Noble Pulling The Hammers Together With Fine Play

Noble Pulling The Hammers Together With Fine Play

A month is a long time in football, a lot can change, especially around this time of year when the January transfer window rears it’s ugly head.

Turn back around a month and the mood around West Ham was a far different one than that going into the clash with West Brom at the London Stadium on Saturday.

After hidings at the hands of both Manchester clubs in January, without a goal scored in return, the club were at a low point.

Add to that the Dimitri Payet saga which, despite being well handled by the club at the time, caused a lot of problems around the club.

Fast forward a month and, with Payet gone and a squad unified, after a superb performance against Southampton at the weekend the club are back in the top half of the Premier League and looking up.

It was not that long ago that people were talking about the Hammers as being dragged into a relegation scrap with the likes of Sunderland, Hull and Swansea.

One man who has taken on the challenge of kicking on from the departure of Payet and bringing the side together is captain and club icon, Mark Noble.

Many were beginning to question the place of the academy graduate in the side not too long ago with him dropped to the bench for the loss against United at the London Stadium.

However, having looked lacklustre and bereft of ideas going forward a few weeks ago, the industrious midfielder has turned his, and the club’s, form on it’s head.

The 29-year-old looked to be near his best in the confident win over the Saints on Saturday, pulling the strings in midfield alongside Spaniard Pedro Obiang, supplying the likes of Andy Carroll, Michail Antonio and Robert Snodgrass ahead of him.

Slaven Bilic was full of praise for his side’s performance after the game, hailing them for doing all that he could have asked on the ball, most of which went through Noble.

With the club now looking well on the path to recovery from a frankly awful start to the season with trouble both on and off the pitch making the move to the new stadium as tough as it could have been, the captain will be keen to kick on and find his best form once again.

Those within the club, such as striker Andy Carroll in a recent interview with Jamie Redknapp, have praised their skipper for the way in which he has brought the side together in the wake of the Payet debacle, making it very clear that the training ground is a much better place to be since his departure.

It seems clear, then, that whilst the midfielder may not be quite the player he once was, he is nonetheless more important to the side on and off the pitch, especially at a time such as this term when the club are still looking to make the transition into a new era.