West Ham lost 1-0 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last night.
Despite David Moyes’s post match comments suggesting that his side did enough to win the game, the east London outfit just didn’t do enough.
And there was one player who was particularly bad – Mark Noble.
It’s hard to criticise the West Ham skipper, considering how much he has given to the club over the past decade or so.
But it is clear to see that time is catching up on the 32-year-old.
Last night he was very poor.
Noble was constantly caught out in possession because of his lack of athleticism and power. And his distribution was quite frankly shocking.
The Hammers captain is one of the club’s very few natural leaders, but he didn’t even seem to be urging his team on last night.
Moyes should have brought Noble off before the hour mark. He was offering absolutely nothing as West Ham were being totally overrun in the middle of the park by the Blades.
And the 32-year-old’s display highlighted just how much the Hammers need to get a deal for Gedson Fernandes over the line this month.
Sky Sports reported two days ago that West Ham have agreed a deal in principle to sign the Portuguese youngster.
But the longer it drags on without an official announcement, the more chance there is that it could fall through.
The Hammers desperately need the 20-year-old’s dynamism, quality and energy in the middle of the park.
Noble has been a great player for West Ham, but his time playing at the highest level could be coming to an end.
And that in itself intensifies the Hammers’ need to sign Fernandes this month.