Personal and undiluted views
Kevin Nolan

2589 days ago

The Sacrifice I have made for West Ham and its inspired manager Fat Sam Allardyce

For longer than I can remember I have had seats at West Ham. Years of misery has been the only result. Worse still I have taught my daughter to support the Irons, taken her to games and she is now a diehard hammer. It is the sort of act that should get me reported to Social Services.

Last year was dreadful. West Ham were not only hopeless but dull too. I could take it no more and at £650 a pop my season tickets were not renewed. I dithered about a late renewal after a couple of summer signings by Fat Sam but our early exit from the Carling Cup kept me strong. I was not renewing.

It was at that point that West Ham started playing like Brazil. 

---

2856 days ago

When did Ireland & West Ham both win on the same day last? Er…7 days ago

Last week I expressed my shock that Ireland and West Ham had both won on the same day and wondered when this happened last? You see, I am used to supporting sporting sides that are just not very good. Well blow me down Ireland and West Ham have now both put in back to back wins on the same day – when did that happen last?

For Ireland it was a home game against Wales. Such occasions usually prompt a post-match call between my father and myself “At least Olivia will be happy.” My daughter is like her mother (Big Nose) a proud Welshie. But not this time.

Ireland were ruthlessly efficient and made Wales (who are not hopeless) look just ordinary. The pack lead by Paul O’Connell was magnificent at the lineout, with the rolling maul and in all aspects of secondary play. The scrums were a bit of a mess but overall it was a powerful display. Throw in the kicking of Sexton and the tackling of the backs – and their strength under the high ball and Ireland looked really good.

Next up is the Old Enemy at Twickenham

---

2895 days ago

Fat Sam & Kevin Nolan must go now

Another day, another “six pointer” and West Ham comes away with nil points, after losing 2-1 to a side that lost its last game 6 nil ( Fulham). As a bonus, club skipper Kevin Nolan was sent off for a needless and mindless lunge for the second time in five weeks and now faces a three match ban. Again. Good. He is useless.

First things first. Nolan should be sold for however little at once. Pro tem Jussi should be club captain until Mark Noble returns from injury.  Second up fat Sam Allardyce should (as I have been arguing for a year, warning of this) be fired at once. The World’s 13th highest paid manager has spent more in the summer than all bar 6 UK clubs and West Ham are still utterly shit.

A replacement? No-one could do worse (with the possible exceptions of Glen Roeder and Avram Grant). Glen Hoddle, Malky MacKay, Paul Ince, Paulo di Canio, Harry Redknapp’s dog – I’d take any of them tight now. I am sure the Board have better ideas than me (well sort of sure) but on the basis that no-one could be worse than Fat Sam, the P45 should be issued at once. 

Let Karen Brady take charge for a few days as an interim measure for all I care, things could not get any worse.

---

2919 days ago

Thrashed by Liverpool – when does Fat Sam Allardyce get axed?

Losing to Liverpool is not really a shock. But surrendering from the opening whistle as West Ham did is not impressive. Fat Sam Allardyce has apparently once again used the word “unlucky” in relation to this latest humiliation. What planet is he on?

Liverpool attempted 36 shots during the game. In a sense they were unlucky. It could have been 8-1.

The only bright spot is that Kevin Nolan was sent off and so misses our next three games. He is having a dire season. The way the other results panned out yesterday and our abject form and tough set of fixtures ahead leaves me with a fear that come New Year (or even sooner) West ham could be bottom of the league with Fat Sam 

---

3088 days ago

Is Andy Carroll worth £15.5 to £17.5 million and £100,000 a week?

So Old horseface has signed up for six seasons at the Academy. It seems as if the board has dug deep because £15.5 million to £17.5 million up front and £100,000 a week is not small beer. Is he worth it?

At one level patently he is not. The emergence of a new breed of clubs with unlimited financial resources which started with Chelski and has now spread to Manchester City and – thanks to its mug bankers – Man United means that wage and transfer inflation has run riot through the game. The prices clubs pay to sign and retain even ordinary players bear no relation to their economic value to the clubs concerned. Carroll is just one example of that.

In absolute terms Carroll is not worth the money. But then when you see really ordinary Premier League prima donnas getting £50,000 a week in relative terms he might be.

I accept that horseface picks up more than his share of injuries. But assuming he starts most games then I think that we can bank on the Carroll/Kevin Nolan partnership netting West Ham 20-30 goals next season. Their track record together is pretty good. Yes it does mean that folk like Jarvis will be required to supply stacks of crosses and there will be plenty of long balls played up from the middle of the park.

It may not be the beautiful game but 25 goals from this duo (plus the penalties horseface will undoubtedly secure for us) would go a long way towards ensuring another mid-table finish. Last year we scored 45 goals all season. A decent foil for horseface up front (as well as Nolan) and West Ham has a good foundation for another top half finish.

My daughter is delighted and shamefully I admit that I am too.

---

3137 days ago

West Ham vs Newcastle Preview – Bad News for the Irons

As fate would have it. Every West Ham game I have seen this season seems to have been a defeat. As such I head off from Clerkenwell to Upton Park this afternoon, taking along a Real Man Pizza Company loyal customer, with some trepidation.

Alan Pardew comes back to the Academy with his side still a good outside bet for relegation. Their recent form is poor and my sense is that whatever happens between now and May 19th, come May 20th Pards is set to get his P45. For a team that thinks it is a “big side” Newcastle has had a lousy season.

By contrast the Irons have started to play some pretty decent football of late. We are now almost certainly safe from the drop and one sense that Messrs Nolan and Carroll will have a point or two to prove today. The odds have to be on a home win, 100% certainty of top flight football next year and Pards being one game closer to black bag time. But I warn you, I shall be heading down to the Academy in a couple of hours, the Albatross is on his way.

---

3172 days ago

West Ham vs. West Brom Match Preview

Noble injured but Cole J. and Nolan back( as well as Linda!) I think I can live with that trade. The Premiership table is fascinating. I think we can now assume that Reading and QPR are down (23 points – 8 games to play. But the third team to go down? Wigan are on 27 points with 9 games to go and Fulham are in 10th on 36 points and 8 games to go. In theory any one of the 9 teams between Fulham and Wigan (including West Ham on 33 points with 9 games to go) could be going down with the Redknapp.

West Brom are safe (44 points), have lost their early season blinding form and have nothing to play for any more: no hope of Europe and no fear of relegation. Without that blinding start to the season West Brom would be fighting it out with the rest of us – its recent form should not drive fear into the hearts of the Irons. And so today who knows what will happen? If West Ham play as they can with Nolan offering steel and Cole flair we win. If West Ham play as we can (away at Reading or Wigan) it is 3 points for the baggies. You just cannot call this one.

A win and I would start to feel half safe. My instinct is that with a GD far better than Wigan and Villa (30 points) 39 points should be enough to stay up. We still have Reading and Wigan at home and Southampton away all of which are winnable games but I’d rather that we did not go into May 19th having to beat an already relegated Reading at home in order to ensure survival.

I pray for 3 points, going into April in 11th place and one win away from safety. My head tells me that 1 point would be a satisfactory and a not surprising result. COYI

---

3220 days ago

Aston Villa vs. West Ham – Match Preview and those John Lyall memories

For once West Ham are spoiled for choice. Andy Carroll, Mo Diame are fit and on fire. The starting eleven almost picks itself but – and I never thought I’d ever write this – there is competition among top class players to just get on the bench as an attacking player. Carlton Cole gets the nod but Maiga is back from Africa Cup duty and Wellington Paulista has scored three in three for the U-21s. It is an odd position to be in.

The last time I was at Villa Park was for that memorable John Lyall FA Cup Semi against Middlesbrough. The week after the great man died the crowd was asked for a minute’s silence. The ref’s whistle blew and you could have heard a pin drop. Suddenly someone shouted out “Johnny Lyall’s claret and blue army. For a second there was shock & silence. Then everyone was chanting along. It was truly emotional and of course we won the game ( Marlon Harewood goal). The video below recaptures what was a spine tingling moment.

After the game, I headed back to the station in a cab shared with three Middlesbrough supporters and my old friend Derek Musgrove.

---

3256 days ago

West Ham vs Man United: FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (and two videos from past Cup games)

It is a 5.15 kick off so for now I can relax and look at how the other games are unfolding. I was chatting to a Newcastle supporter yesterday and the mood at whatever the stadium is called these days must be very bleak right now. On 20 points in the league (just two points above third bottom Wigan) and today out of the Cup thanks to Championship side Brighton. The side has injuries, its best player has just gone to Chelski ( and scored already) and I suspect that West Ham old boy Alan Pardew must – at the back of his mind – be starting to think that a P45 is on the way. Newcastle thinks it is a big club and unless Pards turns it around quickly, he looks like toast.

As for West Ham, Fat Sam has been active in the transfer market. Two new strikers (Maguire and Chamakh) are on board given options other than Carlton Cole up front with Carroll still injured and Maiga off to the African Cup ( and perhaps shipped out in the transfer windown anyway). But Joe Cole will almost certainly be playing today. With him, Jarvis (he of the covershoot in gay magazine Attitude fame), and Noble (if on form) playing behind Cole we do look able to score goals. Top scorer Kevin Nolan is back from suspension and although he is not universally loved I welcome his return. He may slow the game up a bit but a) he scores and b) he adds a bit of grit in defence which is where I always panic.

Injuries means that we have recalled young Danny Potts from his loan spell at Colchester.

---

3260 days ago

West Ham v Norwich – match preview

Skipper Kevin Nolan is out thanks to suspension. So much for the lack of yellow card discipline you get with Fat Sam. The good news is that for the same reason the hopeless liability, sorry should that read bedrock of our defence, that is James Collins will also miss the game. Norwich will be gutted about that one.

There are no key players returning from injury and so the four man midfield lining up behind Carlton Cole and Vaz Te upfront will be Noble, Jarvis, O’Neill and Taylor. I cannot say that this strikes me as either rock solid or threatening. Having said that Norwich have a few key players missing too and so it is hard to call the result.

What we do know is that if we win we go to 26 points and that would see some clear claret and blue water between us and the teams battling to avoid going down with the Rednapp and with woeful Reading. That is to say Villa, Southampton, Wigan ( who are bound to escape as the bastards always do) and – arguably – Fulham. If we lose we will have won one game in nine and have been sucked back into the relation mire.

So this is a must win game. I am doing my bit by staying away as West Ham never win when I attend. Having witnessed the Reading debacle first hand I cannot say that I am optimistic so I am off for a long walk and will say a prayer.

Whatever the result I am more and more certain of one thing. The deal with Fat Sam was that we might not like his style but we paid that price for not having to start January contemplating the awful possibility of a relegation dogfight. Whatever happens today, I stand by my view of the other day that in May Sam must go and we need to appoint di Canio as our new manager on a long contract.

COYI, I say rather weakly.

---

3261 days ago

Why Allardyce should go and Paulo di Canio be appointed in may as West Ham Manager

There will be folks who say that you should back the manager when the club is in trouble. And make no mistake, West Ham is heading for a bottom half finish and if we do not start winning a few games (1 win in eight now) we could still be going down with the Rednapp. And with dismal Reading. My suspicion is that one we get a few players back from injury and with Gold & Sullivan prepared to chuck cash around in the transfer window we will stay up. But it is not a given. And in May West Ham must decide whether to renew the contract of Sam Allardyce. I do not think we should and here is why we should say farewell to Fat Sam and bring Paulo di Canio to Upton Park at once. I start with Sam.

---

3297 days ago

The Scum (Spurs) vs West Ham - match preview

Nervously I look at the Championship and see that the form side is Millwall. Now 6th they are on fire and have got to be thinking that they can still secure an automatic promotion spot if the current form continues. I was at Upton Park the last time West Ham met Millwall and have no desire to go to another Derby game ever again. In the absence of Millwall our nearest rivals are Spurs who we play at 4PM today at White Hart Lane. The scum. It is more than the fact that Spurs are local rivals.

There is the little matter of Master Defoe. Judas.

---

3311 days ago

West Ham Win, go 6th and I cannot look at league tables like this

I had it down as 1 point at best. But Kevin Nolan returned to whatever St James’ Park is called these days to haunt his old club. West Ham defeaedt Newcastle one nil to record our first league win against the Magpies since October 31st 1998. Sam Allardyce ( sacked by Newcastle after eight months in charge) will have enjoyed the win. It seems to have been a close enough game and sometimes lady luck smiles on you. A good day at the office – the league away record now shows 2 wins, 2 defeats and a draw: no disgrace.

A test of how long you have followed West Ham is how you look at a league table. Naturally I start at the bottom. My daughter is now a fully trained supporter and in her second full season seems to think you start at the top.

---