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Bilic faces big Noble decision

6MarkNobleSlaven Bilic is facing the biggest selectiondecision  his West Ham reign as he heads into yet another crucial match against Crystal Palace.

And it centres on the captain Mark Noble who having started every game in pre-season and since could be rested after showing nothing like his best form.

Word from the training ground is that Pedro Obiang is set for a run of games and that the manager is wrestling with the Noble issue having subbed him several times this season.

Any thoughts of allowing Obiang to leave either on loan or permanently in the next transfer window have now been firmly shelved.

Noble’s form has been under the spotlight among the fans all season and with Cheik Kouyate showing the first signs of a return to his best, Havard Nortveidt fit and Manu Lanzini looking for an early return it could be that the skipper will be rested with the Senegal midfielder and Obiang forming the midfield pairing.

We were told earlier today that Bilic is ready to make radical decisions as he showed when plunging Michail Antonio into central striker’s role in the hunt for the Irons second win of the season.

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The manager made it clear at a meeting with the players ahead of the Middlesborough game that he was ready to shake things up and not pick players on reputations.

He was as good as his word having dropped Lanzini  although the Argentne looks certain to return for sadly misfiring Tore.

Noble however could be a casualty as the boss looks to find a winning formula.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

7 comments on “Bilic faces big Noble decision

  1. Here’s my 5 for midfield……… Antonio, Obiang, Lanzini, Kouyate anf Payet

  2. No brainer … Noble is finished . Brig in some young blood with ” legs “

  3. Noble does look as though he needs a rest , but maybe it’s the confidence thing that is plaguing us at the moment . Anyway , I agree with TRB . We need a fix and maybe this is it .
    Again Bilic must call the shots and pull the trigger . He was constantly shunned by England managers despite many calls for him to be selected , now maybe we are seeing why . It’s up to Noble to up his game .

  4. I think he also faces a big decision with Kouyate other than one game he has been poor, if Nordveidt is fit I would drop them both and put Nordveidt and Fernandes in against Palace, Fernandes can be a box to box midfielder he also demands the ball and passes, then have Antonio and Payet out wide. Alternatively could just put Fernandes and Obiang in play with Payet and Feghouli on the wings Antonio and Zaza up top. I don’t see it happening though, does anyone else ? Most likely Noble and Kouyate will be given another chance which imo would be very unfair to all the others, that have waited patiently for their chance, you could also argue it is time for Zaza to be dropped and Fletcher or Callieri to get a shot.

  5. Drop Koyate I’m afraid. He has not been himself this season, not contributed and been generally poor. He does not close players down or pick up his man at all. This has directly led to pressure on the defence and a number of goals. I like him as a character in the team but am starting to question what he adds on the pitch. Noble on the other hand, may be a bit slower this season but does hold and distribute the ball a lot better.

  6. Both Nobes and Chek have struggled at the start of this season, can’t argue with that. But Chek has a goal scoring threat with head and boot and when he is on song (no pun intended) he is a great player. Concern is neither are tracking back with pace. But if we can see that then I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Slav either. He sees them all in training daily and he will be working hard on fixing all manner of issues including central midfield and box to box. I’m not convinced that moving too far away from what worked so well last year is the answer here. One big win and we will be flying again.

    • The players need a rocket up DM Jimbo, whilst I would like to see Kouyate back at his best, I like Noble and he had his best season last year but on the pitch as a captain I don’t think he does enough, in honesty it’s a very tough spot for Slav and the team as a whole need to step it up and play like men, being collectively responsible and all giving 100% the team lacks leadership and only Slav will know if the characters are up to that, I do agree with you though a couple of good results could change the complexion and attitude a lot 🙂

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