I was having a conversation with a fellow Hammer fan, yesterday, about players we should sign and who we need to get rid of, as well as the Aston Villa game. Then he brought to my attention – what if Mark Noble was given the captaincy and as a reward for his long-term commitment to West Ham; he were allowed to wear the famous ‘number 6’ for our final season, worn by the legend himself – Bobby Moore? I for one can’t see a better way to end our time at Upton Park – well, asides from signing Messi and winning the Premier League, but those fortunes are light years away!
Mark ‘Mr West Ham’ Noble is one of those dying breed of players that have remained with one club their entire career. The likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Lionel Messi, and Steven Gerrard are just a few who have been idolised by their clubs fans, not only for their captivating performances but their undying loyalty to one club.
Noble, is West Hams longest serving player tallying 13 years with the club and wrapping up a total of 278 games for the side so far, and at the age of 28 I wouldn’t be surprised to see him surpass the 400 mark.
The claret and blue army have always sung the praises of Noble for his attitude when playing for the club he has loved since a kid and now it’s the right time to repay him for everything he has done for the club, on and off the field – surely there is no better man who deserves such an honour to wear the recently retired number 6 jersey than Noble, so why not next season and give the fans something to cheer about?
It’s fair to say that Noble isn’t quite a Xavi or Andrea Pirlo, but the guy wears his shirt with pride and battles till his legs fall from beneath him – he’s an old school English battler and his passion could drive the team, more than the leadership skills and grey hairs of Kevin Nolan.
I remember as a child growing up and watching Noble play and thinking, this guy loves this club! But he lacked the ability for the Premier League. However, since the days of him playing alongside Scott Parker, it’s clear to see Noble adapted his playing style on the former Hammer. Now, he has blossomed to be an established premier league footballer who some might argue; deserves a chance at the international stage. Personally, I don’t think his International quality, but Rickie Lambert proved himself, why can’t Noble?
After spending 111 years at the Boleyn Ground there would be no better way to wave goodbye to a ground that has seen legends born and fortunes fade, other than by honouring the greatest captain in English history and seeing that number grace the pitch one last time – who knows it might even be like playing with a twelfth man.
One day our clubs fortunes will change, it hasn’t been this season, it most likely won’t be next season, but with a bright future a possibility’ when the gates open to Olympic Stadium and with determined chairmen at the helm, anything is possible – even the revival of the number 6 and a captain with passion and love for the club to take us forward.