Sporting director Mark Noble has made extremely bold claims about both Newcastle United and his own club West Ham.
But Newcastle United went one step further by breaking the so-called “big six” monopoly last term and finishing fourth.
Newcastle’s reward, a return to the promised land of Champions League football – for the last season in its current format.
Expectations at both West Ham and Newcastle have risen dramatically over the last couple of years.
West Ham managed to combine both in the Europa League two seasons ago, making the semi-finals and going on to finish seventh in the Premier League.
Last season they won the Europa Conference League but their league form suffered.
Newcastle have had a difficult start to the season and – on paper at least – a tough looking Champions League group too with PSG, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
Some believe Newcastle might be hard pressed to even join West Ham down in the Europa League – the reward for finishing third in the group.
But not one Hammers legend turned West Ham heirarchy.
Because sporting director Mark Noble has made extremely bold claims about Newcastle and West Ham.
Speaking to Turkish site Fanatik, Noble says Newcastle can be the surprise package of the Champions League.
And the former midfielder says West Ham would ‘easily be a top four club’ in a different country but will always find it tough to break the ceiling in the ultra competitive Premier League.
“West Ham is a big club and has great fan support,” Noble told the site in an interview after doing the recent Europa Conference League draw for UEFA.
“It is not easy to compete in the Premier League. A place where a large economy revolves. Maybe if West Ham played in a different league, they would easily play in the top four…
“In the Champions League, Newcastle were put in a very strong group. They are in the same group with PSG, Dortmund and Milan.
“But Newcastle can do anything in this group. They have great fan support, especially at home.”