West Ham United captain Mark Noble has come under intense scrutiny this season but is the Hammers hero really a has-been?
Noble’s performances this season have often – like the team – been below par.
And David Moyes is under pressure to drop the skipper for Tomas Soucek against Wolves on Sunday.
It comes after Noble himself claimed he was playing too many games and there was an over-reliance on him (talkSPORT).
Noble under the spotlight
Noble never shirks his responsibilities and always gives his all. He is always brave, always fronting up, always showing for the ball.
But in the game at Arsenal many fans feel Moyes’s failure to substitute Noble cost the Hammers a result.
Even in the previous week’s 3-1 win over Southampton Noble stood out as a weak link in West Ham’s side.
His lack of pace and mobility is nothing new. And it is not his fault that the West Ham top brass – until January – have continually failed to address that area of the team in the transfer market.
Put legs around him and Noble is a different player.
A living West Ham legend of that there is no doubt. But has Noble really gone from Hammers hero to has-been?
Hero to has-been? The cold, hard facts
We take a look at the cold hard facts, every important statistic from Noble’s West Ham career in the top flight.
This season Noble has four goals and one assist in 28 games. He has been named man of the match just once and has an average match rating of 6.63/10 (Whoscored.com).
So how does that compare to previous seasons?
Well it is pretty par for the course so far.
In 14 top flight seasons Noble has notched four goals on three occasions. He has only bettered that total twice with five last season and a career high seven in the Farewell Boleyn campaign of 2015/16.
With nine games to go, it is feasible Noble could match that record. Noble’s average match rating is also consistent with the last four seasons. But there has been a significant drop off from what was Noble’s golden period between 2012 and 2016 when he averaged well over seven each season.
A deeper dive into the 32-year-old’s stats show he has made 375 Premier League appearances scoring 46 goals (27 of them penalties and two free-kicks) at a rate of one every eight matches.
No dramatic drop off but Noble’s career has dipped after leaving Upton Park
He has had 332 shots and 114 of them have been on target.
He has been involved in 128 Premier League wins and 155 defeats.
Noble has 33 assists, has made nearly 17,500 passes – at an average of 46 per game. And he has picked up 80 yellow cards and five red, committing 376 fouls.
His tackle success is high with 71% having made 850 in his West Ham career in the top division.
Noble has blocked 91 shots from the opposition, made 565 interceptions, 263 clearances, recovered the ball 2,297 times, won 1,589 duels and lost 1,517, come out on top 241 times from 50/50s and made only three errors leading to a goal.
Something that can’t necessarily be measured by stats and figures, is his love and passion for the badge. And his influence on the dressing room as a result.
Noble’s time as a regular starter may be coming to an end. But that does not mean he doesn’t still have a huge part to play at West Ham this season and beyond.
His voice in the dressing room is worth its weight in gold.
And he will be needed on the pitch too, perhaps better used as a sub to inspire or help see games out.