What does the future hold for Sam Allardyce's leading man Kevin Nolan at West Ham?

Kevin Nolan

As the dust settles on Sam Allardyce's departure from West Ham United, where does it leave the future of his leading man and the club's skipper Kevin Nolan?

The former Newcastle man has gone from pivotal to pitiful in the eyes of some West Ham United fans who think his time at the club should, like Allardyce's, be brought to an end.

Life at West Ham could not have started better for Nolan when he made the decision to drop down to the Championship in 2011.

At the time, and on a number of occasions since, Nolan made no secret of the fact that he liked the idea of working with Big Sam again, particularly after their time together at Bolton.

With Nolan running things on the pitch in the Hammers' promotion winning campaign and then firing in another 10 goals on their return to the Premier League, it seemed Newcastle had made a big mistake letting him go for just £5 million.

At that time if you spoke to any West Ham fan they would tell you he was the best captain the club has had for years, that he was Big Sam's lieutenant on the pitch.

Now, the reaction from some fans is rather more cynical. In the last couple of seasons, Nolan has become something of a scapegoat in East London.

With just one goal all of last season - his equal worst ever return - West Ham fans - not usually shy in making themselves heard - have let Nolan know just where they see his future.

Last season with a raft of new signings came new pressure for Nolan to hold onto his place. It is a pressure he did not thrive under.

The Liverpudlian has more than repaid the £5 million West Ham forked out on him that summer in 2011 and has quite literally been worth his weight in goals since.

But the goals have dried up along with his influence on matches and now without his trusted boss calling the shots he looks likely to be on his way out of the club.

All three promoted clubs Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City could do a lot worse than try to tempt the Hammers to part company with their current captain while a drop down to a promotion chasing Championship side, much like he did when joining the Hammers, could also be on the cards.

Nolan has been uncharacteristically quiet since Allardyce's departure after the final day defeat at Newcastle United.

And it could well be a precursor to his own impending departure when the transfer window swings open in a month's time.

What should West Ham do with Kevin Nolan this summer?
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