There is no love lost between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur… well besides Mark Noble anyway.
West Ham and Tottenham compete at different ends of the Premier League nowadays.
But that has not dampened the rivalry between the two clubs.
Supporters love to hate one another.
And it grinds on West Ham fans that Spurs seem to have replaced them as the supplier in chief of the England team.
Many West Ham fans have taken great delight at seeing Tottenham and star man Harry Kane struggle of late.
It is no different to the relish Spurs supporters have taken in West Ham’s plight this season.
‘Stop caning Kane’
The Hammers started life under Manuel Pellegrini with four league defeats from four before a fine 3-1 win at Everton last time out.
Mark Noble is setting fierce club rivalry aside, though, with a random defence of fellow Londoner Kane in The Evening Standard.
Admirable or sycophantic? Make your own mind up.
“I’d like to talk about Harry Kane,” Noble said in the Evening Standard.
“I know all about our rivalry with Tottenham and, yes, it’s extra special when we beat them, but I think it’s ludicrous the amount of criticism he’s getting recently.
“He’s the England captain, he’s just led our nation to a World Cup semi-final and given us the most enjoyment we’ve had in a long time watching our national team – and he won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.
Want to be world class? Deal with the pressure
“He had about a week’s holiday before coming back, he and his missus have a new baby so, please, give him a break!”
It is very big of Noble to stick up for Kane despite club rivalries.
But whether that would be reciprocated if the roles were reversed is doubtful.
If Kane wants to live up to his world class billing and have his name up in lights alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo then he must accept the added pressure and scrutiny that goes with it.