Kevin Nolan deserves better from West Ham fans

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Kevin Nolan was finally put out of his misery last month as he left West Ham United by 'mutual consent' after a tumultuous four years at the club.

As long as I can remember, I cannot think of any players at the Boleyn Ground being subjected to, and being the target of the fans' abuse and frustrations, as the likeable Liverpudlian was in his time with the club.

Upon joining the club in June 2011, Nolan said he had ''always enjoyed playing at Upton Park.''


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In knowledge of many of the home supporters' attitude against him, I wouldn't mind guessing that he enjoyed playing at the ground more when he was an opponent of the Hammers. His first season went well - top scorer from midfield. It was a real coup for the recently relegated Hammers. Nolan was on the cusp of the England squad, having had good years with Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United.

And his reasons for joining? ''I've come to West Ham because of the tradition of the club and everything about it,'' he said. One of those traditions is showing 'passion' - which I'm guessing is a requisite for players to abide by in any team if that club's supporters are going to respect them. Nolan showed it in abundance, but it was still not enough for many fans.

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Nolan did his bit for West Ham

He was not the quickest. Missing a gilt-edged chance in the play-off final win against Blackpool is a frequent example given about his supposed ineffectiveness. But he was also the club's top goalscorer for two seasons in a row (2012-13 and 2013-14).

When they were in the doldrums having just been relegated to the Championship, he helped sufficiently chipping in with 12 league goals. West Ham should not forget this and maybe they won't, but we could have done without the nastiness in the meantime.

But anyway, where to now for Nolan? He is training with Leyton Orient to keep himself fit. If he were to officially join the club then that would be a bigger scoop for the O's than the one West Ham gained when he joined them four years back. I cannot imagine a Premier League club coming in for him, but a Championship one would suit him.

Burnley would have been a good move

My first thought was Burnley - not because they wear claret and blue - because he is the sort of character and player their manager Sean Dyche likes. He could help make up an experienced and tough Scouse' midfield pairing with Joey Barton. Then again, you would have thought that they would have come in for him before if they were interested.

But as the season goes on and Dyche plays around with his team, it may just hit him that the experienced and tough free agent Nolan could be a great signing for the club, especially with over 40 league games left to play and the inevitable injuries that will come with it.

Queens Park Rangers are trying to get themselves back on their feet, particularly when it comes to recruitment, with attitude being a major issue when it comes bringing someone new into the dressing room after all the surliness and careless displays in recent years.

Nolan would be the opposite of that and he knows a few things about getting teams promoted to the top tier for good measure.

Who else? Well, any number of Championship clubs who can afford him, although I am sure he will take a drop in wages in order to get playing again. Not that this would be some kind of grand act of his behalf, but his selfless attitude on the pitch would be welcome at many a team.

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Leyton Orient
Kevin Nolan
West Ham United
Premier League

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