West Ham’s stalwart Kevin Nolan could face a challenge in earning his place back in the Hammers’ starting XI ahead of their game against a bruised Manchester United side at Old Trafford on Saturday, according to reports.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Nolan had this to say:
“No one is guaranteed a game,
“If you don’t play well there is someone breathing down your neck and that can only be good for the squad. If you want to get better you need that strength in depth.”
The competition that Nolan alludes to is surely something that helped the Hammers overcome a Liverpool side which will be vying for a very high finish again this term. They hassled and harried Liverpool very well and suffocated their usual explosive starts to games.
This could be a great ploy against a United side that saw the same thing done to them by Jamie Vardy in particular when they faced Leicester City last weekend. Expect United to come into this game with more conviction but if West Ham can recreate what they did against Liverpool it should make for a very interesting game.
Nolan is confident his side can get a result in the North West.
“United’s 5-3 defeat by Leicester was really strange. United conceded the sort of goals you wouldn’t expect from them. To be 3-1 and lose 5-3 was a massive shock but we have to go there and impose ourselves on them, as we did against Liverpool. I’m really optimistic about the weekend.
“If we are up to the standard we showed against Liverpool, I can see us getting a good result up there.”
With the new midfield additions of Cheikhou Kouyate as well as Alex Song on loan Nolan has more competition in midfield this season. The 32-year-old can still pose an attacking threat but these signings in the West Ham midfield will undoubtedly make it more difficult as Nolan returns to full fitness from his shoulder injury.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.