Mark Noble explains his hopes for the new season at West Ham: a strong top-10 Premier League finish, a good cup run, even a final – and something else. Something less tangible, but equally important.
“I just want to enjoy it more than I have done the last couple of seasons because I have been putting out fires left, right and centre,” Noble says, reflecting on the turmoil that has occasionally engulfed the club.
“Look, I don’t mind. It’s my job – I am the captain of the football club and I take that solely on my shoulders. But when you are using a lot of energy off the pitch to keep the place, to keep the lads [together]… sometimes I’ve sacrificed myself because the changing room is so important.
“When we signed Marko [Arnautovic] last year the first six months were tough for him and after that I took it upon myself to ring him. Not all the time but I kept ringing him and telling him, ‘Don’t worry mate, it’s going to come good for you.’ And I am not saying it’s because of me [that it did]. But it’s important – because the fans wrote him off, and then he kept us up with the goals he scored.
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