A West Ham fan gives his opinion on Kevin Nolan, following his move from Newcastle.
‘Forever West Ham’ website: “Nolan …the club’s marquee summer signing has proved an enigmatic capture to say the least. Brought to the club to replace the talismanic Scotty Parker and to help the club achieve its sole goal of the season: promotion back to the land of milk, honey and match of the day; just as he had done at Newcastle in an almost identical situation.
“During that season for the Toon, Nolan resembled his fellow Scouser Steven Gerrard in his pomp, coming up with equalisers, winners and long range screamers. Leading by example he skippered Newcastle as they swept all before them to reclaim their place in the Premier League with relative ease; scooping the Championship player of the year award in the process.
“But after 20 games it’s fair to say that the Nolan who was so inspirational for Newcastle in their hour of need has yet to materialise. I feel so far Nolan has done alright; he’s got six goals from midfield so far this season and is our 2nd top scorer behind Carlton Cole.
“There have been moments this campaign where Nolan has shown his undoubted quality; one only has to think back to the Brighton game, a contest in which we were simply under cosh all night…who capitalised on an error and immediately punished it with a lovely finish which turned out to be the winner? Or even more recently against Derby with the score locked at 1-1 Nolan produced a magnificent volley to finally swing the contest in our favour.
“When Nolan was signed it was portrayed that he was going to be a direct replacement for Parker; which I felt placed an unfair expectation on him as he’s a different type of player; whilst Scotty was an all action midfielder who excelled as a tireless box to box type who could do a bit of everything: tackle, score and create. Nolan is simply an attacking midfield player; he’s at his best when he’s getting on the end of chances that others create.
“Whilst I would say it’s unlikely Nolan will reach the level he did at Newcastle in this league for us I still believe he can prove his worth; the wonder-goal against Derby was proof indeed of the quality he possess. I’d also say that in terms of the captaincy he’s a massive step-up from Matthew Upson.”