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Noble praises 'professional' and 'proper' summer

Filed: Monday, 6th August 2018
By: Staff Writer

Mark Noble cannot wait for the Premier League season to begin following a "productive" pre-season.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who continues as club captain featured more than any other Hammer during the summer campaign, racking up an impressive total of 498 minutes of match action over the course of seven games.

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And having led the way in terms of on-field presence, Noble now hopes to lead by example when the Hammers open their Premier League campaign against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

"Iíve enjoyed the training sessions, Iíve enjoyed the games and, even though weíve been away for nearly three weeks in total, itís been enjoyable around the hotel and weíve had a laugh," he told West Ham's website.

"There is a really positive vibe around the training ground. We are doing things professionally and properly. The organisation of pre-season has been outstanding and thatís not just from the manager and his staff, but also from staff members who have been brought in to make things run smoothly.

"Weíve been dealt a tough blow with the loss of Manu [Lanzini] and then getting Liverpool away in the first game of the season, because you hope for a home game with all your fans behind you. Weíll just have to do it the hard way at Liverpool."

Noble, whose inclusion in Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI has come under question following a raft of new signings and the emergence of Declan Rice as a genuine option in midfield has come under question in recent weeks.

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However the experienced midfielder remains philosophical about his chances of securing a first team spot whilst insisting that Pellegrini is right to seek to enhance his squad options - which, he hopes, will stand the Hammers in good stead for the 2018/19 campaign.

"We're going to need the whole squad throughout the season," he insisted. "Itís not just about the first 11, but a 25-man squad and thatís what weíre going to need. Youíre going to get players suspended and players injured, so youíre going to need everyone.

"The players who donít play might be gutted but we need them to support the team and be happy around the place because itís important to have a really good spirit and togetherness in the squad."

Noble goes into the new campaign having already featured 435 times for West Ham since making his professional debut for the club in August 2004, some 14 years ago - placing him 15th in the club's all-time appearance chart.

Should he feature on a regular basis this season, it is likely that Noble will usurp the likes of Phil Parkes (440 appearances), Alan Devonshire (448), John Bond (449) and Jim Barrett Snr (467) in the record books.

To enter West Ham's all-time top ten, he will have to reach 475 games in order to rise above 10th-place Ken Brown (with 474 appearances).

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