Leroy: Kouyate/Obiang link-up makes it tough for skipper


leroylogoWhichever way you look at it and whatever the real reasons for the decision it is right that Mark Noble will be rested for tomorrow’s match against Leicester.

He has needed it for some time and we’ve been told it’s due to injury along or the little TV outburst about fans not understanding the game.

Personally I think it’s a mixture of the two and for the record I want to say this: “No player, manager, chairman or anyone else at a football club should ever criticise the fans because they are the club and must never be talked down to.”

However, the bottom line is that Mark has looked a tired player and we now probably have the opportunity of seeing what many believe is the number one midfield partnership – Kouyate and Obiang – in action.

Whatever the outcome I believe we have reached the stage where Mark Noble will be treated not as an automatic selection anymore but as a squad man and that’s exactly how it should be.

Tomorrow Slaven has everybody available to him and no necessity to over analyse as he may have been getting into the habit of doing with injuries.

He simply needs to do the obvious and that means:

O Byram at right back

O Kouyate and Obiang in the middle

O Antonio back out on the right wing

O and Ayew alongside Carroll.

For me the team absolutely picks itself and I believe we will get a result although with the Foxes in great form it may only be a draw.

City will be buzzing and ready to have a go after a great run of results including their fabulous achievements in Europe.

They are back to playing as they did last season so Slav knows what to expect. It will be a very entertaining win and whilst I expect a draw against a team that hasn’t won on the road all season, a win is more than possible.

This is a big weekend for the manager and he could easily know exactly what is his best team should that midfield work and Ayew click with Carroll.

And given that Diafra Sakho should be back within the next two weeks ¬†there can’t be too many excuses for a poor finish

Leroy’s prediction: Irons 1 Leicester City 1¬†

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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


  • Roman says:

    Before the exclusion of Noble I thought we didn’t have a snowball’s against Leicester.Now I believe we can get a result.IMHO

    • Hammersone says:

      That’s ridiculous to think just cause nobes isn’t playing we will win now..

      • Roman says:

        Well because of Noble’s inclusion other key players like Kouyate are played out of position and the whole team suffers.Not so ridiculous after all.

  • Hammersone says:

    Leroy – Are you saying then that it’s fine for fans (or so called fans) to troll noble on twitter and for him to receive dogs abuse and constant criticism for weeks and months on end then?? And in my opinion unjustified as there’s been worse players than him this season..
    I think Leroy that you should research social media a bit further, go on West Ham’s own site and see some of the comments..
    Regardless whether you rate noble or not, someone with his ability and comittment to the West Ham cause should never be disrespected like he has by just shows doesn’t it how many bloody idiots follow our club..
    West Ham family????

    • essexirons says:

      Where does it say it’s ok to troll Noble? But fans are allowed to voice their opinions on players & just because they are different to yours doesn’t make them ridiculous. Isn’t fan sites the very place where opinions can be voiced?
      Noble doesn’t deserve a place in the team based on his performances so far this season, it doesn’t matter how hard he tries.

      • Hammersone says:

        leroy doesn’t mention the constant abuse/criticism that Noble has been receiving but only Noble speaking back to defend himself, which according to Leroy you must never do.. .if Leroy listens to the interview in full Nobles comments were in general not solely towards West Ham fans..
        I think you’re missing the point essexirons, wheaher you rate Noble or not, someone who has shown the commitment and loyalty over 16 years or whatever it is should never be disrescpted the way he has been..

  • Stan The Man says:

    Hammersone it has been my experience that the so called West Ham Family is actually a load of old bull when it comes to social media
    Im happy to say it lives and breathes in our normal every day life but on the internet forget it lol

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    Now that Obiang has finally arrived, he and Kouyate should be a very good pairing; but only if they can show some collective steel and composure in front of our defence. It’s ok to tlk about what they can do going forward, but the most important part of their job is holding on to the ball and portecting our defence.
    The best one to take charge and show the responsiility needed is not Kouyate.
    Step up to the plate Obiang and become a legend.

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    Also come back soon Nobes ( fresh and re-generated ). You are still vital to the squad and team.

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