West Ham United have been dealt yet another agonising injury blow this week…
Irons skipper Mark Noble was a surprise absentee during their 2-1 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Monday night, and now the ever-reliable ExWHUemployee has revealed why.
Writing on Patreon, he explained that the 33-year-old was ruled out with a calf strain and revealed that his injury wasn’t one that only cost him a game against Burnley but that he will now miss the next two weeks of action, with crucial games against Everton and Brighton on the horizon.
This is just one of many setbacks Hammers boss David Moyes has faced this season, particularly in recent months as he has lost several of his key players to the treatment table.
First-team regulars Declan Rice and Angelo Ogbonna also missed the trip to Turf Moor, whilst Arthur Masuaku remains sidelined.
The Scotsman did, however, welcome back leading talisman Michail Antonio, who went on to bag himself a match-winning brace, and versatile defender Aaron Cresswell, who captained the side, after their respective injuries.
Without Rice or Noble, Moyes is left with a lack of options to partner Tomas Soucek in the heart of his midfield. He opted for Manuel Lanzini against the Clarets in a move that paid dividends.
The Argentine emerged as an unsung hero from the victory but ultimately, West Ham are a much stronger side with either of the aforementioned duo starting.
Noble also offers an influential presence amongst the dressing room – according to The Athletic, he remains a “hugely important figure behind the scenes” despite a considerable drop-off in game time this season.
Recently first-team coach Stuart Pearce waxed lyrical about the midfield veteran, he told talkSPORT: “I’m really proud of him as an individual. This season he’s been outstanding. When he’s been in the team, he’s been fantastic.”
On the above evidence, not having Noble around is a significant blow to Moyes, and it is even more devastating with Rice still sat in the stands.
The Hammers boss will be gutted going into Sunday’s clash with the Toffees, that’s for sure.