West Ham skipper back to his very best as he stings Hornets with deadly double
PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 May 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Hammers captain Mark Noble has been a real star in the Premier League run-in
If anyone has played better in the Premier League run-in than West Ham midfielder Mark Noble I have not seen them.
The Hammers skipper turned 32 last week, but in all his years at the heart of the midfield, it is tough to think of a run of games where he has been better or more effective.
"Too good for England," sang the West Ham fans sarcastically during Sunday's 4-1 win ay FA Cup finalists Watford.
There was no stopping the skipper at Vicarage Road and his deadly double took his tally to five for the campaign.
"The first one was a really good team move I thought," he said. "I just played the one-two, shaped to pass to Marko, checked and then slotted it into the corner. I've been watching 'Manu' in training!"
There is a derisory snort when I suggest it was toe-poked in!
"Side-foot," he insisted. "You go and watch it again, side-foot!"
He was right there as well and he was delighted with the way the game went.
"It was a perfect end to the season I think. It was their last home game, but even with the FA Cup final next weekend, they still played their strongest team," he said.
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"I think in the end we deserved it. We went two goals up and obviously we made a mistake for their goal, but after their player got sent off, it made a lot of things easier, but I still thought we was in control anyway."
West Ham had almost a fully-fit squad to choose from and Noble felt that has been crucial in recent weeks.
"If you have a look at our bench today with Jack Wilshere and Snodgrass and 'Chicharito' we have a strong squad," said the captain.
"Training has been competitive. The last month and a half has been fantastic, the football we have played and the results we have got have been really good."
True, and none have been better than Noble himself who has just completed his 15th season at the club which has seen him make over 450 appearances.
"I have just enjoyed my football this season," he said. "I've been involved with a lot of goals, scored five goals and had plenty of assists.
"That's another season under my belt. I will be back on July 1 for pre-season training."
So how does he see next season going for his beloved club?
"Obviously there will be changes among the players, but I think after last season, finishing 13th and the struggle we had, this season has been pretty exciting, apart from the first couple of months where we struggled," reflected Noble.
"We have looked like a really good team at times and I hope that we can push on and finish higher up the table next season.
"It was a great end to the season and everyone can go away happy and have a good holiday."
Flip-flops on and get the snorkels out!