West Ham United captain Mark Noble has insisted that the anger from the club’s fans “won’t go away” after the weekend’s incredible scenes at the London Stadium.
A number of angry Hammers’ fans took to the pitch during Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley throughout the 90 minutes – one of whom chose to directly challenge Noble face-to-face, a confrontation that didn’t end well for the invader who was promptly thrown to the deck by the West Ham captain.
Fans also chose to picket the directors box where the club’s controversial owners, David Gold and David Sullivan were sat, the later of whom was hit by a coin thrown from the stands.
An investigation by the FA has since been launched following the chaotic scenes at the London Stadium, however Noble says he doesn’t believe the fan’s anger will go away any time soon, insisting many of them have been unhappy “for a long time”.
“It seems to me there is so much anger out there that it is not going to go away. I don’t think it is.” said Noble.
“It’s well-known that West Ham fans aren’t happy at the minute, and they haven’t been happy for a long time.
“As soon as we conceded, the atmosphere turned and the fans showed what they think… they’ve had enough. That’s what it looked like to us.
“No matter what happened, it seemed to me they were planning on doing something.”
Speaking on the incident involving himself and the cap-bearing fan who chose to confront him, Noble believes it is more than within his right to protect himself in such situations.
“People have got to realise we are footballers and we have got to protect ourselves,” Noble told Sky Sports after the game.
“Obviously, a number of fans got on the pitch. I am going to protect myself for sure.”
Noble is not expected to receive any retrospective punishment for his actions at the weekend.