Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Is Convinced Nolan Sale Was Right Decision

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Is Convinced Nolan Sale Was Right Decision

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

ALAN Pardew last night launched an impassioned defence of his decision to sell Kevin Nolan, arguing that his captain and top-scorer would have been nothing like the same "exceptional" player next season had he been made to see out his contract.

Nolan was surprisingly sold to West Ham United in June after the Magpies failed to grant the three-year extension the 29-year-old wanted to his Newcastle deal, which ran until 2013. Pardew believes he could not justify that.

It has left the club light on on-field leaders, but Pardew expects another to emerge in the coming weeks, albeit a very different one.

"Would I have had Kevin for the next two years? Yes, I would have definitely have had him for the next two years, but I couldn't have Kevin if he didn't have a contract he felt kept him happy," he told a BBC Radio Newcastle phone-in. "That obviously wasn't the situation. In some ways I have to support that. Four or five years down the line is a bloody long time.

"My opinion is we couldn't give Kevin a five-year contract. If Kevin's not paying first-team football, Kevin isn't going to be the leader we want, I'm convinced of that. Kevin is so full-on as the captain of a football club.

"At the level he's gone to now (the Championship) he will easily come back to the Premier League but in four of five years time, Kevin needs to be doing the business in the first team and we couldn't - I personally couldn't - see it happening at Newcastle.

"We had to make a decision on that."

Similar thinking saw Nolan's friend Joey Barton fail to win the extension he wanted. In his case, both parties seem content to let the 28-year-old run his deal down, opening up the possibility of a free transfer next summer.

Pardew, who hailed new signing Demba Ba's leadership, was relaxed about losing a captain he praised to the hilt. …

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