With the recent signing of Pablo Fornals, where does that leave our beloved captain?
Mark Noble recently turned 32. Ever since we left Upton Park in 2016, fans are mixed about what he brings to the team.
At one stage, we had a run of games (at least 11) where we couldn’t buy a win without him in the team. With over 400 appearances for the team, only Paolo Di Canio has scored more Premier League goals for West Ham. Since our move to London Stadium, fans can’t decide whether he should be starting games.
Obviously, he can’t carry on playing forever and will eventually need to be replaced, but while he is here and still playing at the level he is, he deserves to start and captain the team.
The reason he doesn’t always perform at his best is because he needs rest. Like any professional does. For the last few years, he hasn’t had the required rest, either through injuries to other players or other circumstances. When he has had to miss a game, the team has struggled and nine times out of ten, the next game he plays in involves a very good performance.
He is no longer a spring chicken, but with the right rotation, Mr West Ham should have a good season ahead of him. Having players in the club like Jack Wilshere (if he stays fit) and Declan Rice gives us so many different combinations to play, before even thinking about Pedro Obiang (who may yet leave), Carlos Sanchez, Josh Cullen or any of the young players coming through.
Noble isn’t always going to run through ten players and score a ‘worldie’, but when fit and firing, gives everything on the pitch to get the team to win.
He is far from done. 32 is next the 23 after all.
By Stephen Barrows (@StephenBarrows)
[Featured image from whufc.com]