West Ham skipper looks to move on after Payet mutiny
PUBLISHED: 13:03 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:03 16 January 2017
PA Archive/PA Images
Hammers skipper Mark Noble is full of praise for his loyal team-mates
“I am a very proud captain,” said Mark Noble after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace and it was easy to see why.
The mutiny of Dimitri Payet would have hit the West Ham skipper as much as anyone. The pair had been friends since the Frenchman first arrived and so this must feel like a betrayal to the midfielder.
And so it is was a great achievement that he and his team were able to come through it and take the points.
“It was probably as vital a wins as they come with everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks,” said the 29-year-old after the game.
“It has been a bit crazy as it often is with West Ham, I seem to say that every time we speak, but this was a fantastic win and fully deserved.”
In many ways it seems that the Payet affair has done the team a lot of good, it seems that it has brought the squad together.
“We haven’t really had a choice, we had to come together,” said Noble. I know the first half wasn’t great and I think we were all a bit nervous.
“All the boys have got social media and they all got the message about what they had to do and what is important, so there were nerves, but I think we needed that one goal and we got that, we looked like a proper team.”
They did. Where as before it was Payet making most of the headlines on the field, this time there were others stepping up.
“That is what I have said,” reiterated Noble. “I said to players like ‘Manu’ (Lanzini) and Feghouli and Michail (Antonio) that they are going to have to step up now and replace someone like Dimi, until the situation gets sorted out.
“He is still a fantastic football player and people had to step up and they have done that.”
They certainly did. Antonio came up with three assists, Lanzini made it four in four against Palace, Feghouli scored his first Premier League goal and Andy Carroll scored an absolute stunner.
“Michail was brilliant,” said Noble. “If I am honest we have been a bit unlucky with illnesses, four or five of the lads have been ill including him who was in bed on Friday and didn’t train.”
He had some special words for Carroll and his goal too.
“He keeps trying them in training and every time he does I wince,” smiled the midfield man. “The ball goes high over the bar and he comes down and hits the floor so you never know what is going to happen.
“I wouldn’t say it to his face, but it was a fantastic goal, he just caught it flush and Manu’s was a beautiful goal too.”
So what about Dimi? Has it been brewing for a while? Noble has the right response.
“I think it has been brewing since the window opened and stuff started to happen,” he said. “But to be honest I don’t want to talk about that, I want to talk about the boys who played against Palace, the performance was fantastic.”
It is going to be hard to get over the Payet episode, but it looks like Noble and his team have already started.
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