In last nights FA Cup third round draw with Everton, it was clear that losing Winston Reid is going to be a huge blow to our club, but the one thing that stood out more than anything is that Kevin Nolan is finished.
Nolans performance can only be described as appalling. But the sad fact is that it’s not his fault, it’s simply due to the fact he can no longer compete at this level.
He could not keep up with play, his man – and when he did have the ball he looked lost. His performance lead to us not walking away from Goodison Park with a victory, it’s as simple as that.
There were many occasions in the match when West Ham were in control and suddenly a Nolan error put them through on goal – thus lifting the desperate Everton fans, putting us all of a sudden on the back foot.
However the more worrying aspect of Nolans shockingly poor performance was Sam Allardyce’s insistence of keeping his best mate on the pitch.
Allardyce, for whatever reason, decided to stick with Nolan for the 94 minutes, despite the midfielder looking tired in the 3rd.
In fact he opted to substitute Morgan Amalfitano, who in my opinion could have been man of the match had it not been for the display shown by the soon-to-be-departing Winston Reid.
It was clear more than ever than Nolans time at the top has come to an end. He has been an excellent servant to our club, and to this league. And I have no doubts he can still do a good job at Championship level.
But Sam Allardyce must now see this as Nolans final season with us. He’s no longer a dangerous player for the right reasons – in fact he’s now a liability.