Kevin Nolan targets Europe.

Posted on May 18th, 2010 | 97 Comments |

Europe calling?
Europe calling?
The squad of lads that done us proud in The Championship will be enjoying their rest after what has been a hectic season for them.

Generally they have had to play two games a week, nearly every week, which is something they are not used to after spending most of their careers in the pampered Premier League. So you could forgive them for drifting off quietly to recharge their batteries, right?

Not so it seems, and it looks like our players are already eyeing a return to Europe in the next few years in a fantastic show of ambition from them. People will laugh when they here of a return to Europe, even some of our own fans, who could find the negative angle of recieving a £1 million windfall, but who is to say we can’t make it back into Europe in the near future? Bolton did it, twice in fact, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, survival is what we need to achieve first. Learning to walk before we run and ensuring we are careful enough as a club to thrive long term so that my kids have a team to support.

“We’ll have our own expectations in the dressing room, of course,” Nolan said. “And what we need is to make sure first is make sure that we survive.”

“Then we’ll have another year when we look to go higher and higher again. We can’t get carried away with our goals, but we have to make sure we get to them bit by bit, or step by step, rather than jump a few.”

“If we finished 17th 12 months ago, we’d have been jumping up and down thinking we’d won the league. If we do it next season, it’ll be an improvement.”

You can’t really argue with what Nolan has said there as he has it bang on the money for me. If we had got a point at Villa Park on the final day of the season we would have all been celebrating like crazy, and I may not have ended up having that ‘set-to’ with the only fan of Hull City I have ever seen round by where I live.

Still, that is in the past now, and all we can do is look forward. At least our players still sound positive, and you really couldn’t expect anything less from Kevin Nolan who has established himself as a leader and mouthpiece both on and off the field.

It’s also nice to hear that the players still have goals going forward, targets to achieve, and a goal to aspire to. It will be tougher next season, a lot tougher, but our team know what it’s about as they have over 1400 Premier league appearances between them. That experience should stand them in good stead as we look to implement stage one of our new plan.

Survival.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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97 Responses

  1. Bolton did it, yes. But the league just didn’t have strong teams in the top 8 then.

    Look at who we would need to surpass to achieve Europe, excluding the top 4 – Villa, City, Everton and Liverpool.

    I would love to think we could achieve something like this, but the reality is we won’t – The teams I mentioned will strenghten further and it would appear were shopping at Lidl – Their already way ahead of us, so unless we get in through a fair play place in a few years time, which I doubt very much considering we have Barton and Smith it’s not happening.

    Unfortunate, but true.

  2. with ashley as our owner NO..
    with people like who are at city yes..
    thats the only way we would see europe..
    shame like

  3. jay jay says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Impossible when we keep hearing outrageous statements coming out of the club.

    The days of Wimbledon style clubs over achieving are over!

  4. Europe is a long time gone….nice when it was happening but sadly it is not achievable under current constraints andthis owners direction.

    There is a new 5 year plan every few months…we have changed models from Arsenal to Birmingham to QPR.

    Nolans Comment-“We’ll have our own expectations in the dressing room, of course,” Nolan said. “And what we need is to make sure first is make sure that we survive.”

    Thinking Big Kevin..getting paid £60k a week and all that is expected is survival…nice work if you can get it :)

  5. Nolan-“If we finished 17th 12 months ago, we’d have been jumping up and down thinking we’d won the league. If we do it next season, it’ll be an improvement.”

    But sadly you didn’t finish 17th and the majority of the team and the football was fookin Dire and a disgrace to NUFC.

  6. Sorry spew but Fulham qualified for Europe on a shoestring just last season.

    I don’t think things have changed that much – not even in your perma-grey world of doom and gloom.

  7. What do you guys think about Koren…

    pros, would add experience, international captain
    could fast track vuckic into national team, keep him at the club.
    Has good skills, good pro. Free transfer

    cons, Is 30 in september, Released by Baggies so is he that good. We already have too many CM. Could be a barrier to Vuckic getting first team games. Would want biggish wages. Butt out another oldie in.

    I think the cons outweigh the pros personally.

  8. I knew the spin would start picking up momentum,great team spirit,dressing rooms on fire,team togetherness,chasing transfer targets,reflecting endlessly on a great season…..sign some decent players we are bored of this baloney every window.
    zzzzzzzz

  9. Want a striker me….DJG,Ship Best and Shola out,get rid of Ranger or send him on loan for 2 years,Keep Lovenkrands,Give Carroll a season and buy a proven Striker.

    Shola and Best will do sweet FA in the premiership.

  10. Do you seriously think Hughton will ‘ship Best’ after 4 months of a 3 year or whatever contract.

    This is why I worry about Hughton he isn’t nasty enough IMO.

  11. Toon Chicken says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    “Sorry spew but Fulham qualified for Europe on a shoestring just last season.”

    And Birmingham came ninth with a squad which was little different in monetary terms to WBA’s or Middlesbrough’s.

  12. Best will do nothing in the premiership…looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders when he is on the pitch and I am not convinced by him…yup we didn’t lose many games (if any) when he played but I don’t think he’s got a premiership goal in him….I think he is thinking the same as well.

  13. DJG says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “This is why I worry about Hughton he isn’t nasty enough IMO.”

    You mean he’s one of those nice but unsuccessful managers like Bobby Robson or Bob Paisley?

  14. I still expect Best to be here this time next summer. He’s on a contract and doesnt have to go anywhere. At the end of next season he will be warming the bench and playing reserve games. Then next summer a championship/league 1 club might come in for him with about 1/16th of what we paid for him, that is what will happen and IMO Hughton was very careless, signing players is a gamble and Hughton needs to have his head screwed on a bit tighter next time IMO.

  15. @hitman- Shame for me as I was hoping for a Toon visit to the States, but probably best for the players to limit the travel time…

  16. nolan is a good player but ffs he should keep his gob shut about europe. i will be happy with prem status, end of. lets pleeeese just keep ya gobs shut lads. we have it all to prove next season as the jury is still very divided on how we will fair.

  17. DJG – You make it sound like Hughton has ballsed up our only signing. Are you forgetting Williamson, Routledge and Simpson who all turned out alright last season?

    Not every signing will work out, and it’s foolish to expect it to.

    Seen Best has been called up for Ireland today?

  18. Must be something like that…should change his Name by Deed Poll to Leon Worst :)

  19. toonsy says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    “Seen Best has been called up for Ireland today?”

    What would that idiot, Trappatoni, know about players though, Toonsy? He’s only won about 13 league championships, 3 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups and all the rest. :-)

  20. Toonsy

    Im not saying Hughton has ballsed up all his signings but we havent seen Simpson et al. in the prem yet either.

  21. Toon Chicken says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Yes Fulham did finish in a European spot last year, but like I said them days have gone! I do wish you’d read my comments before trying to be clever!

    Spurs finished 8th and Man City 10th that year – Them days are well and truly gone! LIKE I SAID!!!! IDIOT!

    workyticket says:
    May 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    But they didn’t get into Europe did they? Thought not, so what point are you making?

    It will take a lot of money and a good manager to spend that money for anyone outside the current top 8 to break into that group. Not just us, every other team too!

    Hence Birmingham already splashing the cash buying Foster for £6m and bidding £8m for Nzogbia.

  22. workyticket says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Well it was either Best or some striker playing for Weymouth!

    Don’t have to be that good a manager to make decisions when you have very little choice!

  23. They haven’t bought Foster yet, and he will only be replacing Joe Hart who has gone back to City anyway, so can you really call that a net improvement?

    Like for like if you ask me.

  24. Ballack is looking to take legal action aagainst Boateng for that tackle that ended up ruling him out of the World Cup.

    Dodgy stuff that like if it holds up. A bloke in my Sunday league got 28 days in prison for breaking someones leg in a match. No intent, just a hard tackle.

    If stuff like that starts becoming common place we can say goodbye to the tackle and hello to touch football :D

  25. There you go again Spew – dressing your short-sighted opinions up as facts.

    You sound more and more like your hero Gordy Broon everyday – and we all know what happened to him! ;)

  26. Suppose they could wear sponges on there feet Toonsy,cushion the tackle.
    Seen the tackle like and it wasn’t very nice….but to take a player to court would really be proper daft.

    Imagine how many players would be in the dock-be loads a week :)

  27. ‘we can say goodbye to the tackle and hello to touch football’

    God I hope not. You ever watched touch Rugby. :)

  28. stuart the prem league is shit said for a long time clown.better for other clubs to do better nobody wonts to come here anymore all moving to spain fab wants to go to barca enough said

  29. DJG – I live in Rugby (the birth place of the game), I’ve seen all types of Rugby :(

  30. everton with a fit team will do very well next year when they had their best team out nobdy could beat them so u stuart dont no jak about football why did spurs break in .

  31. toonsy says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I am actually talking about their spending plans – They have a good manager who has funds to buy – It’s likely they will improve.

    Toon Chicken says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Sorry, there was me thinking Spurs finished 8th last year and City 10th – Am I wrong or is that not FACT?

  32. asim says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    everton with a fit team will do very well next year when they had their best team out nobdy could beat them so u stuart dont no jak about football why did spurs break in .

    Well the fact that they were the second highest spenders in the league probably helped.

  33. Stu – So now you know ours ANd Birminghams spending plans. Did you know they have just signed a player on a free today?

    Yes they are likely to spend, but your saying that we wont at the same time.

  34. toonsy says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I’m saying I don’t think we will.

    I hope I’m wrong, I really do but we’ll see.

  35. I really don’t understand this obsession with La Liga. It’s a poor league with 2 or 3 good sides.

  36. toonsy says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    “DJG – I live in Rugby (the birth place of the game), I’ve seen all types of Rugby”

    Aye, Rugby school. Durham School could knack ’em at Rugby in my day though, and my brother’s too. I always wanted to play football though.

  37. money buys u jak. look at city shitty. what i am saying we will be ok with the league in decline. not going to improve look at all the top teams who are going to buy this and that player. no they are not! they dont wont 2 come and are all living a dream manu are the biggest club they can only dream having these top players but all their fans think we should buy this and that.man city have bought 2 players from hamburg and another on his way for over 50mil never hard of these jokers. platers are not improving and if they are madrid or barca will pick them up and that leaves are dead wood league.enriquq has a good season for us will be off 2 them and so will harris when he plays a couple of games for us will get anything for him.

  38. Worky – The best thing about Rugby School is the sixth form boarding students, who roll into town every week, and roll back out spewing all over the place :D

    Funny sight, and some of them are tidy too ;)

  39. el toro is not the obsession with the league for the players its just barca and real dont tell me if they come to u and u would say no.

  40. Not really, Asim. Cant stomach Spain myself like, but if I was getting silly money….

    Oops, that could be why ;)

  41. toonsy if real madrid came in for u u would say no. i dont believe u u would be the only1

  42. Asim you can’t say money buys you jack then hold up Real Madrid as shining light.The only reason they got within 20 points of Barca is because they spent more than anyone.The Spanish league is poor.Barca are fantastic,Real are good but only due to spending.I’m not saying the Prem league is fantastic but overall it’s stronger than la liga.

  43. Just read speculation that Luke Young could be looking for a move away from Villa… and they need to sell to buy.

    I think he’d be great, better than Simpson or could play RM when Routledge is out injured.

  44. Asim – It deoends doesn’t it? Would I be playing forst team football, or would I be getting paid a bit more for sitting on a bench rather than playing regularly?

    I get what your saying like, Barca and Real are prestige clubs. But I’ve never really had a lot of time for them, other than Barca briefly when Bobby was there. Other than that I just found Spanish football shite.

    Barca have lost one game all season, and Real Madrid finished 25 points ahead of the first placed team. It’s a two horse race over there.

  45. FSS – I agree, completely. Even the Villa fans think it’s a mistake to be selling him.

  46. Never mind about Luke Young at RM, I thought I’d seen him play there before but I can’t find any evidence of it though.

    I think he’s played LB in the past though, and we need to get cover for Jose as well.

  47. Toonsy-

    Selling to buy is really a sad reality, because only decent players will fetch a good fee.

    Look at Arsenal and Everton this season; both made out like bandits flogging players to Citeh. However, where was Arsenal weak? CB and striker depth. Everton would be in Europe right now if it weren’t for their defensive injuries early on.

  48. So Nolan fancys us for Europe in a year or two?

    Whether we get there or not depends whether or not the Ash[ley)cloud’s kind to us!

  49. cant be stronger the top players play their! and if it isnt then why the prem clubs not competing to buy david villa and all their best wont come here.

  50. Asim

    If I was lucky enough to play for the club I’d supported all my life and earn say 30k a week.
    And Real Madrid came in for me offering me 90k a week. I’d still stay at Newcastle. Its still ridiculous money and you are living your dream…

    I think any true fan would, and thats why you have got to respect Shearer. He stayed. He could have gone anywhere.

    le Tissier. another example.

    But I do agree with you. That kind of loyalty is very very very rare these days.

  51. free scoring just said that about everton. i think they will be very close next year like u say if they stay fit.the league isnt all that when everton full team beat all the top teams we have easily.

  52. Asim – Your assuming the whole Spanish league is the same as Real and Barca, it isn’t. In fact all the rest have been blown away.

    In fact it’s that bad that Real and Barca could have stopped playing in early March and they would still have finished 1 and 2.

    Perhaps it’s not like that over here as the the top teams are in slight decline, or at least levelling out, whilst the rest catch up a bit?

    The top 4 has turned into the top 6. Is that because our league is getting poorer, or because the Citeh’s etc have spent money to catch up?

  53. Just noticed the NUFCblog.org facebook group only has 14 members…

    Us 14 sure do make a lot of comment ;) haha

  54. yeah asim but thats because thats the country of his birth(Villa) but where is Torres playing mate?…….all Madrids foreign big names are there for money.I’m not having a go as I go to watch Real a few times a year as wor lass is originally from Madrid.The big players go where the big money is and also Champions league football.That’s where City are at a disadvantage but once they get into the champions league and with their cash they will start to get the bigger players.

  55. Apparently,my firefox browser can’t display those pictures anymore. The whole page is white.=.=”

    i think the spanish league domination by that two teams have several factors in it. The league based on head-head record. Both team are super-rich. excellent youth system.

    Those teams below either faces financial crisis or don’t spend much enough at all.you could always see either barca or RM buying News only.

  56. If I had to rate team strength of the league out of 100, it’d be:

    Chelsea 95%
    Manchester United 90%
    Arsenal 85%
    Tottenham Hotspur 80%
    Manchester City 79%
    Aston Villa 72%
    Liverpool 75%
    Everton 73%
    Birmingham 62%
    Blackburn Rovers 54%
    Stoke City 58%
    Fulham 65%
    Sunderland 58%
    Bolton Wanderers 56%
    Wolverhampton Wanderers 50%
    Wigan Athletic 54%
    West Ham United 52%
    Newcastle 54%
    West Brom 48%
    Blackpool ;-) 40%

    Hope you see what I’m getting at… Now if you had to do the same for the Spanish league, then add up the average percentage. That’d give you the better league.
    I think the English league overall would come out slightly on top. Because the top ten teams are very competitive… On their day, anyone can win. Can you say the same for any other league.

  57. Let’s not be so pessimistic about the top 8 being impenetrable.

    Liverpool could be in for a huge fall, especially if Torres leaves. Benitez could be gone as well, and there are signs that Gerrard has already slipped from his peak.

    Not so sure about Birmingham mounting a challenge next season either. Think things fell into place for them, are Bowyer or Carr really going to have as strong and injury free seasons? Not sure N’Zogbia fits in with their style either.

  58. JJ says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    “Just noticed the NUFCblog.org facebook group only has 14 members”

    Who’s set up a NUFC Blog.org facebook group?

  59. That would be me, ages and ages ago. I havn’t plugged it since I first created it :D

  60. toonsy says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “That would be me, ages and ages ago. I havn’t plugged it since I first created it”

    You didn’t even plug it to me! What’s the URL?

  61. AoD……yeah they announced it at the Ipswich game,the official website is on the ball.lol

  62. ‘Liverpool could be in for a huge fall’,

    if me and toonsy align the ingredients in the cauldern correctly. ;)

  63. I see that we are on the verge of appointing a new media relations officer ( i didnt know we had one in the first place), whoever it is should look at sunderland where they have trumpeted two relegation scraps after spending a bucket load of cash as a resounding success.

  64. I read that article, and I think I like Hughton more by the day. Extremely realistic, knows he doesn’t have big money to spend but has clearly targeted some areas for improvement.

    Whether or not those areas correspond with what most fans and bloggers around here expect I could care less, I am starting to trust Hughton’s judgment completely.

  65. FSS

    Ye, I wasn’t sure about Hughton’s appointment last year. I’m not sure he is good or experienced enough for the Premier League.
    But I cannot fault anything he has said or done in the entire time he has been here…
    He reminds me a bit of Glen Roeder in his style of managment, and I actually liked him as a manager. Even though most don’t.

  66. JJ

    So much hysteria around the club when the manager gets caught up in it, look at KK and JK two years back.

    Even Shearer I don’t think is the right fit, an understated manager is suited for the toon.

  67. Ye, you right. And the other best possible thing that could have happended was that NOBODY else was interested…
    Because had there been other names in the hat. The supporters would be wanting Houghton sacked after the defeat to Scunthorpe last year.
    This time, we’ve had to be patient, we’ve had no choice, we’ve had to support him. And finally we are starting to build a team again.

  68. JJ – That comment was in moderation because you typed Scunthorpe. I’ll let you work it out ;)

    Plus I would hold fire with the Hughton praise briefly (hint hint) :)

  69. I’m of the opinion that we will add a couple vets to the team as well as some up and comers. The youth policy is nice and all, but it appears we have a pragmatist as a head man.

    That’s why I mentioned Luke Young; Simpson has potential but not experience, and if we bring in a young hot shot to push him he may question his future at the club. A 30 year old premier league vet on the other hand, who can teach Simpson the tricks of the trade (I always thought Luke Young had solid delivery) is a dream scenario.

  70. Haha, I was watching highlights package of the Premier League in China once…
    Everytime the commentator said “Luke Young” they packed out laughing at his name. It was quite funny…

  71. The two english fullbacks I’ve always seen as underated are Luke Young and Paul Konchesky. Both are very solid players.

  72. I read Young was unhappy because Cuellar is first choice. It seems most Villa fans would prefer Young, one of their issues with O’neal.

    Hughton said he was getting calls from agents, and I’m sure Young’s agent would see NUFC as a good destination.

  73. Oh FSS… they were just laughing because… they thought his name was “Look Young” – and they found it amusing…

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