West Ham United captain Mark Noble, rated at £6.3m by Transfermarkt, has come under fire from his own fans on Twitter following some below-par displays in the middle of the park this season, and it’s fair to say that the 31-year-old – like many of his teammates – hasn’t always been at his best.
The central midfield area has been one of the east London outfit’s weak areas throughout the campaign, with the Irons skipper and regular partner Cheikhou Kouyate often not doing enough.
That has changed in the last couple of matches as the joint-worst defence in the Premier League has kept two successive clean sheets, and while Noble got on the score-sheet with a brilliant volley in the 2-0 win against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium last weekend, it was a very different style of performance against Manchester United at the London Stadium on Thursday night.
He was up against the likes of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the centre, but his statistics from the evening show that he was pivotal in helping his side picking up a point in the goalless draw.
Noble was good in possession – he had a passing accuracy of just under 90%, as per WhoScored.com – while he had 90 touches in total throughout the 90 minutes.
While he made two key passes from an attacking point of view, he also made five interceptions and four tackles defensively too, in another much-improved display.
Some may have doubted whether the midfielder could still be a regular starter next season, but performances like the one against the Red Devils show that he can be, although he needs to replicate it on a more regular basis.