Mark Noble - Let's draw on the spirit of 2007!
Mark Noble has urged his West Ham United team to draw on the spirit of the 2007 Great Escape as they bid to beat the drop.
The Hammers looked dead and buried 13 years ago, when they sat ten points from safety with ten games remaining, but a strong performance in a dramatic defeat by Tottenham Hotspur seemingly galvanised the squad, and they responded by winning seven of their final nine matches to stay up.
After producing a similarly heroic performance in Monday’s 3-2 defeat at Liverpool, comparisons have been drawn. And while West Ham’s current situation is nowhere near as dire as it was in the spring of 2007, the captain knows they need to start winning sooner rather than latter to avoid more final-day drama.
In 2007, we won all but two of our remaining nine games and there is no reason why we can’t do something similar this season
“People have been reminding me of our Great Escape of 2007 and how the Liverpool game can act as a springboard, like our game against Spurs did all those years ago,” Noble wrote in the column for the Official Programme for Saturday’s visit of Southampton to London Stadium.
“We are in nowhere near as bad a position this time around, but I know what they mean. In 2007, we won all but two of our remaining nine games and there is no reason why we can’t do something similar this season. If we do, we’ll have nothing to worry about!
“I have always said that winning matches is the bottom line and that is true, more than ever, as we look to climb the table over the final quarter of the season.
“There are still 33 points to play for and we want to pick up as many as possible. With the players we have got, all eleven are winnable, but we have to do our talking on the pitch.
“I thought we played well at Liverpool on Monday night, even though we lost the game, and that performance will have given the lads confidence heading into Saturday’s match. We pushed the best team in the world all the way, scored two good goals, created chances, passed the ball well and defended with real commitment. Only mistakes cost us a point, if not all three. I took a lot more positives from the game than the opposite.”
Following the visit of the Saints, West Ham also welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea, Burnley, Watford and Aston Villa to east London, and Noble says home advantage will be vital as the Irons strive to remain in the Premier League.
“Six of our final eleven games are at home and I just want to emphasise how much strength it gives to the players if you have 60,000 people behind you,” he concluded. “The noise we can generate at our stadium can be very special and we are going to need that volume in our remaining home games, of that there is no doubt.”