Mark Noble: We're looking to build on our recent performances

Mark Noble


Mark Noble is hoping for two things on Saturday - a West Ham United win and for the Hammers to avoid falling victim to the Laws of the Game.

The Irons go into their Premier League game with Everton at London Stadium seeking a second home win in a row under David Moyes, and to bounce back from last Friday's frustrating VAR-assisted defeat at Sheffield United.

There, West Ham thought they had snatched a late share of the spoils through Robert Snodgrass's smart finish, only for the VAR Chris Kavanagh to spot a handball offence by Declan Rice in the build-up.

Under new laws introduced last summer, a free-kick is awarded against 'a player wins ball possession after it comes off their hand or arm and then scores, or creates a goalscoring chance', meaning Rice's inadvertent touch on Enda Stevens' header saw Snodgrass's goal ruled out.

For Noble, the law, and the time taken to review decisions by remotely-based officials, is taking some of the enjoyment out of the game he loves.

I think it will get to a point when the ball will go in, then everyone will stop and look at the screen and they won’t celebrate until the goal is confirmed

Mark Noble

"We go into Saturday’s game looking to build on our performances in the last three games – our wins over Bournemouth and Gillingham and, even though we lost, our defeat at Sheffield United," the captain told Saturday's Official Programme. "I thought we played really well here against Bournemouth and thoroughly deserved the three points. I was delighted to get a couple of goals, but the result is always more important than any individual accomplishments.

"At Gillingham, I thought the boys did a really professional job, standing up to a strong, physical and direct team who threw everything at them, particularly in the first half.

"To get two wins and keep two clean sheets were just the start David Moyes would have wanted after returning to the Club, but he and all of us were left frustrated and disappointed by the way things went at Bramall Lane. We created three or four really good chances to score, which we didn’t take, and then obviously a mistake cost us the game.

"I was really pleased with the way we played, so the decision which saw our last-minute equaliser disallowed put a real dampener on things. That’s the way football is at the moment, though, and VAR and the changes to the Laws have changed the game I played growing up.


Mark Noble and his teammates speak to Michael Oliver at Sheffield United


"If I am being honest, if I was a supporter and I’d spent a lot of money on a ticket, petrol and food to go to a game, to see my team score what I believe was a valid goal in the last minute, then have it chalked off by an official who is not even at the stadium, it would make me feel very frustrated.

"The changes have taken some of the enjoyment out of the game and made me think twice about celebrating whenever we score a goal. To celebrate like we did at Sheffield United, jumping around and cuddling each other, and then have decision overturned a few minutes later, is embarrassing.

"I think it will get to a point when the ball will go in, then everyone will stop and look at the screen and they won’t celebrate until the goal is confirmed.

"Every goal, I’m immediately thinking ‘Is that offside?’ or ‘Is that handball?’ and that’s not right. They want VAR to only overturn ‘clear and obvious errors’, but it’s not doing that at the moment, in my opinion."


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