Time to stop putting the boot into a great Iron


Mark Noble spent part of his yesterday watching our under 18s demolish Norwich City  handing  the Canaries kids a 5-0 youth cup thumping .

And that’s why we love the guy. He’s involved in every area of activity at this club and it’s why I get angry when some  choose to judge him on where he is as a first team player right now.

He knows, we know and everybody else inside the club knows that he is almost at the end of a career which has seen him serve us so well.

No, he’s not the player he was – of course – and in a season when we are going for unparalleled top four glory we are allowed to say so.

Mark has decided though he can give the club some value for the next 12 months and given his record we have to trust him on that – he is not going to do anything to harm the club he loves.

But some of the comments I read here and there about another year being a sentimental decision,  soft and out of order make me totally and utterly sick.

Who are these people to judge a bloke who has given everything he’s got down the years with throwaway comments like: “Winners know when to stop.”

I bet those kids who saw him turn up to watch them yesterday were as thrilled as teenagers can get.

There’s little room for him in the midfield of the first team game to game but if he reckons he still has something to offer I’ll go with that.

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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


  • zahamoore says:

    Great post Hugh – I have said before that Moyes has never struck me as sentimental – so I am sure that he sees value in having Nobes still around the first team – management and football is a lot more than just naming the starting XI and subs

    I will always value the immense contribution that Nobes has made and continues to make


    • Taffyhammer says:

      Well said zahamoore. Mark has nothing to prove and Moyes is blessed to have him in reserve to be called upon as a reliable name on the team sheet. Better to have Mark Noble available than having to potentially ruin the career of a teenager by putting them into a situation of which they have no experience.
      Captain days are over. Will be particularly useful if we have to play in European competition next season.

  • tom says:

    spot on

  • Alan says:

    Noble has been a great servant for the club. But if his name wasn’t Mark Noble he wouldn’t be getting a new deal. Much like Balbuena and Fredericks most likely won’t be.

    I really hope we sign a couple of centre mids in the summer and just throw on Noble in less important games or for the odd 5 mins in games that are already won.

    The idea of Noble becoming a regular should one of Rice or Soucek get injured doesn’t bear thinking about. We’ve been very lucky this season in that respect, but every game Noble has started we’ve been crap.

  • Che says:

    Most will agree he has been a true servant to the club, will look back fondly at his career, and hope he remains involved with club, but it doesn’t change the facts he is not a premier league quality player anymore. So why are we paying him to be one?
    Opinions will quickly turn if we see him lumbering about on the pitch for any extended period next season.

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