Noble given time off: ‘A man can take only what he can take’

Mark Noble: Given time off

Mark Noble: Given time off

Mark Noble has been given time off by West Ham manager Slaven Bilic in a bid to rediscover his best form.

Hammers skipper Noble has been singled out for criticism by a section of fans following some underwhelming performances by the team this season.

Last term Noble was being touted for an England call-up but his form has dipped – and Bilic feels the responsibility of captaining his boyhood club during a challenging campaign this time around is weighing down the Canning Town-born midfielder.

Noble will be taken out of the firing line against Leicester on Saturday after aggravating a dead leg at Bournemouth last weekend, and Bilic has backed the 29-year-old to come back stronger after the international break.

“He is the captain and is doing everything for the club,” said Bilic. “He is exactly what a captain should be, but sometimes it is too much.

“Sometimes he takes it home and thinks about that – not only about him but about the club.

“A man can take only what he can take, basically. I spoke about that with him. He is not available for Saturday and after that we have an international break.

“I left it to him, his decision whether to go somewhere for a week and come back as strong as he was. I have no worries about Mark.”