Mark More Noble Than A Dead Leg

Ahead of the first fixture of this season's Barclays Premier League, Skipper Mark Noble used his Evening Standard Column to state that he has a muscle injury, not a dead leg! There is an enormous difference between both injuries, generally a dead leg lasts for one or two games at the most, muscle injuries are entirely dependant on how much damage was done to the muscle before it was treated, if the original injury was misdiagnosed then Mark might be looking at another MONTH off!

Every season there is a certain group of fans calling for Noble to be replaced by a more dynamic type of player, each season a new 'heir to the throne' is touted, and every season Noble eventually wins the day. However time stands still for no man and Mark might see his appearances diminishing over the course of the season, so the fans who wanted to see Noble dropped will now have their way, but as the saying goes "be careful what you wish for".

In the past, with few exceptions, Hammers have generally performed better when Noble is in the starting line up. I became part of the game plan that Noble would be replaced with 20 minutes or so to go because by that part of the match his legs are gone. No shame in that, as Noble puts in a tremendous amount of effort, but with the addition of Pablo Fornals is there going to be any room for the Hammers captain in the starting eleven?

Readers will note that we haven't mentioned Jack Wilshere as another player waiting in the wings to take over Noble's position, because with Jack's injury record we fully expect him to pick up an injury sooner than later, hopefully if he does it will not be another serious one, although much does depend on if he has managed to get it in to his 'noggin' to not tackle recklessly. Apparently Manuel Pellegrini has gone to great lengths to communicate this crucial mindset change to Wilshere, and if he has listened we might just see Jack featuring for more than just a few cameo games as he comes back from injury.

Winds in excess of 50 mile per hour are forecast for tomorrow's game, but bookies still have West Ham at an eye watering 16-1 to win, and unfortunately the bookies are rarely wrong! - Ed

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I think Declan will miss him most, the man city game is really a free shot,it's the next 3 games after that's the gauge to what kind of season we will have

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