West Ham United captain Mark Noble has revealed that he is inspired by Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.
The England international has been United skipper since 2014 and has gone on to become the club’s all-time leading scorer.
This season, the 31-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in Jose Mourinho’s team, starting just eight Premier League games and featuring in nine others as a substitute.
There is also doubt whether he will play in Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton after being left out of the travelling squad for Wednesday night’s Europa League last-32 tie against St Etienne.
Even though Rooney has not been particularly influential this season, Noble has named him as one of the captains he most idolises in English football.
The Hammers midfielder also hit back at Rooney’s critics, claiming that people need to recognise more what he has achieved in the game.
“Sometimes I wind myself up so much over things like when [Rooney] gets publicly slated by the press – people could never ever do what he’s done. Everyone has an opinion but to play at the level he’s played at and done what he’s done and the goals he has scored for Manchester United, he’s just phenomenal.
“To do it at that level and under the pressure he’s played under for the past 10 to 15 years, it’s incredible. I see players like that and think that in this day and age, if people can’t respect or appreciate what he’s done for the English game then, as a nation, we’re struggling.”
Noble became captain of West Ham in 2015 and is currently the longest-serving player in the team having made almost 400 appearances.