Former Player Blog - John Moncur

Ex-Hammer John Moncur sees a lot of himself in Testimonial recipient Mark Noble
When West Ham United fans talk about their favourite central midfield players, two names that always crop up are John Moncur and Mark Noble.
In many ways, the pair are peas from a pod, possessing similar brands of commitment and aggression mixed with flair and creativity.
Speaking ahead of Noble’s Testimonial match on Easter Monday, Moncur – whose father John Senior is on the captain’s Testimonial Committee – said he could tell the No16 was going to make it when he was still a teenager.
“The first time saw Mark was him joining in training for one session,” said Moncur, who made 175 Premier League appearances in Claret and Blue. “Glenn Roeder was the manager and we were in the gym. I think he was only about 17 or 18 and you could tell straight away what a quality player he was.
“He had that little bit about him where he wasn’t fazed coming in with the first team and he had great quality on the ball and you could tell that even from the one session in the gym.
“He wasn’t the biggest lad but you could tell he had a big future ahead of him. I certainly could being a midfield player and I was proved right.”
As someone who knows how to operate in the Hammers engine room, Moncur is perfectly placed to comment on Noble’s outstanding form this season.
Now 49, the former Hammer explained how he took on a similar role in the West Ham side during the closing years of his career under Harry Redknapp and then Glenn Roeder.
Regarding Noble, Moncur believes the 28-year-old deserves a place in the England squad alongside one of his old West Ham teammates, Michael Carrick.
“Nobes makes the team tick for me,” said Moncur, who will pull on his boots again on Monday afternoon as one of the West Ham United All-Stars. “Late on in my career, I played that role and he’s become one of those players who’s so important to West Ham. He’s showing as time is going on what a good player he is.
“He links the back up with the front and keeps the game moving all the time. When he gets into forward areas he’s also got a lot more quality in the attacking third than people give him credit for.
“He’s a player with a good range of passing, short and long, and he’s up there with the Michael Carricks. I see him at that sort of level, no doubt about that.”