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Sam: Irresponsible Nolan cost us game


West Ham United's Kevin Nolan. Picture credit: Phil Cole/PA Wire

West Ham United's Kevin Nolan. Picture credit: Phil Cole/PA Wire

West Ham United's Kevin Nolan. Picture credit: Phil Cole/PA Wire

"IRRESPONSIBLE" captain Kevin Nolan cost West Ham a priceless victory at Fulham thanks to his red card, according to manager Sam Allardyce.

A furious Allardyce slammed the experienced midfielder for losing his cool in kicking out at Fulham's Fernando Amorebieta.

Nolan was dismissed for kicking the defender's calf off the ball in West Ham's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Craven Cottage yesterday.

The 31-year-old was also sent off for a lunge at Jordan Henderson in West Ham's 4-1 defeat at Liverpool on December 7.

Hammers boss Allardyce said he will review Nolan's captaincy, admitting he cannot fathom his long-term skipper's recent behaviour.

"I just don't quite understand where he's lost his cool and why it's happened," said Allardyce, who saw his side squander an early lead.

"I know the centre-half fouled him, and I also know that (referee) Mark Clattenburg didn't give a free kick and he should have done. But it's still not an excuse for what Kevin did, and he ends up getting himself sent off."


The Hammers led through Mohamed Diame's seventh-minute strike but Steve Sidwell levelled before Nolan's dismissal, with Dimitar Berbatov then scoring the second-half winner.

But Allardyce felt his side should have capitalised on their early advantage, and Nolan was again to blame.

"He was involved in a real key moment that was looking good for us in terms of the header on the far post that would have sent us two-nil up," he added.

"After a great start we looked like we could get another one. But when you have a man sent off it gets very difficult indeed.

"So he's responsible for us probably losing the game... there's no doubt about that. There's something wrong with his mentality at the minute."

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen said: "We definitely deserved the result because we had plenty of chances."