Big Sam hails 'outstanding' Noble

Sam Allardyce pays tribute to the man he named in the West Ham United team 150 times between 2011 and 2015
Sam Allardyce managed West Ham United for four seasons between 2011 and 2015, guiding the Hammers back to the Barclays Premier League in 2012. During his tenure, he picked Mark Noble 150 times…
The big thing for me when I arrived in 2011 was to keep the big players at the Club after they got relegated. I don’t know whether Mark ever wanted to leave or not, but he probably thought about it and the good thing was that he didn’t!
Mark is one of a dying breed today in that he’s spent the whole of his career, from a boy to a man and a great footballer, at West Ham and obviously his commitment to the Club is outstanding for me.
I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for him in that he gives everything that he’s got, he’s a great professional and he’s a very, very good player and probably the only thing missing now is an international cap, which is a great shame.
But he can’t have done anything more, certainly in the last three years, to earn that cap.
Mark’s Testimonial will be a great day for him and the fans have obviously sold the ground out for him as he’s one of their own.
Like I said, he’s not just a really good footballer but a great man as well. I had a great four years with him. He taught me how to speak the Cockney language, which was pretty funny, trying to get to grips with it! But he gave me some good lessons so I could converse with him very well in the end.
Mark would have been captain if Kevin Nolan hadn’t come to the Club. I could see a lot captaincy material in Nobes, and he picked up more of that from Kevin during the four years they played together.
He’s not frightened about saying what he thinks and that’s one of the problems in this modern age; Players don’t verbally express themselves enough but Mark has an opinion and his opinion is valid. That’s what makes him a good captain too.
He’s knowledgeable about the game and he’s got a lot of experience. He made his debut at a very young age and he’s managed to sustain his playing days and he’s one of the longest-serving players West Ham are ever going to have I think by the time he’s finished and I think that all those qualities are things that he’ll need to carry on going into the new stadium.
There’s a next level coming now and that’s going to demand a lot more from everyone at the Club, but Mark has the capability and the desire to rise to whatever level is expect of him.
I would like to wish Mark, his family and the fans a very successful Testimonial match.