No one in their right mind would deny that Mark Noble is Mr West Ham, cut him and he will bleed Claret & Blue, Canning Town born Noble is just 4 games off having completed 400 senior games for his beloved Hammers, having made his debut as a 17 year old way back in 2004. During his time at the club Mark Noble has seen the good, the bad and the ugly even having played along side Ian Dowie! So to even mention any form of criticism is viewed as 'stamping on a puppy' in some people's eyes. The Hammers captain turned down numerous offers to join other clubs during his tenure and has publicly stated his desire to finish his career at his club, West Ham United. However herein lies the problem, when and how does the team move on from one of it's all time stellar performers without upsetting the apple cart and ensuring a smooth transition? Nothing lasts forever, so how can Slaven Billic utilise Noble's undoubted leadership qualities both on and off the field in the twilight of his career?
Noble's performance in the recent defeat to Chelsea at the London Stadium allied to one or two under par showings of late has seen the player come in for a lot of criticism, some of it justified some not but better things are expected for the trip to Bournemouth who have not won this year but will take heart form their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford with Manchester United, you can take advantage of a Big Free Bet from one of our old established sponsors. The fact is that 'Marky' is not getting any younger and never having been blessed with too much pace is being exposed in the centre of midfield by fast energetic Premier League athletes, something has to change! In order to accommodate Mark Noble Slaven Billic is currently playing Cheik Kayoute as a right back, which is such a misuse of a player of 'road runners' quality, he needs to be bossing the midfield and scaring the opposition with his lung bursting runs. The problem is there is no room for him in midfield if his captain is playing there so a bit of 'blue sky' thinking needs to be involved! What is to stop Hammers playing three at the back with a sweeper playing in the hole just in front of them? This would enable two wing backs to be able to bomb forward protected by a three man midfield featuring the athletic Kayoute. The team could line up like this....
Fonte Reid Obiang
Antonio Kayoute Byram
Of course there are other players like Fernandes who can play in the 'defensive hole' but at least this line up would avoid the need to drop the club's captain at this stage in the season, but at some stage changes will have to be made. And finally shock horror, 'Daffy' might at last be getting his horrendous injury hit season back on track, the Sakman' could soon once again terrorise the opposition and treat fans to his famous snarl after scoring! Diafra Sakho is due to make (within the next three weeks) what would only be his third start for the club following surgery and a host of personal problems. - Ed