Throughout his 15 seasons and 473 appearances in a West Ham United shirt, Mark Noble has seen almost everything - relegation, promotion, Play-Off and FA Cup finals, jubilation, heartache, injuries, goals, assists and much more.
Right now, though, the captain believes he is part of the strongest Hammers squad in his decade-and-a-half in Claret and Blue.
West Ham kick-off Saturday’s Premier League derby with Crystal Palace at London Stadium in fifth place, on a six-match unbeaten run, and having lost just twice in 12 home top-flight matches this year. Reasons, the skipper told the Official Programme for the visit of the Eagles, for optimism.
West Ham fans appreciate hard work, heart and enthusiasm. If you’ve got that, they’re going to love you
“The whole Club is moving in the right direction,” he observed. “There’ll still be tough times to come – of course we’re going to lose some games – but the Club’s moving forward.
“Manuel Pellegrini came in last year and set his stall out early: how he wants to train, how he wants to play. Even though we lost the first four games last season, we played in a consistent way. Now I really think you can see the benefits of that.
“I was honest at the beginning of the season. I said to the players, the manager and the Chairmen that we need to set our sights higher. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t believe we could.”
As for Crystal Palace, their visit to London Stadium marks West Ham’s first London derby of the season – and Noble is counting on the Claret and Blue faithful to rise to the occasion against opponents the Irons have not lost to in their previous eight meetings.
“The first thing I say to any players that come here now is: ‘listen, obviously you’re technically a good player, but you’ll get the loudest cheer at West Ham if you run, chase someone down, make a tackle, or win a throw-in.’
“’West Ham fans appreciate hard work, heart and enthusiasm. If you’ve got that, they’re going to love you.’”
To read Noble’s full interview, in which he discusses his close interest in the Academy of Football, his own career, and his childhood kickabout with his West Ham hero, download your digital Official Programme from 9am on matchday, or order your print copy online now!
Noble dons the cover of issue five of West Ham United's new-look 116-page Official Programme – Hammer – for the 2019/20 season.
The eye-catching publication sees the Club make a move away from the traditional format to produce a football magazine that will maintain supporters’ interest long after the final whistle.
With cutting-edge design, exclusive interviews, attention-grabbing opinions and eye-catching photographs, plus the regular news, columns and statistics and insightful content from across all areas of the Club, Hammer is the definitive Claret and Blue publication for West Ham fans.
Priced at just £3.50, Hammer is also the best-value matchday magazine anywhere in the Premier League. Issue five for Saturday's Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace is available to order now online.
The only way to guarantee every issue is delivered straight to your door is by signing up for a seasonal subscription!
Whether you are planning to be at the match, watch at home or are simply a loyal West Ham fan or collector, the easiest way to get your copy each week is to subscribe. The deal includes all home Premier League and FA Cup home fixtures, so subscribe now!
Prices start at just £110 for UK delivery, and they can be shipped worldwide regardless of where you follow Manuel Pellegrini’s men from.
Subscriptions can be bought via ProgrammeMaster’s online store now here, or over the phone at 020 7121 5000.
If you can’t make it to the ground, you can still flick through the programme on a matchday by subscribing to our digital version via the West Ham United official programme app.
Once you download the app from the AppStore or Google Play you can snap up a seasonal subscription for only £24.99, which will automatically be downloaded to your device 24 hours before kick-off. Individual copies can also be bought for £1.99.
These digital programmes can be read on any digital device, such as phones, iPads and tablets as well as desktop computers and laptops.