Kevin Nolan can help West Ham shake off 'soft' tag

Kevin Nolan

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce should bring Kevin Nolan back into the team against Chelsea.

The Metro branded West Ham ‘soft’ after the defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend, which left the side and manager Sam Allardyce under heavy pressure.

The Hammers went down 3-1 at home after conceding three headed goals, which left the home fans frustrated at Upton Park.

Big Sam will be looking at changes he can make ahead of the difficult game against Chelsea this week and one player he should bring back into the side is midfielder Kevin Nolan.

Nolan was an unused sub in the game against Palace, but he’s someone who represents the exact opposite of any ‘soft’ tag which can be aimed at the club.

He has leadership experience, which means he’ll demand the best from every player on the pitch and he’s a player who isn’t afraid to put himself about over the course of 90 minutes.

He’s also a very good player in terms of how he organises and structures the midfield, which is significant considering the likeliness that Chelsea will dominate possession this week.

That organisation will also come in handy when the side faces set pieces in difficult areas. He’ll ensure everyone knows their job and knows exactly who they are meant to be keeping an eye on.

The downside of Nolan coming back in is that it means West Ham are less likely to play a slick brand of pass and move football.

He’s a rigid and particular player, who plays in a certain way which allows the Hammers to be more direct over the course of a game.

Maybe that’s what they need at the moment, as they go hunting results in the Premier League which will improve their chances of securing a European place over the rest of the season.

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