Matthew Etherington’s Exclusive Column: I was blowing out of my backside!
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 2 April 2016 at 9:17am
First off I’d like to talk about Mark Noble’s testimonial on Monday. What an amazing day, I truly felt very privileged to be involved and the atmosphere around the ground and in the stadium was something I’ll never forget. No proof was ever needed but it just goes to show how special this club really is, the turn out by the fans and players was incredible and just shows the player and man Mark Noble is.
On a personal note it was an unreal feeling being back on the Bloeyn turf again, albeit I was blowing out my backside within five minutes!! I had another back problem in training leading up to Monday and to top it off a sinus infection. So to say I wasn’t in peak condition is an understatement!! However, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. I had a great feeling of Deja Vu when going over to take a corner in front of the Trevor Brooking stand, I had been there many times before and it was a special moment with many good memories flooding back.
It was brilliant seeing so many old faces in the changing room before the game, it was like we hadn’t been away, the lads were in good form. Bellamy and Bowyer were ripping into each other as they did time and time again when at the training ground a few years ago, a special day all round.
It was so special being back at the club that I now support and I wanted to give something back to the fans who have supported me over the years. I have donated my match worn testimonial shirt, signed by the current first team to The West Ham Way. Make sure you have a look at this tweet to stand a chance of winning. https://twitter.com/WestHamWaycouk/status/715309707959930880
Regarding Nobe’s, I find it ridiculous how he hasn’t got an England call up by now. Roy Hodgson was asked in mid-week about that very topic and I found his response infuriating. He compared the situation with Grant Holt and how everyone was asking for his inclusion before the last World Cup. You cannot compare the two players, surely. With all the respect in the world to Grant Holt, he had one very good season in the Premier League, Nobe’s has been consistently performing well in the Premier League for a number of years now and this season arguably is his best yet. Hodgson says he picks players on form, yet time and time again he contradicts himself and in fact does the opposite. Granted, he does have a a lot of decent players to choose from in midfield and attacking areas but I feel right now there aren’t many better English midfielders than Mark Noble and this international break just gone was the perfect time for Hodgson to take a look at him.
Back to the Premier League this weekend and what a huge few weeks it is for the football club. It has already been a fantastic season in many respects but if the lads can continue their form, it could be one of the best in the club’s recent history! The FA Cup replay is a huge game, the last cup game under the famous Boleyn lights, I’ll be there and cannot wait. Crystal Palace are the visitors this weekend and I fully expect a comfortable win, here’s hoping!!