West Ham shouldn’t panic over slow start says Nolan

You’ve heard it from the captain. Kevin Nolan has told his fellow Hammers that there is no cause for alarm despite the poor start to the season by the east London club.

Sometimes Nolan reminds me of a World War II Spitfire pilot, with his bryl-creamed hair, side parting and tally ho team talks. What Nolan seems to forget though is that the front end of his Spitfire is not firing on all cylinders! However, we must admire his team spirit, as this is what the club needs. [Read more…]

Kevin Nolan backs Andy Carroll for 2014 World Cup

Kevin Nolan is backing teammate Andy Carroll to make the England squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Skipper is backing ex Liverpool star Andy Carroll, who is out with a heel injury, despite not having played for the club since his record signing of £15M in the summer. [Read more…]

Will Nolan Be Key To Ravel Season?

Ravel Morrison arrived at West Ham United back in January 2012 in a deadline day deal from Manchester United with a reputation of having bags of natural talent and potential.

However, it soon became apparent Morrison was in danger of wasting his precocious talent with a series of off the field incidents and Twitter storms following him round like a bad smell. [Read more…]

Match Report: West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0

West Ham captain came to the Hammer’s rescue yesterday with a decisive goal that has got the irons out of the Premiership starting blocks with a win over Aston Villa.

Kevin Nolan came to West Ham’s rescue yesterday against Aston Villa and got us off to a great start. it happened just after 40 minutes when the West Ham captain found Ricardo Vaz Té’s cross and all Nolan had to do was guide the ball into an open net. Nolan’s goal get’s the Hammers off to a flyer – that all important first game of the season, too!

Big Sam Allardyce had this to say of his captain after the game:

“Kevin’s a goalscorer. A lot of people look at him as a midfielder.
“But he is a David Platt. He gets on the end of things, ghosts into the box without people understanding how he got there. It was through instinct he found that chance. While all the other players are standing watching, Kevin is on the move and he pops it into the back of the net.
“Kevin is as good as any striker in the box. He’s a great finisher and that’s his outstanding quality, proven over many years.”

Nolan’s goal caused a bit of a stir, too. The linesman raised his flag as he thought Vaz T´was in an offside position from Mark Noble’s free kick up the right side of the box. Vaz Té kept a cool head as Ref mike Dean over ruled the linesman and found Nolan running toowrds the net to slot home the only goal of the match.

The controversy was later extinguished as video footage found the ref to be totally correct in his decision. Before Nolan’s goal the Hammers were pretty poor and many a fan could be heard complaining about Allardyce’s long ball game. it’s early days yet lads, let’s see what Sam has got in store for the season!

West Ham had more chances than Villa and although the Brummie outfit had the greater possession they never looked like bothering West Ham too much.

So that’s round one over and West Ham have a win in the bag

Big Sam Hits Out At Tackle Hysteria

That’s right, big Sam Allardyce the hammers’ boss has hit out at the “hysteria” surrounding two-footed tackles.

West Ham is without their captain Kevin Nolan for the next three matches after he was sent off for a two footed “lunge” at Millwall’s Jack Smith last weekend. Having said that, Man City’s Vincent Kompany was also given his marching orders last month after cleanly winning the ball from Manchester United’s Nani. Allardyce therefore, is understandably unhappy with the referees’ current interpretation of such tackles.

Allardyce said:

“There’s a hysteria in the game in this country that every two-footed challenge is a red card and the referees are being put under pressure to give a red card, whether it’s a dangerous challenge or not”.

“I can’t remember a player being stretchered off from a two-footed challenge – at West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton, in 10 years of management, I can’t remember a two-footed challenge, going to ground, injuring a player.

“There’s a hysteria about it unfortunately, but I can’t say that it’s dangerous.

“It looks bad, but we are not on about looking bad.

“There are tackles that don’t look bad that are far worse than that, believe me.”

So there you have it. Sometimes it makes you wonder if football is still a man’s game. I believe in “going in hard” but not leg breaking hard if you know what I mean. But with all these fairies jumping up and down at the fist sight of a “lunge” and the ref being taken in by their charade, it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?

Kevin Nolan Out For Three

This is a bit of a blow for the Hammers: Kevin Nolan is to sit out the iron’s next THREE matches!

kevin-nolan-sent-off

West Ham United opted not to appeal against the red card their skipper picked up on Saturday’s 2-1 win at Upton Park against old foes Millwall. Nolan picked up the red card just after 9 minutes of play and left his team to play 81 minutes against a Millwall side who were “up for it”.

The red card was shown to the hammer’s skipper for the two footed lunge at Millwall’s Jack Smith.

West Ham 3 Derby County 1

Today West Ham won again, but it was another game where a strong second-half showing was needed, as the Hammers made it five wins from six to cut the gap on leaders Southampton to just two points.

Carlton Cole, one of two changes in the starting eleven, headed in superbly after a right-wing cross from Joey O’Brien, the other alteration from the week before.

Kevin Nolan then lashed in a stunning volley for his first goal in the claret and blue at Upton Park. Mark Noble’s penalty made the game safe, meaning the only low note was a hamstring injury for Sam Baldock. On the plus side, Matt Taylor returned off the bench for a late cameo after his calf injury.

Match Report from WHUFC.com:

For Big Sam, there was much to savour about his team’s 3-1 success which made it 16 points out of a possible 18. “We have become the second-half team,” he said. “At the start of the season we were the first-half team, scoring within 15 minutes of nearly every game.

“I have to say it was tough going today in the first half. It was probably down to the system we played, the 4-4-2. We weren’t controlling midfield enough and we weren’t really at the races compared to our normal form.

“The second half performance was more like we know we can be. We saw the best of our players, better movement, better options and more fluent football.

“It is always difficult to recover when you go down one nil. We have done that twice on the trot now, not that I want to carry on like that mind. It was a great win in the end, a great second-half performance and off we go to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.”

Baldock’s loss was also keenly felt, with the striker having been the most potent threat in the opening stages. “Sam got in a couple of times,” said the manager. “His injury was another reason for our first-half performance.

“One we weren’t playing very well and two, Sam had been our strongest player for sneaking behind their back four. We had him in a couple of times in the first 15 minutes but Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan couldn’t get a grip of the game.

“So we put Jack Collison into midfield, changed to a 4-3-3 and those three talented players got us control of the match. It worked an absolute treat and they never got out of their half in the second half.”

With Julien Faubert turning in a man of the match display., the manager was asked to describe the transformation in the Frenchman’s form. “It is about the atmosphere we have, and the culture we are building at the training ground. It is about being comfortable with each other and looking forward to training. Working hard and enjoying all the benefits together by producing results.

“Julien has felt comfortable in the environment for the first time. I appreciate his ability and of course someone like Julien, we had to get the best out of if we could because it was big money when he came here. Now we are seeing the benefit of him playing consistently and consistently well.

“He was well deserving of the man of the match award and long may it continue. The bottom line is he is working hard. He is creating so many opportunities to receive the ball and hurt the opposition, that is the real benefit for Julien.”

The manager also reserved special praise for Freddie Piquionne, with another star turn off the bench after his goal at the Ricoh Arena last week. He was fouled in the area for the penalty, after tremendous build-up play by Faubert and then Collison to set him free

“For the second time, Freddie Piquionne has come on and done a really good job. The only disappointing thing is he should have scored again. He needs to crown a good performance off with a goal.

“He had two headers and one he ran into with his touch. We know he is getting the chances which is the pleasing thing.”

The manager was delighted with Nolan’s “absolutely brilliant” goal, and he was keen to remind that the skipper was not signed for his creative play, good as it can be, but as a match-winner and goalscorer from midfield who operates in the final third and in and around the penalty area.

“It was the goal of the game, and his first one here which is really pleasing. The fans saw his outstanding quality. To get one at home, I hope he can kick on from there.”

It remains to be seen what changes the manager may make at the Riverside on Tuesday, with Carlton Cole suffering from cramp in the closing stages and as Baldock is set to be out for a period of time. The likes of Papa Bouba Diop and Freddie Sears will be desperate to make the 16 as will Guy Demel, who was an unused substitute.

“It is just a disappointing loss with Sam. That is why you have to go with four strikers. At least we have Freddie, John Carew and Carlton Cole still to choose from. Bearing in mind where we came from today, I thought it was an outstanding recovery and an outstanding performance in the second half.”

So good news with The Hammers maintaining their fine form, Southampton we’re coming to get you!

Hammers On A High After Beating Brighton

Nolan Celebrates Netting WinnerWest Ham are on a high after beating Brighton 1 – 0 at their new stadium. Brighton had been in imperious form in their new digs so it was an excellent result to turn them over although it was a very hard fought victory.

Sam Allardyce paid tribute to the defensive resilience of his West Ham United after a dogged display was enough to earn all three points.

Kevin Nolan’s solitary strike on 17 minutes settled the contest. West Ham though were missing the creativity of David Bentley, Matt Taylor and Henri Lansbury to injury and had to give away much in terms of possession. The likes of the recalled Mark Noble and Jack Collison to work overtime in midfield.

“It was an outstanding victory for us at a very difficult place to play,” Big Sam said. “They have a great crowd and atmosphere, so it is a great three points from us. Automatic promotion is generally determined on how many one-nil wins you can get and it is the same when you are trying to get in the higher end of the Premier League.

“You want to be fluent, score and be open like we have been in the previous games of course – we have scored four goals in four different games remember – but today we were a solid, hard-working unit of lads determined to try and bounce back from the disappointment at Southampton.”

Another good result, especially as we were missing some good players due to injury for this game. This is a game we would definitely have lost under previous managers in my opinion.

On another note it’s nice to see Nolan getting on the score sheet, he scored plenty for Newcastle in their promotion winning season so let’s hope he can do the same for us.

Big Sam Launches New Store

Sam Allardyce led a trio of his West Ham United players to the new store at Westfield Stratford City.

The manager, Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Jack Collison met hundreds of supporters that flocked into the shop from 2pm on Tuesday to mark the official opening of the biggest shopping centre in Europe.

The quartet signed all manner of items purchased in store. Scores of journalists and photographers turned up to see the big launch event, with the Hammers buzz spreading around the state of the art centre.

Big Sam said: “It is great to see everyone turn out for this new store. It is in a good location and it is always nice to meet fans face to face. They gave us their best wishes for the weekend and hopefully we will do them proud.”

With the store now open seven days a week, fans should look out for more great promotions and also a new loyalty card scheme running from today.

Skipper Kevin said: “The store looks really good and it was great to see so many fans here on the first day of its opening. By coming along, they are supporting the club and we are really grateful to them for turning out. We were as happy to meet them as they were to see us.”

I popped down to the store myself and it really was buzzing and very manic! Great to see how much support The Hammers have!