What is Kevin Nolan’s best position?

Where does Nolan fit in?
Newcastle are blessed with midfield options at the moment and appear to be well covered in the event of injury.

Some of those players are quite obviously going to be backup, whilst others are going to be at the top of the list when it comes to starting a match. Kevin Nolan is a starter, for me anyway, but the question, after reading a debate about it the other night, is just how do we get the best out of our current top scorer?

The way I see it is that Nolan can be played in two positions. One of those positions is the conventional central midfield role whilst the other involves Nolan playing in a more advanced role behind a striker. Which one is he best in though?

When Nolan plays in the more advanced role it gives him space to operate in, but it also limits our ability up front as generally Nolan would have been used as a second striker. This is fine until you start wanting to play two strikers up front, which kind of leaves our Captain redundant. He done alright playing off Andy Carroll earlier in the season, but he only scored three goals (two against Aston Villa and I’ll give him the penalty against Stoke) in the more advanced role.

That is because he was effectively the second striker so was easier to mark for opposition defenders. He became part of their remit and not the responsibility of the opposition midfield who should be tracking him when he plays in the conventional midfield role.

For me Nolan’s best position is in central midfield with us playing two strikers. That keeps both defenders occupied and gives Nolan the freedom to arrive unmarked and on time to inflict the damage. He has a knack of finding space, which comes in handy when you have two strikers that are pulling the defenders out of position. His goal tally reflects this as he has scored nine goals from midfield (you can take the two corners against Sunderland and Bolton off if you like).

Of course the downside is that sometimes he can go missing in midfield. It can appear that way, and I used to think that myself, but it’s only when you can watch him off the ball that you appreciate just how much work Nolan puts in. Of course this is the benefit of having Cheik Tiote next to him as he can fill in when needed.

In short there are plus and negative points to playing him in either position, but for me he is better off in midfield. Going forward I think that is where he will end up as I think that Stephen Ireland and Hatem Ben Arfa will be ahead of him in the playmaker role. Perhaps those two will be employed around a central striker?

Who knows? Time will tell and all that. So that’s what I’d do with Kevin Nolan anyway.

What would you do?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

50 thoughts on “What is Kevin Nolan’s best position?

  1. CM for me, he can play both but if any midfielders are to play off a loan striker it’ll be Benny or Ireland(if he stays) imo.

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  2. Centre midfield but only with Tiote who has the legs to do most of his donkey work. No Tiote and he looks exposed opposition just play one two’s and he is history

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  3. Scott Parker player of the year. their having a laugh. one said he was an outstanding at west ham. hell if i played at west ham i would be outstanding.
    A player who’s only trick is to do a half turn and pass it sideways

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  4. I made my feelings clear about this the other night πŸ˜†

    His best position is centre midfield, he scores the most goals there, it makes it easier for him to get back and help the back four out – which he does an awful lot I rekon.

    The main thing being because he can make his runs without being marked.

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  5. If all goes to plan next year I don’t see him getting into our starting 11.

    We need a player to play with Tiote (if by some miracle he’s still with us next season) who has pace, skill and vision.

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  6. The problem with playing Nolan in centre midfield is that it wont leave any space for Joey…presuming that we get a proper pacy right winger in the summer…something that is very much needed also….

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  7. Stuart – Think outside the box mate and get out of the 4-4-2 mantra. There are loads of systems out that can accomodate Nolan.

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  8. 4-2-3-1 for me.

    Barton and Tiote centre mid, both defensive minded.
    3 players attacking mid (Jonas, HBA, Ireland, Nolan and new signings) and a target man. With HBA, Nolan and Ireland all feeding off the target mans hold up play, could be lethal.

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  9. jobey…..ElToro1892 but I wouldn’t be much of a challenge, I’ve played hardly ever played fifa and only ever scored once online
    play black ops alot and die alot……basically what I’m trying to say is…..I’m crap and if you can’t beat me by at least 10 goals, that would make you crap too πŸ˜‰

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  10. toonsy
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM
    Stuart – Think outside the box mate and get out of the 4-4-2 mantra. There are loads of systems out that can accomodate Nolan.

    Not if I believe we should be bringing in better players than him there isn’t, and that’s what I think.

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  11. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†
    Richie- I don’t have PS3 but, i play both. pretty decent on fifa and black ops. not been on black ops forever though..

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  12. batty
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    leaky @5 so nolan isnt 1 of our better players

    This season yes, but I expect us to be bringing in players with more pace and a better technique than Nolan.

    Is that not what all clubs want to do, improve?

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  13. Stuart – True, but I personally feel that if you take Nolan out of the team then you lose a lot of the team.

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  14. stu bollocks man nolan has been class the last 2 seasons ,in the form of his life and you want rid as for pace hes the quickest we have over 3 yards in front of goal πŸ™‚

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  15. Last season he was our best player too, but I’m talking about top level football now.

    I accept he’s scored goals and without them we’d be struggling. I’m not saying throw him on the scrap heap – like some people would prefer me to be saying (that way you can all call me miserable, negative and all have a go), I’m saying we should be trying to find a better player who can score goals but brings more to the team when not scoring. Nolan doesn’t bring much if he’s not scoring.

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  16. Richie Jobey’s crap on fifa and he’ll get a couple of lucky penalties and it will have your team moral down and he’ll beat you πŸ˜†

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  17. nolan is a leader imo he needs to stay in the team we dont look half as good when we dont have him playing .great leader

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  18. He’s a great captain, He’s tidy in midfield. and i think if he wasn’t in the team he’d want to leave and then a lot of the rest of the team would be unsettled

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  19. batty
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM
    what did parker do at the fckin toon next too fck all yet you wanted him back yesterday

    Can you find me the thread where I said I wanted him back? You won’t find it – that’s because your’re a lying half wit who has to make things up.

    Sad as fck!

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  20. He’s got one more year left in the starting XI imo.

    I dont really care where he plays aslong as he chips in with a goal.

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  21. nolan usually gets in the right place at the right time .12 goals players cant be left out of the first team .

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  22. This is probably the first time in his career where he’s sccored double figures .

    You’re all putting a lot of faith in someone who’s record in the top flight suggests this season is a ‘one off’.

    Not to take anything away from him though, he’s scored 12 goals and that is a good effort from midfield this season.

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  23. This time last year Lampard had somthing like 20 goals and he gets peneltys and FK aswell, so in open play nolan probably has a similar tally so he cant be that bad πŸ˜‰

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  24. I think he has been fantastic after Hoots moved Barton wide and played the diamond.

    Stuart has a point in that Pardew has already said well be playing 4-2-3-1 next season with Benny behind the front man, Cant see him playing as one of the holding pair (Barton and Tiote) so he may have a struggle to get in and if we sign Ireland as well who was brilliant in the number 10 role in a 3 man midfield at man city.

    But thats progress having strength in depth like that…

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  25. Stu’s right – we should always be looking to improve the team.

    Let’s not stop at Nolan though.

    How about bringing Essien in to replace Tiote, and that wee number 10 at Barca to replace HBA???
    πŸ™„

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  26. Could play a centre forward, then Benny no. 10, then Nolan AM, then Jonas, Barton and Tiote in 3 man midfield. πŸ™‚

    Depends who we sign in the summer, would be nice to have players of Nolan and Ireland’s calibre o the bench and ready to set in when we get injuries and suspensions.

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  27. Ireland would be a good signing for the toon…he showed in his short time against Manure that he has something special that we miss at the moment…movement around the front man… Not sure how we are gonna fit all of our midfielders in though !!…

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  28. Agree with what’s been said-if Tiote is next to him doing most of the engine work then Nolan is best in CM, and if we’re going to be playing Arfa in a 4-4-1-1 it looks like Nolan will only be playing CM for the future.

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  29. leaky [email protected] ok you might not of sed you want him back ,but you were moaning your leaky arse off aboot us selling him ,so pack in with the half wit you dirty manc [email protected]

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