Connect in the back of the net

One-club man Mark Noble may have missed out on England manager Roy Hodgson’s team for the upcoming high-profile friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands, but he has already lined up the perfect consolation: guiding West Ham United to their second consecutive European campaign, with even Champions League football still a possibility in this topsy-turvy humdinger of a season.

Under Slaven Bilic, the Irons are giving the Manchester clubs a run for their money, and the Boleyn Ground faithful are heads over heels in love with their personnel, especially their skipper, who embodies their progress through the years.

Touted to be overshadowed by the likes of Alexandre Song at the start of the campaign, he has proceeded to be their most consistent geezer, only behind the immaculate Dimitri Payet.


Upping his game

Every team that adores possession boasts an imposing midfield enforcer, as evinced by Mikel Arteta’s debut season at Arsenal and Xavi Hernandez’s entire Barcelona career.

With the Hammers espousing possession-football upon Bilic’s arrival, the 28-year-old has upped his game drastically, thereby addressing the need for an imposing presence in the middle of the park.  Dictating the game from deep, he has offered the perfect base for Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio to dissect the opposition defence.

Despite the rarity of his goals, the Canning Town-born midfielder has been pivotal in his team conceding a measly 1.1 goals per game, averaging 2.1 interceptions and 2.6 successful tackles every game. However, despite his immense defensive contribution, he has always kept his head as he has seldom conceded freekicks – just an average of one per game.

In addition, he impeccably links the back four with the forward players with his impressive passing range, with an 86 percent success rate.


Love for the Hammers

Whilst Arsenal, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs often lack the passion for achieving their respective season goals, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City are thriving of their first-teamers’ relentless passion.

With the Hammers going through an upward transition, Nobles’ love and passion for the club that made him would be decisive in their long-term future as he could greatly influence the youngsters and new signings.


Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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