deserve the praise they are getting.

  • Comment number 72.

    phil gardner

    Name a worse tackle than that? Well there was Fellaini's ON that Greek centre half you mentioned. If you want one involving Newcastle, how about Gravesen's on Bernard a few seasons ago? That was above the knee! Yes I have and do play football (all be it at Sunday league level) and understand that a tackle like Nolan's would be reviled but there are far worse and he realised his mistake and apologised straight away. It was just an error in judgement, Nolan doesn't strike me as the sort who would deliberately set out to hurt someone. A tackle where contact is made above the knee can NEVER be seen as accidental in my view.

 

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