Which of these West Ham stars should replace Kevin Nolan as captain for new era under Slaven Bilic?

Mark Noble

With West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan expected to be on his way out of the club this summer the job of replacing him as captain is up for grabs.

As the dust settles on Sam Allardyce's departure from West Ham United and the appointment of Slaven Bilic, the future looks bleak for Big Sam's leading man.

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.

Nolan has made no secret of the fact that he likes working with Big Sam and he has been uncharacteristically quiet since Allardyce's departure after the final day defeat at Newcastle United.

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 have been quick to get on the Liverpudlian's back.

To his credit Nolan has helped foster a brilliant team spirit at a club that was on its knees when he first joined in 2011.

His goals since have helped the Hammers get promoted and consolidate as a Premier League side once again.

But new boss Bilic's first move was to sign Spanish U21 international midfielder Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria. And the club is being linked with a host of younger, more gifted midfield stars such as Paris St Germain's Yohan Cabaye and Marseille's Dimitri Payet.

Should Nolan leave the club, as is expected, a new captain will need to be appointed for what is one of the most historic seasons in the club's history - their last at the famous Boleyn Ground.

It is also a season which will see the East Londoners compete in Europe for the first time in nearly a decade, so it promises to be a long, tough campaign.

The most likely candidates for the West Ham captaincy are Mark Noble, Winston Reid and James Collins.

Noble is a dyed-in-the-wool Hammer from birth and more importantly a first team regular. He would be a popular choice with his fellow Hammers fans but is coming off the back of one of his worst seasons personally in the claret and blue.

And he too will face increased competition for places from the likes of Obiang and other targets West Ham are likely to sign.

Reid is the club's best defender and probably their most valuable asset too. The quiet Kiwi leads by example and is a real fans' favourite at Upton Park.

He was linked with some of the Premier League's top clubs before signing a new six-year deal with the club back in January.

Collins is a very experienced international and Premier League performer who is on the verge of signing a two-year contract extension so good were his performances last season.

His knowledge of European football with both West Ham on their last outing nine years ago and more recently Aston Villa, as well playing all over Europe for Wales, means he has all the experience needed for the job.

An outsider for the captain's armband could also be cult hero goalkeeper Adrian who is very vocal and always seen encouraging his teammates and barking our orders from the back.

He will also be working with new 'keeper coach Chris Woods who elevated the likes of Tim Howard and David De Gea on to new levels of performance during his time at Everton and Manchester United respectively.

Who should be the next West Ham captain?
Mark Noble
Winston Reid
James Collins
Adrian
Kevin Nolan
Other
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