West Ham skipper is hurting every bit as much as the supporters
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 September 2017
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Defeat was hard to take against Tottenham for Mark Noble on Saturday
When it comes to losing to Tottenham, you know there is one player who feels the pain every bit as much as the most loyal of Hammers fans.
He has seen it all before of course, especially at White Hart Lane, but this was on their own ground and the first home defeat to Spurs since 2014.
“I know it is really strange to say this because we have lost to Spurs and for me, Tottenham is the worst possible team to lose against,” said Mark Noble.
“But for me the really good thing was how we played. Firstly in the opening 35 minutes and I know we went in 2-0 down, we were sitting in the dressing room and we knew we had enough to make a game of it and we did that in the end.”
They did and Noble was an important part of that, releasing the likes of Marko Arnautovic and early on Michail Antonio.
But it was Antonio’s injury and then costly mistakes that gave West Ham a mountain to climb.
“It was a big blow to lose Michail because his pace scared them,” said the skipper. “I played a couple of balls to him and you know he is going to get on to them.
“But he has come off, Andy Carroll has come off the bench after sitting there for half an hour, but even so we shouldn’t be conceding goals like that.”
It is something that has plagued them, especially at the London Stadium with memories of Manchester City and Chelsea to name but two, scoring on the break after mistakes.
“You can’t make those mistakes and we have realised that over the years,” said Noble. “Sometimes you get a bit lucky and you get away with it, but we have got punished here. That is what happens in the Premier League and that is why it is the best league in the world.”
Defeat puts West Ham back into the bottom three, but Noble feels that they are on the up despite this reverse.
“To be fair, I think the players will be a lot happier in training than normal after losing a game,” he said. “Even though we lost, this performances and the previous games are a massive boost to the club.”
It could have been different though as he suggested that a slight push on Carroll right at the death denied them an equaliser.
Another big derby for Noble and if he plays with the sort of commitment that he showed on Saturday, he could play in plenty more.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I tweaked my medial ligament and missed 10 days of training, but I played against Bolton after one day of training, which wasn’t too hard.
“It was nice to be out there and I think I am back to my best.”
There are supporters who think that Noble does not deserve a place in the starting line-up, but after such a passionate display, it is clear that he still has so much to offer.