With the news of Kevin Nolan becoming the new Leyton Orient player-manager, I was wondering – at what age do footballers actually think they're past it these days? Obviously he still has a love for the game or else he would leave football all together, but why make the step into management at the age of 33?
Personally, I think Nolan has another two years, at least, left in him to play at a good standard. I'm sure a number of Championship clubs were knocking on his door. Instead he chose a League Two club in a capacity where he'd still be playing but also managing.
Kevin Nolan was never blessed with pace and his game was always based on how good his football brain was, so other than his body not recovering as quickly, his game wouldn't have changed a great deal and I still believe he could adapt to a higher level than League Two.
His appearances at West Ham decreased, but surely more opportunities elsewhere would have been on the table for him to play regular football, and at a higher level?
Nolan has been training with Leyton Orient since November and it might be very close to his home, which would make it ideal for him, so geographically it’s understandable, but where’s his ambition to rise once again following a disappointing exit from West Ham
London is a big place and I'm sure other club’s in a better position would have welcomed him with open arms. In the past few years, he's picked up a lot more injuries than earlier in his career which were basically non existent, but none were serious enough for him to drop down three leagues.
With the amount of money footballers earn these days, they can afford to retire early, which is a shame, but after watching an interview with David Bentley recently who retired when he was 29 because he fell out of love with the game, has commented on the pressures of a footballer with social media being a massive negative. Could the pressure have got to Kevin Nolan? So many questions and ultimately time will tell, but maybe he just wanted the easy life of being a player-manager?!?!?!
I'm sure Kevin Nolan’s clued up on all the pressures that a modern day manager faces, especially with Leyton Orient’s president Francesco Becchetti, who’s got rid of five other bosses since 2014.
Nolan’s is a big personality, a leader in the dressing room wherever he’s been before and he probably has the captain’s armband edged into his skin because he's worn it that many times, but can he transfer that into management? Ultimately time will tell, but it’s certainly a gamble by Orient and one that I, for one, will be keeping an eye on. Hopefully we’ll see that famous chicken dance again when he scores, that’s if he scores of course!
By Thomas Seabridge - Derby County fan - @