Daily Archives: November 24, 2011

Exclusive – Noble: Promotion is paramount – no matter how we get it

West Ham midfielder Mark Noble believes his side will be playing Premier League football next season after acclimatising to Sam Allardyce’s style.

The 24-year-old is the club’s longest-serving current player after a painfully unstable period for Hammers fans that culminated in them being relegated from the top-flight last season.

But the Irons are now second in the Championship, unbeaten in five league games, with automatic promotion back to the Premier League set firmly in their sights after a period of transition.

“I’ve just got used to it and have played probably my best stuff in the last five weeks and if I carry on I don’t think the manager will have much to say”Mark Noble

“To be honest the first few games were strange as I was used to playing the ‘West Ham way’ with way lots of passing,” Noble said.

“But the gaffer loves his stats about where goals are scored on the pitch and I’ve just got used to it and have played probably my best stuff in the last five weeks and if I carry on I don’t think the manager will have much to say.

“So much stuff has happened with chairman and managers and sponsors but it looks like we finally have some stability now with the two Davids and the manager.

“Slowly but surely we’re going in the right way and we are after promotion, it does not matter how we do it as long as we get back there.”

Noble’s form in the claret and blue of his boyhood club has also reignited speculation he could pledge his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland after hitherto failing to earn his first full England cap

“I think I am eligible as my grandparents are Irish,” he said. “I’ve been asked before and held out. I still have hopes of playing for England and getting back into the Premier League and I still believe I can do that. We will see, you never know what the future holds.”

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


West Ham vs Derby: Another home headache for Allardyce

Poor Boleyn Ground form to again cause trouble for promotion hopefuls

West Ham vs Derby: Another home headache for Allardyce

At first glance, Saturday’s televised teatime Championship clash looks like a mismatch, but there are reasons to believe that Derby will become the latest side to frustrate West Ham in front of their expectant fans.

The 7/4 title challengers, who sit second in the table, five points shy of Southampton yet three clear of third-placed Cardiff, are 4/9 favourites on account of a run of four wins in five that contrasts with Derby’s record of one in nine.

However, they have won only four of their eight home encounters, several of those stumbles coming against clubs in unimpressive form such as Ipswich and Bristol City. In addition, three of the four victories came by one-goal margins.

The Irons also enter this fixture on the back of successive away triumphs at Hull and Coventry, which is notable because they are yet to win three on the spin under Sam Allardyce.

On each of the three previous occasions that they have had a chance to complete a hat-trick, they have been held, and Derby are 16/5 to keep that trend alive with a point this weekend.

The Rams have lost on just one of their last three trips to east London and that was courtesy of a late Carlton Cole (4/1 to score first) goal in 2007-08, the season remembered as the most humiliating in their history.

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While West Ham are happy to grind out away points, Allardyce has stuck by his pledge to entertain at home, resulting in a few gripping games at the Boleyn, namely the 2-2 draw with Leeds and 4-3 and 3-2 victories over Portsmouth and Leicester.

Both teams to score appeals at 10/11, while those looking for meatier odds can find 5/1 on it being a score draw.

The return to fitness of experienced Derby duo Shaun Barker and Paul Green should ensure that the visitors remain calm when facing a likely barrage in the closing stages, and 2/1 is a big price on the first half featuring more goals.

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Uncategorized