- Premier League
Nolan: Big Sam will lead West Ham into Europe
Kevin Nolan has backed Sam Allardyce as the man to continue taking West Ham forward and even help the club qualify for European football.
Allardyce got the Hammers promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs in his first full season at Upton Park and they look set to remain in the division but there has been some doubt about whether he will remain with the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The former Bolton and Blackburn manager has said he will not commit to a new deal until West Ham are mathematically certain to avoid the drop. Nolan, however, believes Allardyce is building for the long-term.
In a column for the Daily Mail he said: "Out of all the clubs who have come up to the Premier League and the teams who got relegated last year, Sam's the only manager who's still in the same job.
"And I'm hoping that's going to be the case for the time I'm here, certainly the next three years. This club will get better under his guidance.
"I built something with him at Bolton and that was such a fantastic ride to be on. All those fans will never forget those years because they were the finest. That's what he wants here.
"He wants to build something that when he leaves there is a legacy. If you give him that opportunity this club will be in the most positive place it can be, moving into the Olympic Stadium.
"We had European adventures with Bolton and by the time West Ham's move comes round we've got to be there. Facing some of the top players in Europe will only add to the excitement. I think we can achieve it with Sam at the helm."
Nolan also urged England manager Roy Hodgson to rethink his selection policy following the omission of Andy Carroll from his last squad.
Carroll, 24, was left out of the party to face San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup qualifiers but his versatility should make him an automatic selection for the national side, according to Nolan.
"For me it's a no brainer, he should be in every squad. He's totally different to every other centre forward England can pick," the West Ham captain added.
"He can lead the line really well if you want to start him, or if you're struggling and holding on for a 1-0 against a team, he's someone who you can throw on and get the ball up to. If the opposition are bombarding you, he'll win headers from corners.
"He proved it in front of Roy Hodgson against West Brom that he should be in every meet up. But that's only my opinion. You'd have to ask Roy why he isn't."