Arise, Sir Mark Noble, for you have been a wonderful addition to the English game over the last decade and a half.
The West Ham United legend made his final home appearance following a pulsating 2-2 draw with title-chasing Manchester City - a result that seemed a bit unfair to the Hammers.
Noble leaves his boyhood club after making 549 appearances, scoring 62 goals, and seeing West Ham rise and fall from the doldrums of the Championship to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Invaluable Leadership And Loyalty
Though not a marquee player or prolific goalscorer, Noble has been a constant presence in the Hammers midfield and his leadership has proved to be invaluable. Much like compatriot Jordan Henderson, Noble’s qualities come from his overall presence rather than his pure footballing ability.
He may not have the goalscoring record of Steven Gerrard or the trophy haul of Frank Lampard, but Mark Noble has still left a permanent mark on Premier League history.
Perhaps Noble’s greatest trait is his unwavering loyalty to his club. The level of commitment shown by him is something sorely missing from today’s game and is reminiscent of the players I was enamored with in my youth.
An Old-School Midfielder
How football has changed. Tough-tackling, hard-working midfielders like Graeme Souness used to be commonplace and the unbreakable spirit shown in old-school dressing rooms was considered the bare minimum if you wanted to compete for prizes.
Players were hard, almost warrior-like, and were completely dedicated to their sport and not tempted by off-field agendas or silly clothing brands.
Mark Noble, for a time, brought me back to the golden years of football. His playing style was no-nonsense and direct - exactly the attitude I’ve taken into life to, may I add, great success. It seems he and I are kindred spirits and I wouldn’t be surprised if I acted as somewhat of an influence on him.
Arise Sir Noble
The midfielder will make his final West Ham appearance versus Brighton on the 22nd. The fixture will conclude a career that started way back in 2004 - the year several of the league’s players were born. If you ask me, he deserves a Knighthood for his services to English football and his undying love for West Ham United and their patriotic fans.
It’s heartbreaking that Noble won’t finish his career in the Europa League final. Had the club made it, then it would have been a fitting conclusion to a wonderful career - especially if it had been against Rangers.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, and at least Noble was able to feature in Saturday’s impressive draw against Manchester City. He can be proud that his team were only inches away from defeating the best British team of the modern era and he can take solace in the fact that the baton is being passed to the outstanding Declan Rice - a player who shares a lot of Noble’s attributes.
A Great Servant Of Our Sport
We don’t produce players like Mark Noble anymore. Nowadays, players are more interested in making money and funding their side hustles than playing the game. We’ve seen this generation’s players get distracted by signing Gucci contracts, taking on the government, and puppeting worrying political agendas to the detriment of their performance.
For them, professional football is nothing more than a side hustle and a means to fund their extracurricular activities. It’s nothing short of a disgrace and a mindset that Mr. Noble has never been interested in developing.
This Premier League season will finish with a bittersweet note as we wave goodbye to one of its greatest servants. Farewell, Mark Noble, I hope to see you in the West Ham technical area at some point as you guide your beloved club back to the very top of the English game.
LORD PING, THE ONLINE CASINO FOR OPINIONATED PLAYERS!