Mark Noble hopes his West Ham testimonial season ends with swan dives in his kitchen – but feels his chances of an England call-up for Euro 2016 are over.
The Hammers are fifth in the Premier League, in contention for Champions League qualification, and face Manchester United in a FA Cup quarter-final replay. Should Slaven Bilic’s men reach Europe’s elite or lift a trophy, captain Noble will be ecstatic.
“If half of that happens I’ll be doing Klinsmanns across my kitchen,” said Noble, referring to the celebratory dives named after the former Germany striker.
The 28-year-old will on Monday be honoured for his lengthy and distinguished service at West Ham with a testimonial in front of a sold out 35,000-crowd at Upton Park.
The match was scheduled during the international break, when England play Germany and Holland. Noble had been tipped for a call-up, but Roy Hodgson did not select him and the midfielder has given up on earning a place at this summer’s European Championships, but not an international career.
Noble, who made 20 England under-21 appearances but is yet to feature in the senior side, added: “Over the last two months there has been so much talk about it and everyone I talk to asks me about it, but I just took it in my stride – if it happened it happened and it would have been a nice problem to have. But it didn’t work that way.”
Asked whether he could still force his way into Hodgson’s thinking for France, Noble added: “No probably not, if I’m honest. I’d love to, but I think especially with the squad announcement (last week), if I’m honest with myself the chances are very slim.
“There are some great players in that England squad and a lot of people and West Ham fans thought I should have been in it, but I’m not that sort of person. I just took it in my stride and worried about our next game.”
Mark Noble testimonial
The testimonial will raise funds for three charities: Help for Heroes, which supports injured armed forces personnel; the Richard House Children’s Hospice, which provides care and respite to families and children with life-limited illnesses; and, the DT38 Foundation, named after former West Ham player Dylan Tombides, who died aged 20 after testicular cancer, which raises awareness of the disease.
“If we can help change one person’s life then it will all be worthwhile,” Noble added.
Noble made his West Ham debut aged 17, has close to 350 career appearances for the Hammers and holds the club record for Premier League appearances, with 251. This season is his 12th in the first-team squad.
A squad of current West Ham players will play against a West Ham All-Stars side which includes Teddy Sheringham, Paolo di Canio, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Jamie Redknapp, Scott Parker and numerous others in the final testimonial to be held before West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium from next season.
“It’s overwhelming,” Noble added.
“It’s an honour for me to sit here as a lifelong West Ham fan and to have the privilege of captaining this club and to be able to play in a testimonial, the last one that’s going to take place in this stadium is a massive honour.
“I wanted it here. To be able to play a testimonial, in a season like this, the last season at the Boleyn Ground, is pretty special. It wouldn’t have been the same anywhere else.”