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Kevin Nolan: What are your thoughts on him?


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Thinking back to comments I read online after the appointment of Kevin Nolan, most fans was eager to give him a fair chance. Yet I do recall reading concerns about him not having experience or being familiar with a full on relegation battle. This hasn't stopped him from turning things around highlighted by the very well written article by @Joe Jones.

I am encouraged as an exile fan currently living life out over in the United States that the club may have finally found a manager who has the ability and contacts to move the club forward. Combined with a passionate chairman who is eager to see his investment secure.

My question to you is, what would your early assessment of Kevin Nolan be?

Are you happy with his management style? I am, he seems to be a motivator and someone who gets the best out of his squad.

Do you dislike anything about his approach? I keep seeing comments about him leaving substitutes late, is this really a bad thing? I am very curious for your input.

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@AmericanPie "leaving substitutes late"...The same can be said of Big Sam's time at Notts. The late substitutions on Saturday were in some ways tactical to slow the game down to ensure we got the three points.

I for one had my doubts and still do, in a minor way which I will explain later. David Flitcroft ticked the boxes for me having got Bury out of a similar mess in L2. Having said that, I do admire the positivity trait in Nolan. His man management skills have transformed the team. We play as a team, unrecognisable from Sheridan's rabble.

Nolan received a lot of criticism in not signing a decent Centre Back. Given that he had less than 2 days at the end of the transfer window, maybe he just couldn't get the guys he really wanted. In terms of the transformation of the team, recognising that our left back was too slow is a big plus. By bringing in Bola, the opposition no longer have carte blanche to push up at will on the Dicko flank. We now have a full back in Bola with the skill to hurt in offensive mode.

In terms of criticism, playing Smith up front in the Exeter home game when Forte was on the bench? Go figure, in today's parlance. I don't like old pals act where such actions weaken the team.

Stanley's departure too rankles. However even I have to concede that in our current position, it was probably the best thing to do for both parties. I concur with the departures of Burke and Snijders.

I am beginning to see a Big Sam influence in the way he sets up a team. I hope I am not premature in this praise because despite all the positivity, retaining our L2 status is the first priority and it's not going to be easy.


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Bola sounds like a real find, hope I can see him in action soon. But from afar, the biggest change seems to be the mentality. Sheridan read out the riot act to the players so many times it was obvious they were no longer listening. Nolan, however, talks his team up, defends them where necessary and clearly wants them to enjoy themselves again. He wants them to feel ten foot tall. The team has its weaknesses still but KN has rekindled team spirit and self-belief. Long may it continue!

Nolan's start to the job is reminiscent to that of Shaun Derry. Derry also had to work out his best team, weed out those who weren't going to help us early on and rekindle team spirit. He didn't achieve instant results and sometimes made bad selections (like KN picking Smith), but he didn't make the same mistake twice and in the end he did a very effective job. But he mucked it all up the following season, of course. Even if Nolan keeps us up with something to spare, he'll have a completely different challenge the following season.

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I think I said at the start of this six game run that we needed to win at least 3, but preferably 4 of them, especially seeing as we have some much tougher fixtures to come. We have won 3 and hopefully Saturday will be the fourth, so on that score he has currently done what was expected of him.

The biggest plus under his tenure so far is that he has stopped us from being soft, which made us easy to beat and also the removal of Dickinson from the starting line up. I can forgive his mistakes as he is still new to management, he reminds me very much of Derry, but is more tactically aware at the same stage.

We still need a centre half as we are shipping too many goals, but at least we have started scoring again so hopefully we should stay up. The games in March could decide our fate as we have a tough April.

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@Piethagoram Great post i agree with most of your points but I can't believe you're still hanging onto Stan, don't get me wrong I liked the bloke, he was talented but he was lazy, his heart wasn't in it anymore he was nothing more than a talented lazy mercenary living on past glories.


@AmericanPie As for Nolan, between him and AH wow, they've changed the mentality of a club that was relegated in theory, got positivity through the players, staff and got a crowd that had rightly so become very negative to be a positive force. 

In terms of his management he's cleared out a few of the bad eggs, Aborah, Burke and Mr Nice Guy Snijders (wasn't a bad egg, just wasn't good enough). The product on the pitch has been a lot better, it's a team again. He's dropped Dickinson which has reaped it's rewards look how much better we've been.

The concerns I have is he does seem to bring in older players however his loan signings have been young but again I'm being picky here as the signings have lived up to the bill. We're very heavily reliant on Audel (cracking player why JS never played him is beyond me) the defence always looks a little shakey without him.

Overall - I rate Nolan, I expect to see him managing up the leagues hopefully that's with us.

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My thoughts would probably be best described as 'cautious optimism'.  The reason I am cautious is that I would probably have used the same phrase this many games into Sheridan's reign, and we all know how that turned out.  That's really just a defence mechanism triggered by 46 years of supporting Notts, because in reality Nolan has hardly put a foot wrong.  His enthusiasm and desire come across clearly in his interviews, and even though he is sometimes a bit over generous in his praise, I prefer a manager who praises in public and boll*cks in private.  As with all managers, he will be judged on points gained, and on that score he has done better than I expected so far considering he walked into a club in freefall.  He also seems to be trying to put his personal stamp on the club, which brings me on to Mr Aborah (again!).  Nolan is trying to build a philosophy based on hard graft, togetherness and teamwork.  Why would he include a player who is unable / unwilling to buy into that philosophy?  

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I said I wouldn't judge John Sheridan until he had signed his own players, and I would say the same about Kevin Nolan (The loan signings for me don't really count).

However they do all appear to have the quality needed to help us.

I'm very impressed with Jorge Grant and Mark Bola. Though I'm unsure how much credit can go directly to Nolan for these, I do feel his management style suites the club and his hard-working approach is clear for all. I even think the unknown AM in Richard Thomas as been a good coup for us - however much will depend on how long this momentum can last. The players do seem to respect Kevin and they are working harder than before, I also feel he won't tolerate under par performances.

So far it's all promising and I enjoy listening to Kevin speak in his interviews.

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i love kevin nolan, hes refreshing in every way and i like seeing his surprises.

example would be yesterday i bet most people felt we was doomed with the defensive lineup but its not like sheridan or moniz who just left us vulnerable. nolans tactics arent lob sided, he seems to think about how we will cope, defend and attack.

i dont want to seem all ott because we know how easily things can change but i hope hes the man who bring us some stability.

this notts county, kevin nolans notts is fine for me to watch until we can roll the dice for promotion. i think if he keeps doing well other clubs will come in for him and i would hope we can keep him if that does happen. 

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I want to say positive things about Nolan his start has been good. But as county fans we have been here before With new managers etc so I'm going to reserve my judgement and opinion for the moment we have momentum so let's leave it there for the time being. 

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