Nolan: Mark Noble’s character will be vital for West Ham United
Mark Noble’s character could be vital to West Ham United’s chances of winning at Wembley on Wednesday evening, according to former skipper Kevin Nolan.
Nolan, who preceded Noble as Hammers captain and led the Club to Play-Off final glory at the Home of Football in 2012, says his successor remains vitally important to the squad, whether he is playing or not.
The No16 was an unused substitute in Friday’s loss to Brighton & Hove Albion and has started only five of West Ham’s nine Premier League matches, with Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Edimilson Fernandes and youngster Declan Rice also available to play in the centre of the park.
However, Noble did wear the armband in both Carabao Cup victories over Cheltenham Town and Bolton Wanderers, and Nolan believes his ex-teammate is the right man to lead the Hammers into battle against Spurs this week.
The Notts County manager expects Noble’s inner drive and character to motivate not just himself, but also his teammates. is use the feeling to motivate himself to get back into the team, such is the skippers’ drive and character.
“Of course, it will be bothering him that he’s not playing,” Nolan told whufc.com: “He’s captain of the Club and right now he’s not getting in the side. Nobes will be taking that to heart and will wanting to be doing something to put it right.
“Not being in the team will be killing him, but one thing Mark Noble has got is a great character. Nobes is a great lad. This won’t knock him. This will spur him on and make him want to try harder to get back in the team and help the side win games.
“He’s got to keep his head down, work hard and be ready for his chance when it comes.”
Nolan believes that chance may come at Wembley, where the pair shared one of the best moments of their respective careers five-and-a-half years ago.
Noble was also part of the squad which knocked Spurs out of the League Cup at White Hart Lane in December 2013, and Nolan says his presence will also be of huge benefit this time around.
He added: “Mark’s a great character and he’s a great lad. For me, he’s what West Ham need. West Ham need those sorts of players, especially heading into a game like Tottenham away.
“Mark Noble wears his heart on his sleeve and loves West Ham. He’s a West Ham boy through and through, and for me he’s the perfect fit for the Club and the captaincy and the way West Ham play.”
Standard Tickets for West Ham United’s Carabao Cup fourth round visit to Tottenham Hotspur have sold out, but the tie will be broadcast live by Sky Sports, with kick-off at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday at 8pm.