Noble: I don’t need to tell the lads how big today’s match is
For Mark Noble, West Ham United versus Tottenham Hotspur fixtures will never grow old.
Nearly 13 years on from his first Hammers appearance against Spurs, the captain is relishing his 21st, which will take place at London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With three important Premier League points and even more important local bragging rights at stake, the 31-year-old cannot wait for the latest edition of the mouth-watering derby to kick-off.
“We know how important today’s game is to everyone and it should be a great game,” said the skipper. “I don’t need to tell the lads how big today’s match is, as the fans will have been telling them on social media or down the shops all week!
“If we work hard, our quality will give our quality a chance to shine through. We have got some special players in our team, with Marko, Felipe, Yarmo and Chicharito, to name but four. With Michail, Lucas also available and Andy coming back into training this week, we’ve got so much firepower that we can beat any opponent.”
Spurs have got some great players too and I’ve so much respect for the way they play, but we’re at home so we’re really confident
While Noble has great confidence in West Ham’s own attacking options, he is also wary of the threat posed by a Tottenham team that could contain England captain Harry Kane, the in-form Erik Lamela, fit-again Christian Eriksen, South Korea star Hueng-min Son and speedy Brazilian Lucas Moura.
That said, the No16 is still predicting a home win...
“Spurs have got some great players too and I’ve so much respect for the way they play, but we’re at home so we’re really confident,” he observed.
“Personally, I’ve had some great days against Spurs and some really bad days too, so hopefully I’ll be smiling rather than crying after the final whistle, like I was after we lost in March 2007!
“If I was asked for my favourite memory against Tottenham, though, it would be from the same game, when I scored my first Premier League goal with a half-volley from outside the box. That was a proud moment for me and my family as well and hopefully I can get another goal on Saturday.”