West Ham United captain Mark Noble says positivity off the pitch can boost West Ham United’s performances on it...
Unfortunately, I’ve been playing with an injury that means I won’t be available to play in Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Leicester City, but I’ll be supporting the lads and I hope we’re all going to be celebrating an important win come five o’clock.
I want to clarify some comments I made in an interview I gave at the start of the week, as I feel they didn’t come across as I wanted them to.
I was asked about the criticism that has been levelled at me and the team this season, and I just want to make it clear that I wasn’t digging out West Ham United fans in general, because I can assure you if I wasn’t playing I’d be sitting with them.
I was born a West Ham supporter, I bought tickets when I was a kid, I started in the Academy when I was eleven, I went to all the home games, I was lucky enough to get into the first team and then live my dream by captaining my Club.
As captain and a lifelong fan, I am the first to admit that we have not reached the same standards that we did so often last season.
There have been reasons for that, but we need to start looking forward positively to the future, rather than dwell on the issues which have made things more difficult for us.
When it comes to the criticism, I want to say we have an incredible fan base, at matches home and away, week-in, week-out – proper people who love their Club – but there is a small minority who just want to criticise the players and the manager out at the first opportunity.
We are going to lose games. Players will have bad games. That’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean we are not giving 100 per cent for the Club.
As much as we try to ignore the comments made on social media, sometimes they are unavoidable and while I’m not fussed about whether I get stick or not, some players are affected by it.
If social media existed in 2007 like it does today, people would have been calling for Alan Curbishley to be sacked or for all the players to be dropped, including Carlos Tevez!
If social media existed then like it does today, people would have been calling for Alan Curbishley to be sacked or for all the players to be dropped, including Carlos Tevez!
Then what happened? Everything clicked and we won seven out of our last nine games to stay up!
Times are different now. Instead of walking out of the ground and having a moan to your mate or your Dad, some people leap straight on social media and troll the player directly.
You have a right to moan, of course, but negativity spreads and it can affect everyone, especially younger players who have not developed a thick skin like us more experienced ones.
What I am saying is that we need to be positive, inside the dressing room, in the stands and on social media.
I play under a manager who gives 100 per cent every day, and when the players are not doing likewise, I’ll be the first person in the dressing room to go around and tell them to pull their socks up.
We’ve always been a Club which values commitment and hard work – players like Billy Bonds, Julian Dicks and Scott Parker, who gave 100 per cent every day.
One player who certainly did that was Dylan Tombides, who we are paying tribute to on Saturday with a DT38 Foundation Awareness Day.
We miss Dyl around the place every day, and his legacy lives on in the shape of this fantastic charity. Please give whatever you can to the cause.
Come on you Irons!