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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Hammers goalscorer Kevin Nolan is quick to defend sent off team-mate Andy Carroll
West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan insists that if Andy Carroll’s red card during Saturday’s victory over Swansea City at Upton Park is not overturned, it will be a ‘diabolical’ decision.
Carroll set up both goals for Nolan in the 2-0 win, but just before the hour mark the striker tangled with Swans defender Chico Flores and seemed to make contact with the player with his forearm as they separated themselves.
Referee Howard Webb deemed it a red-card offence, much to the anger of Carroll and Nolan was quick to defend his team-mate and best friend.
“To be honest when I saw it first I didn’t think he had caught him at all,” said the two-goal hero. “I was quite surprised that he got the red card and I asked Howard Webb and he said that he had touched him, but what I have now seen on the replay, it is not good on Chico Flores’ part.”
The defender went to ground clutching his face, though replays suggested that any contact had been made on the top of his head in the battle of the two ponytails.
Nolan is certainly in no doubt about what should occur now.
“I think what will happen is that it will get rescinded,” said the skipper. “I think everyone who has seen it now agrees with that, even the opposition manager has said that it is not a red card. They have had their advantage, so I don’t think he should be punished anymore. I think it should be rescinded, so we can have him back, so I’m hoping that they now do the right thing because if they don’t it will be a travesty.”
The question seems to be whether Carroll had any intent in his actions, or whether it was purely accidental, but Nolan revealed just how disappointed the striker was with the decision.
“He was gutted obviously,” said Nolan. “He is an honest lad and he said it was definitely not a red card and you sort of know when someone has done something wrong.
“I know Andy really well and when I looked at him, I could see he was very, very surprised.”
West Ham will hear the decision on their appeal this week as they prepare for Saturday’s important trip to Aston Villa, but Nolan thinks there can only be one decision.
“It will be just absolutely diabolical if it is not overturned,” he said. “They have got to do the right thing.
“Everyone has seen it, there is not one person who has seen it on the replay who has said that it is a sending off.
“If someone is going to say that red card should stand, then that is just silly and there is no point in having these appeals.”