The West Ham midfielder has managed just one goal in 16 games in the 2013-14 campaign and his manager is looking for him to hit the heights of last season once againSam Allardyce is counting on West Ham captain Kevin Nolan rediscovering his goalscoring touch when he returns from suspension.
The former Newcastle United man can usually be relied upon to chip in with goals from midfield, but he has only found the back of the net once this season and that was against Cardiff City on the opening day.
West Ham have struggled for goals this term, scoring only 14 in 17 Premier League games, and Allardyce has not ruled out a January move for Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan to add some firepower.
The Hammers boss was far from happy with Nolan when he was sent off for a reckless challenge on Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson in the 4-1 defeat at Anfield earlier this month.
Nolan returns from a three-match ban against Arsenal on Boxing Day, and Allardyce will be looking for his captain to make amends by scoring some important goals for the remainder of the season.
When asked if his side have missed their captain, he said: "I think we have. The most important thing we've missed with Kevin is his goals this year, only scoring one.
"Because we haven't produced the results he, like the all the other lads, has received a bit of criticism here and there.
"We have to accept it, take it on the chin and just focus on the fact that we know how well we can play and try to continue to get back to that level of performance.
"But more importantly, when you're in command of a game try and put a goal in the net to win it. Otherwise you end up where we are, we haven't scored enough goals this season."