While West Ham United captain Mark Noble made the headlines for being outspoken last week, it was his silence that spoke volumes at the weekend.
The Hammers skipper took to Twitter to criticise unpopular co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold for selling young star Grady Diangana to West Brom.
“As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!” Noble said on Twitter.
As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!! https://t.co/oNPPEp8Pt6
— MARK NOBLE (@Noble16Mark) September 4, 2020
Gutted, angry and sad
The post was backed by much of West Ham’s squad and legions of the club’s fans, many of whom have been protesting for Sullivan and Gold to sell the club.
David Moyes told the press he had no problem with Noble’s comments (Football London).
Noble has since been criticised by some pundits. Sky Sports’s Graeme Souness even went as far as to say Noble had ‘let West Ham down’.
On the eve of every Premier League game Noble writes a column for The Evening Standard.
The popular columns make for interesting reading, giving a glimpse behind the scenes at West Ham and the mindset of the team and Noble himself.
Absence of Noble column speaks volumes
The column is usually published on the Friday before a game.
But this week it was notable for its absence on the eve of a brand new season.
Noble’s last West Ham captain’s column came at the end of last season. Noble said then that West Ham would be ‘ready to go again in six weeks’ after a gruelling, interrupted campaign.
But the opening weekend came and went with no word from the West Ham skipper.
According to The Daily Mail, Noble held ‘clear the air’ talks with Sullivan following his outburst.
Noble’s body language and expression after being substituted during the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle painted a picture of discontent, though.
When it dawn’s on you that that fan you pushed over might’ve had a point pic.twitter.com/aGQNLS1W67
— RJK (@Robbiejamesking) September 12, 2020
Noble looked to be feeling the same as West Ham’s fans, who had been dreading the match all week.
Skipper silenced or staying quiet?
The absence of Noble’s column could suggest he has been silenced by the Hammers board. If that is the case West Ham fans won’t be happy, particularly as the club seem powerless to stop Karren Brady’s inflammatory column with The Sun newspaper.
The skipper always talks from the heart. So if he was asked to tow the party line in his column, perhaps he felt it was best not to do one at all.
Of course there could be other reasons. Noble may have been too busy – although that has never stopped him before, particularly having had all of pre-season.
The columns may have come to an end.
Noble may have decided not to do it off his own back given recent events. As the old adage goes ‘If you can’t say anything nice sometimes it is best not to say anything at all’.
West Ham fans will be interested to see if Noble’s column returns this week when West Ham face the daunting task of a trip to London rivals Arsenal.