Following yesterdays announcement of Mark Noble hanging up his boots at the end of his contract that will finish at the end of the 2021/22 season. With 520 club appearances to his name, the club will see the departure of a man that has embodied the West Ham way and proven his love for the club with an 18-year career.
The 33-year-old centre midfielder must recognise that with the partnership of Rice and Soucek he has less of a chance of games, he spoke on his decision ‘following a lot of discussion with my family, my friends and people at the football club’. It will allow Noble to finish at West Ham with the club moving in the right direction currently sat in 5th and look more than confident to compete for a European place, whether that will be Champions League or Europa League.
The remarkable achievement of Noble’s loyalty and dedication playing under 8 different managers, a testament to his ability to consistently feature in the developing squads. Despite Mark Noble playing in the 2005 play-off final, his career started developing after two loan spells at Hull and Ipswich. His second manager Alan Curbishley allowing him of frequent games to play 31 games playing the season whilst carrying a 7-month injury.
Despite, Noble winning the Hammer of the Year award twice, 2011-12 and 2013/14, many fans will agree on the final season at the Boleyn Ground. For many, the skipper played exceptionally well with fans across the country demanding that the West Ham captain should’ve had his first professional call-up to the England squad ahead of the Euros. Mark Noble proved his worth that season with 37 appearances, scoring seven and assisting four goals, missing one game due to a red card, sending the West Ham fans to the London Stadium with some of the great results and memories shared at the club.
One of these great memories came at Anfield, with the Irons winning 3-0 with Noble getting on the score sheet in the historical result, with the result ending the 52 years winless run at Liverpool. Mark Noble is a local boy from Canning Town he has always seen as the connector between the fans and the squad, with his testimonial being a proven example of this.
The testimonial was a sell-out of 36,000 fans, with fans paying tribute to a man that has dedicated so much of his life to West Ham, with the stadium full it further indicates the respect for the captain. The current West Ham team played against the West Ham All-stars with memorable moments contributing to a real family atmosphere, like the Adrian full pitch run and Dean Ashton’s overhead kick.
With Noble’s footballing career coming to an end, it also signifies the end of the dying breed of the one club men, with it becoming such a rarity in the Premier League, with Tony Hibbert and Ryan Giggs being the last two players to retire with that level of commitment to their beloved clubs.
With Noble’s ability and experience he has acted as a guardian for the new rising star Declan Rice, taking him under his wing and teaching him leadership roles and having an impact on his role in the squad. With Noble guiding Rice, it’s become obvious that the 21-year-old is integrating Noble’s game into his own, leading the team as captain and showing his confidence to take penalties whilst his senior watches.
As a fan, you can only admire and respect the achievement of Noble, a genuine fan who cares for the club remembered as a legend with the most Premier League appearances and the second-highest goal tally for West Ham in Premier League history. Not only that he has been heavily influential in youth development, but you can also already expect that he’ll be involved in the academy following retirement, as a graduate himself.
With Noble being the captain that transitioned West Ham fans from the Boleyn Ground to the new home of the Olympic Stadium, it will be an amazing send off to celebrate the career of Noble if the Irons were to qualify for Europe.