Mark Noble has a key role in the mess that is West Ham at the moment because “what’s going on in the dressing room will decide the team’s fate.”
Former boss Harry Redknapp has given an insight into the trials Slaven Bilic will be facing at the moment.
He said: “You’re not ever-present with the players when you’re manager because you’ve got so many different responsibilities. Of course you hear things and can read body language, but players always talk most honestly among themselves.
“Most of the new signings aren’t getting into the team, so they will all have the hump. They’ll sit around wondering what they’re doing there. If you have a load of negative people moaning about the club and the manager, then West Ham are doomed.
“That’s where Noble has got to get even closer to Slaven. If there are things like that happening, then he needs to inform his manager. He’s not being a snitch – he’s got to tell Slaven because he needs to rely on his senior players.
“James Collins is another one who can help the manager – he’s a good lad and you know what you’re getting with him. Collins and Noble have to sort out any changing room problems themselves and if they can’t do that, then they have to go to Slaven and say “Listen, you’ve got one or two in there who aren’t with us. They aren’t pulling in the same direction as we are.” And they mustn’t be afraid to name them.
“Slaven needs to know who isn’t really with him and you’d think that because Noble wants to win so much for West Ham – it’s the club he lives and breathes – he could help get anyone out of the club who isn’t fighting for their lives alongside him.
“As a manager the hardest thing in the world is to hide the pressure you’re under from the players. You only had to look at Slaven on the touchline in the final few minutes against Arsenal last weekend – that wasn’t the same boy we saw last year.
“He’s got to lift himself because otherwise he won’t lift the players. Slaven is a good man but he has to find a way of changing the mood around the club and he just can’t do it alone.
“You don’t want negative people. Even the dinner lady, the stewards – you can’t have them walking around with long faces as it only then spreads further negativity. “