Local lad Noble delighted as Hammers teach Spurs a lesson

Mark Noble celebrates with Kevin Nolan at the end of the match. Pic: Isobel Infantes

Mark Noble celebrates with Kevin Nolan at the end of the match. Pic: Isobel Infantes - Credit: Archant

Local lad Mark delighted with win

When you are a West Ham fan, successful days at White Hart Lane are few and far between.

Before Sunday it was 12 games without a win there, a run going back to 1999 and so for Hammers supporter and the club’s longest serving current player Mark Noble it was doubly satisfying to see those goals go in and the points return to east London for a change.

“I actually made my Premier League debut here and we got a 1-1 draw, Anton Ferdinand scored, but that is the closest I have been to a result here, so to come here and win 3-0 is brilliant for us,” said the 26-year-old, who actually sat in the stand here when he was a youngster to watch another battling West Ham display.

“I was here as a fan, my dad’s friend brought me and my mate and I saw Ian Pearce hit a half-volley into the top corner years ago to get a 1-1 draw,” he reflects with a wry smile. “I love this stadium, even though I never had success here until now.

“It is a beautiful place to play, the grass is always perfect and the fans are close to the pitch.”

Noble certainly took full advantage of that perfect grass when he stroked a superb through ball to Ricardo Vaz Te which led to the second goal at White Hart Lane and his man-of-the-match performance was a vital one in a new system of play that the Hammers adopted for the game.

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“To be honest, we didn’t really play with a striker against Spurs,” he said. “People have said we are route one, but you can’t be route one without a striker, it’s impossible.

“Players like Vertonghen and Dawson will bring it down on their chest and play the ball out, so we played where we could. We knew Tottenham play a high line and we watched some of their games. We looked to play in behind them and we did that a few times in the first half.

“Some of the football we played today was brilliant. Vaz Te’s goal was a nice little move and then obviously Ravel Morrison’s goal was brilliant and we got a goal from a set play where we have been coming close. I think the lads are buzzing and the manager is happy and now we can have a good 10 days for the international break and look forward to Man City at home.”

After drawing a blank in their first three games on the road this season, suddenly everything went right for the Hammers, something Noble thinks was well overdue.

“We have been getting a lot of stick lately about not scoring goals and we know ourselves that it is a problem,” said Noble. “But we have been working hard, we should have got a result last week against Hull City, while obviously Baines has put two free kicks into the top corner for Everton and Pennant for Stoke so it just hasn’t been going for us.

“I watched Match of the Day on Saturday night and some of the penalties that weren’t given that should have been were unbelievable,” said the Hammer, who has notched up over 250 appearances in claret and blue. “We had a penalty against us at Hull which was incredible, we should have got a penalty which was a blatant handball.

“So things weren’t going for us at all, but we had 60 per cent of the ball that day and I think that is probably the most possession we have had since I’ve been here. It finally fell for us today and we got what we deserved.”

They certainly did. With Noble at the heart of a packed midfield, he was able to orchestrate the runs of his team-mates as the Hammers broke with pace and precision.

“The lads worked hard,” he said. “Everyone is talking about Ravel Morrison, but Mo Diame, who has obviously been disappointed to be playing out wide for the last few games, was brought infield and was excellent.

“Me and Kevin Nolan sat and we let Morrison and Diame run wild. Ravel got his goal, but they both worked brilliantly for the team and that is what you need.”

What you also need is a Noble with time to pick a pass and deliver a cross and in this formation, you certainly get that.