David Moyes feels West Ham legend Mark Noble should be mentioned in the same breath as other Premier League greats as he approaches another milestone in his lengthy career.
Noble, 33, has played his entire professional career for the Hammers save for short loan stints at Hull and Ipswich. Those were early on in his career and he has now made 523 appearances in all competitions for the club. The Londoner is in his 17th season for West Ham. All but two of those have been in the top flight.
And he is in line to make his 400th Premier League appearance for the East End outfit against Leicester on Sunday. Should he face the Foxes, Noble will become the eighth player to reach the milestone for one club.
“It is great, to be at one club and play 400 Premier League games takes some doing,” he said. “When you look at how many years you have to be there and the consistency you have got to have, and injuries as well play a part in players’ careers.
“It’s a great achievement and he has reached an awful lot of milestones at West Ham because of his loyalty and his consistency as a player and we’re enjoying him at the moment.”
Noble an unsung hero
Noble has never played for England or won any significant silverware during his career. But any West Ham fan will surely have him down as one of the club greats.
Known as ‘Mr West Ham’ by supporters, the midfielder made his debut as a 17-year-old back in 2004. He may have flown under the radar as regards international recognition.
But Moyes feels that should not preclude him from the Premier League’s roll of honour.
“I don’t think there is anybody, certainly not in our business, who would ever question how great a career Mark Noble has had,” the Scot added. “The loyalty, the number of games he has played, the years he has been at the club.
“I think he might not be mentioned in that group of players because they have won European Cups and Premier League titles, but you cannot question Mark Noble’s loyalty, his consistency, and his longevity which is a big thing in football, especially at one club.
“I think he should be mentioned in and around those names but probably from a different perspective.”