He’s Still Got Legs
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 3 May 2019 at 6:20pm
Written by: @FredDWHU
Mark Noble has been at West Ham for over 14 years now. Even at 31 years of age, he’s still a regular starter – and the game against Spurs showed why.
With his 59 passes on the day, he controlled the game from start to finish, and yet, amongst the fanbase he divides opinions, with many people believing that his legs are gone and he’d be easy to replace. However, this season has shown how important Mark is to the team. Against Everton when we lost 2-0, Mark didn’t play and we struggled massively to keep the ball throughout the game.
Without Mark in the team, our options to fill in for him right now are Obiang, Wilshere or Carlos Sanchez – and with Wilshere and Sanchez being injured for the majority of the season, that has left us with only Obiang, who just isn’t good enough anymore. Compare that Everton performance to the one against Sours at the weekend, and we look like a completely different team.
Pellegrini wants us to play a passing game and Mark is perfect for that. He always provides an option for the Centre Backs, and when he receives the ball he has the ability to ping it to either wing. He also showed his ability to find the attackers’ runs and made some superb passes throughout the game. The main argument against Noble is that ‘his legs are gone,’ but when you have a player like Rice behind you, you don’t need to do as much running and he can leave the constant pressure to Snodgrass in front of him who doesn’t stop running all game.
The midfield system that we played worked perfectly and benefits all three midfielders. Rice can stay deeper and sit in front of the defence, blocking and stopping all the attacks which is one of his strengths, Noble can roam throughout the midfield, making an option for any player that has the ball and then he can ping the ball side to side to keep the team ticking and Snodgrass can press the opposition to force them to make a mistake. If he can’t ,then he then sprints back to form the midfield three again. This system worked perfectly against Spurs and it allowed us to give them no space yet still be solid defensively.
Although some fans want Noble to be dropped from the team, there is one thing that every West Ham fan loves him for. His 110% effort every time he puts on the shirt. Coming from Canning Town, he bleeds Claret and Blue and he is a fan living every West Ham fan’s dream. Eventually, Mark will retire and will go down as a West Ham modern legend. So while he’s still good enough to play every week, we need to appreciate what he has done and what he is doing for the team week in week out.