Mark Noble

Mark Noble
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Mark Noble

Current Club: West Ham United.

Previous Clubs: None.

Loan Clubs: Ipswich Town, Hull City.

International: England U21s only.

Noble is the last player to break through from the Hammers youth team to become a regular in their team, becoming such a big part of the club that he has been made club captain. However, it does say a lot about his level of play that he is still there, that none of the richer clubs came in for him when he was younger and West Ham could have done with the money they would have got for a sale. While Noble gives his all, there is a lack of top class ability there, which would have brought the attention of the 'bigger' clubs.

In style of play, he is reminiscent of N'Golo Kante, always chasing here, there and everywhere trying to put the opposition under pressure, but he lacks that pace and stamina to truly be effective doing so. Instead he ends up looking more of a headless chicken running round aimlessly, always a bit behind the play. It is not often that Noble takes the time to look at the play all around and position himself correctly, he gets too carried away in the moment.

On the ball, he is a decent enough player, far from top class in any area of the game, just all round decent passing, vision, shooting. Noble's ability to choose a forward run is often hindered by his chasing back so much he is not in the right position to get into attacking areas often. Noble does not really fit in to the West Ham midfield mould that I grew up with. West Ham was always about good ball players and playing passing football, Noble is not in that vein.

What Noble gives is heart, desire, workrate and a willingness to put his body on the line for the team. Without that drive and determination, he would probably be nowhere near the Hammers first team, as the quality of his all round play is not quite at the level required. Physically he is not quick or imposing, strong or powerful enough to make up for those technical deficiencies. As a leader, he is one of those lead by example players.

The main weakness he has is that he gets caught up in the moment, he wears his heart on his sleeve and lacks calmness of thought far too often. When he should be directing the play, he is busy bickering with the referee or charging about the pitch. That same desire and heart that is his main strength is also his main weakness.