Mark Noble says in tonight's Evening Standard that this has been the hardest season of his 13-year career. His form has certainly suffered with the stadium move and he's looked nonplussed by the larger pitch at times, though he's not to blame for the Payet problems or West Ham's injuries. But it's a little surprising to see Phil Parkes say in the latest issue of Blowing Bubbles that, "Mark's day is done."
Nobes is still only 29 and was having some cracking games this time last year — remember his goals at Norwich and West Brom? Yes, he first came into the team when he was 17, but wasn't a regular until he was 20. He's still got a lot left as his game has never relied on pace. I would have liked to see his experience used against Hull and think he should come into the side tomorrow, as he offers more defensively than Feghouli and Snodgrass. Even when things have gone badly this season Mark's still shown character to score the winning penalties against Hull and Burnley and a free kick that drifted into the net at Southampton.
Nobes makes a good point to the Standard that, "I've been here 19 years so West Ham fans are bored with seeing me… You can have a player who looks fantastic on the eye, does four step-overs, but doesn't track back and help his left back or central midfielder." Hmm, wonder who he means?
Above all he's, as they say, West Ham through and through, a one-club man who when we're in a scrap is going to fight for the club, which is going to be very important in the next few weeks. Having missed two games he just might come back refreshed and play a big role between now and the end of the season.