Search

Kirk’s Column: No tears over the loss of Kevin

PUBLISHED: 17:30 12 December 2013

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kirk Blows writes for you each week

West Ham play their most important game of the season on Saturday when Sunderland visit Upton Park – and captain Kevin Nolan will be missing.

And the popular view among Hammers fans is that it’s no bad thing.

In most circumstances, the suspension of your skipper should provoke annoyance, apprehension and anxiety.

A struggling team needs its leaders when going into battle against another side battling against relegation.

Where would West Ham have been without the services of warriors such as Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin and Julian Dicks in past times?

But Nolan is not that sort of character and it’s fair to say that his influence on games is low key at best.

If the attacking midfielder is not scoring goals – and he has struggled to do that this season without Andy Carroll playing in front of him – he turns into the invisible man.

Whole games seem to pass by before you even notice he’s on the pitch.

That’s not been the case over the last four games, however, because Nolan has failed to complete 90 minutes in any of them.

He was hauled off against Chelsea, Fulham and Crystal Palace – substitutions that were cheered by fans – and sent off in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.

Manager Sam Allardyce likes to claim that Nolan is a vital figure in the dressing room – which is just as well as that’s where he’ll be staying for the next few weeks.

● Reports claim that Sam Allardyce could be sacked if West Ham lose to Sunderland on Saturday.

The Hammers hierarchy know they can’t afford a repeat of the Avram Grant saga three years ago when they failed to wield the axe and paid the price with relegation.

But things will surely need to get a lot worse before they seriously consider telling Allardyce his time is up.

Never mind, it’s only Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal up next…

● The failure of referee Michael Oliver to even book Liverpool’s John Flanagan for a nasty challenge that left Stewart Downing needing a dozen stitches, before Kevin Nolan was sent off for a similar offence, proves one thing.

And that is that the top teams are allowed to do what they like while the likes of the Hammers get punished.

● Hammer Blows, by Kirk Blows, is available now from Amazon and pitchpublishing.co.uk

0 comments

Latest Barking and Dagenham Sports News

11:00

Kelvedon Hatch, Manford Way, May & Baker and Shenfield Association discovered their opponents for the BBC Essex Saturday Premier Cup this week

Yesterday, 16:00

Daggers coach says U’s have shown they deserve to be riding high in the table

Yesterday, 15:56

Jamie Porter will make his second trip of the winter to the Desert Springs Resort this weekend keen to make up for lost time with the Lions.

Yesterday, 15:00

Barking will be hoping to bounce back after a recent dip in form as they face a week on the road.

Yesterday, 13:00

West Ham United entertain Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, looking for a third straight win in all competitions.

Yesterday, 11:00

In an article from our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out, the talented opener looks ahead to the new County Championship Division One season and reveals his target

Yesterday, 10:45

A clinical performance from Kim Coster’s Essex side saw history made as they sealed a 7-0 win over Hertfordshire at the County Ground in Letchworth.

Yesterday, 10:00

Dagenham & Redbridge will head south of the river to face high-flying Sutton United in front of the BT Sport cameras this weekend.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now