Noble hopes West Ham perform well against City on emotional day
- Credit: PA
Mark Noble is hoping West Ham United can perform well against defending Premier League champions and current leaders Manchester City in his last home game for the club this weekend.
The Hammers welcome Pep Guardiola's side to London Stadium on Sunday (2pm) for what will be the penultimate match in Noble's long career at the club.
And the 35-year-old from Canning Town expects it to be an emotional occasion, telling whufc.com: "I am really looking forward to my last-ever home game.
"It’ll be emotional, but in the position we’re in, it would be a real pleasure to play against one of the best teams in world football.
"I’m hoping we perform well, but it still be a fantastic occasion for me and my family, and just to say ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ to our – my – home fans."
Noble made his 21st appearance of the season in all competitions last weekend as West Ham ran out 4-0 winners at relegated Norwich City, days after their Europa League semi-final exit at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany.
And goals from Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio and a Manuel Lanzini penalty, before Noble came off the bench to replace Craig Dawson, ensured a happy birthday for the stalwart midfielder.
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He added: "We had to get over the disappointment of Thursday's UEFA Europa League loss quickly, because we knew we want to qualify for Europe again.
"We needed the three points – with Wolves coming back and getting a point against Chelsea on Saturday, and Manchester United losing – so we just need to keep pushing.
"It was really nice to watch the boys, and especially to play 25 minutes myself – it was lovely.
"The game was already won by then so it was good to come on, get sung ‘happy birthday’ to by the fans – which was lovely – and enjoy 25 minutes of football.
"That’s West Ham fans for you – I’d expect nothing else.
"I said to Saïd before the game 'I think you’re going to score today' as a little birthday present for myself! After 12 minutes, he scored and came running over, which was nice!
"In spells we didn’t play the best, I don’t think, but when you win 4-0 it’s pretty convincing. When you come away, a two-and-a-half or three hour drive, and you see a performance like that, and the goals, it’s really pleasing.
"It was a good performance for the boys and fully deserved. After the disappointment of Thursday, it was a good reaction."
The win left West Ham in seventh place, three points behind Manchester United with a game in hand, with a trip to Brighton to come on the last day of the season.
And Noble, who has taken his appearance tally at West Ham to 548 games - with 62 goals - wants them to push all the way until the curtain comes down on the 2021-22 campaign and his own outstanding career.
He said: "We can’t rest on this. We want to keep pushing and finish as high up the table as possible.
"To be in the position where we are now, with getting into the semi-finals of the Europa League, is a testament to the players themselves because it’s not easy to play that many games."
Noble was among the winners at the club's end of season presentation evening at Grosvenor House hotel on Monday, claiming the Players' Project award once again for his community work.
Ben Johnson took the Young Hammer of the Year award, named in honour of Noble, while Declan Rice won the main Hammer of the Year award for a second time and paid tribute to his club captain.
Rice said: "I can't describe what he has done for me, from when I walked in at 16 to when I was in the first team, training and games.
"If he wasn't here, I wouldn't have done as well as I have done, on and off the pitch.
"It's going to be tough next year without him, but I know he's only one call away. It's been an absolute honour to play with him."
Jarrod Bowen, runner-up to Rice, took the Players' Player and Top Goalscorer prizes, with 16 to his name to date, and Manuel Lanzini defended his Goal of the Season title for his strike at Crystal Palace.
Alphonse Areola won Save of the Season for his effort to deny Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri at London Stadium, while the 3-0 win at Lyon was voted Best Team Performance.
Craig Dawson took the Best Individual Performance award for his efforts in that same game in France, while Sonny Perkins took the Dylan Tombides Award having graduated from the youth-team ranks to make his senior debut at Rapid Vienna.