Paul Merson suggested that West Ham Duo Declan Rice and Mark Noble are as good as anybody in the deep-lying midfield role, when speaking on Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday programme today (Saturday March 7th, 13:41).
Now, Merson's comments are strange. On the one hand, it i hard to argue with him in regards to Rice.
Bringing Noble into the conversation, however, really is baffling.
The 32-year-old West Ham skipper has been really poor this season, whilst his 21-year-old teammate has excelled on a regular basis.
Noble has made 26 Premier League appearances for the Hammers this season. In those outings, he has made just 43 tackles, 19 interceptions and 157 ball recoveries (premierleague.com).
Now compare those stats to Rice.
The England international has made 29 league appearances, and during those outings, he has racked up 87 tackles, 61 interceptions and 249 ball recoveries (premierleague.com).
It really is night and day.
Rice is so much more dynamic than Noble. And it will surely not be long before the West Ham skipper is slowly ushered out of the side.
In spite of that, Merson still praised Noble, as well as Rice, when speaking on Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday programme today:
When Rice and Noble stay in the middle and don't go anywhere, they're as good as anybody. Good footballers, and they're disciplined.
West Ham face Wolves at home next Sunday. And it must be time for Noble to be dropped. Especially with Tomas Soucek having returned from injury.
The 32-year-old is a legend at the club. But the time has come to take him out of the firing line. Noble is becoming a liability. And is is absolutely pivotal that David Moyes realises that as soon as possible.
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