Noble - I'm speechless


  • Mark Noble captains Hammers to first London Stadium victory over Tottenham Hotspur
  • Skipper hails 'unreal' atmosphere generated by Hammers fans
  • No16 wants to end the season on a high by carrying this victory into meeting with Liverpool next week

As early birthday presents go, this one will take some beating for Mark Noble.

The West Ham United skipper turns 30 on Monday, but had reason to get the celebrations started a couple of days in advance after leading his team to a magnificent derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Friday night.

Noble was thrilled to get one over the Hammers' rivals, thanks to Manuel Lanzini's second half goal, and he thought it was a fully merited result.

"I'm spechless really," he beamed. "The boys were fantastic - it was a great performance from every one of us. We needed to be at 100 per cent and we were. 

"It's great for the manager and for the fans. It was fantastic and I can see them walking into the offices or wherever they work on Monday morning with broad shoulders, their chins up high and a massive smile on their face.

"We deserved it, we played so well. We had a couple of chances early doors and it was just a really good team performance. We know we can play like that, but it's been a tough season and the boys have dug in fantastically."

The Hammers have been waiting for a Premier League victory against one of the division's title chasers, and Noble said it couldn't have come at a better time than Friday.

He added: "Getting that kind of result against Tottenham makes it even more special. We should have beaten them at their place. Two goals in two minutes at the end really hurt. 

"The atmosphere on Friday was unreal, and we've beaten Spurs at home which puts us safe. I don't like saying the word safe because it actually puts us in the top half of the table. If we win next week we could finish one or two places below where we finished last year.

"At the end of the day, let's hope we can finish strongly."

Lanzini's winner took his tally against Spurs to three from four games - and nine in London derbies since joining the Club two summers ago - and Noble was full of praise for the Argentine.

He continued: "I love Manu. He's great at scoring in derbies, isn't he? He's our little gem as they call him and that's why we're in the team, to do the hard work and grind it out and let Manu be our special little player.

"The last two games I've played here, especially, against Swansea and Tottenham, have really started to feel like home.

"I couldn't have asked for a better outcome than Friday, coming back into the starting line-up for a game like that."