Mark Noble is enjoying his central role in West Ham United's Barclays Premier League season.
The No16 has been deployed as a deep-lying midfielder in Sam Allardyce's new 4-6-0 formation, helping the Hammers to halt the opposition and launch dangerous counter-attacks.
The system appears to have got the best out of Noble, who was outstanding in the 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur and voted Man of the Match in Saturday's 3-1 home defeat by Manchester City.
"I am over the moon really with the way things are going for me," he told West Ham TV. "I just love going out there and playing.
"Obviously it is always a little bit special against the top teams because you want to show how good you are and compete and I feel like I have been doing that and I am just enjoying playing football at the minute."
Unfortunately, despite Noble's best efforts, West Ham have lost their last three home league matches and need to make up those points on their travels - starting at Swansea City on Sunday.
The Swans host Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar on Thursday evening and the Hammers will hope their UEFA Europa League exploits leave them vulnerable - just as Spurs appeared following a mid-week trip to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala a three weekends ago.
"Yes [our home form hasn't been great], but hopefully we can now win a few more away games and even it out like that," said the Canning Town native.
"We lost against Everton, I got sent-off and [Leighton] Baines put two into the top corner and that doesn't happen every week, against Stoke we were poor but probably should have got a point, but [Jermaine] Pennant bends one in the top corner.
"We came off the back off a great result against Spurs and though we lost to City, we can still go into the Swansea game confident. We have been playing well in all the games this season apart from Stoke where we wasn't good.
"We are going to go in all week and train like we always do. We have got a great bunch of lads who enjoy each other's company and we will all work hard for each other and try to get three points on Sunday."
Looking further into the future, Noble was also asked about his own international ambitions.
With journalists, pundits and supporters already picking their England squads for 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, the likes of Ravel Morrison and Andy Carroll have seen their names crop up.
However, former England U21 captain Noble is still hopeful he can make a case for his own inclusion in Roy Hodgson's 23-man group.
"I'm not going around shouting that I should be in the squad and all that because I am not that sort of person," he said.
"I have obviously played in the Premier League week-in, week-out, since I was about 19 and played at a good level. If it happens, it happens, but I am just going to keep on enjoying my football, getting on the ball, enjoying passing and creating stuff and if it happens, it happens."
"I believe I am good enough. I have seen the players we have had here who have been in the England set-up and I believe that if I made that step up, I would be able to mentally and physically cope with it."
Tactically speaking - Mark Noble
Mark Noble has been a consistent performer for West Ham United this season and it came as little surprise to see the 26-year-old awarded a WhoScored.com rating of 8 in the weekend meeting with Manchester City. That figure was the highest for the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground,
Noble has started every Premier League game for Sam Allardyce's side this season and continues to provide the passionate displays that supporters have grown to expect.
In the heart of the midfield, Noble was charged with breaking up the play and disrupting the rhythm of the City attack, evidenced in that he made the most tackles (5) in the encounter. This facet of his game is what he is known for, further reinforced in his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'tackling'.
Only Mohamed Diamé (25) has made more tackles for the Hammers over the course of the season than Noble (21), who is performing in a deep-lying midfield role, securing an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.33 after eight games; only Winston Reid (7.48) has scored higher of every West Ham player thus far.
His reading of the game is also what stands him in high stead for the club and this aspect was noticeable at the weekend, making four interceptions in the encounter; only Reid and Diamé (5) made more than the tough tackling midfielder. Tasked with stifling the City midfield, Noble clearly performed in the middle of the park as his defensive stats suggest, while looking to drive the team on having completed four successful dribbles.
As the season wears on, Noble will be crucial to the Hammers building on their tenth-place finish from last season. His defensive ability will allow the more attack-minded players in the West Ham squad to push on and hurt the opposition, much like they did in the 3-0 win at Tottenham earlier this month.
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