Nolan has Bonzo spirit

Sam Allardyce has tipped Kevin Nolan to bring Billy Bonds-style leadership to the Hammers cause next season.

The manager was asked whether the club's new midfield recruit could be the one to show the drive and determination demonstrated by Bonds during his incredible Boleyn Ground career between 1967 and 1988.

Allardyce said: "He is a great leader on and off the field. It is very important that we get a team spirit and unity.

"He could be that [Bonds style character], but I don't want to put too much pressure on him."

The manager, who helped Nolan rise to prominence during their time together at Bolton Wanderers, said he expected the 28-year-old to be "a much better player than one I last remember."

He added: "He is in the prime of his career. He has chosen to pay me a really good honour. Not just that he wants to play for West Ham but that he wants to play for me again because he enjoyed his time. Hopefully we will both benefit by that."