Mark Noble shares the Claret and Blue Army’s anticipation for the 2018/19 Premier League season.
The captain is enjoying life under new manager Manuel Pellegrini and playing as a member of the multi-talented squad that the Chilean is putting together.
While he is not allowing himself to get carried away, Noble can understand why his fellow Hammers supporters are getting excited after Wednesday’s stylish 3-1 win at Aston Villa.
The Hammers scored three fine goals, including a sensational second scored by Marko Arnautovic which featured eight different players, including Noble, and 12 passes spanning the length of the pitch.
The second goal summed the performance up, really. If I was sitting there watching it, I’d have thoroughly enjoyed it
“You can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said the skipper. “I must have had over 100 touches, which is nice. It’s nice to come in and play like that.
“It was a joy to play in on Wednesday night. It’s only pre-season and I’ve been through a lot of these now and it’s all about the players gelling together, as we’ve got so many new players coming in and they’re finding their feet. It’s just a case of getting the players ready for the new season.
“You know you can’t really gauge from pre-season how the season is going to go, but the big one is Liverpool away and that’s what everyone is working towards.”
Two other players involved in that move for Arnautovic’s goal were debutants Felipe Anderson and Fabian Balbuena, who both impressed during 45-minute appearances at the Banks’s Stadium.
The Brazilian’s perfectly-weighted ball for Arthur Masuaku to run onto and provide the cross for Arnautovic to score particularly caught the eye of his captain.
“You know Felipe has got all sorts of ability and I told him just to go out and enjoy himself. He started a little bit nervous, but then he played some fantastic passes. You can see how much quality he’s got.
“With Fabian, you see exactly what he is. He’s a proper defender and is good on the ball and really good at passing out from the back.
“The second goal summed the performance up, really. If I was sitting there watching it, I’d have thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Next up for West Ham is a trip to Ipswich Town on Saturday, where the Hammers will be cheered on by a 4,100-strong Claret and Blue Army.
“It will be a good test and the players will get more minutes and that’s what it’s all about, getting the players fit and keeping them fit, getting them match-fit and sharp and hopefully we can get another win.
“The support is crazy. It shows that the chairman has spent a lot of money and brought in some top players and that’s all the West Ham fans ask for.
“They want that commitment, the Board have given them that and the fans have responded with 1,000 at Preston, 1,500 at Aston Villa and another 4,000 at Ipswich and they’ll be fantastic for us.”