Noble eyes a place in Capello’s World Cup squad
WEST HAM midfielder Mark Noble is hoping that the presence of new boy Luis Jimenez will help propel him into the thinking of England coach Fabio Capello before next summer s World Cup Finals in South Africa, writes DAVE EVANS. Noble finished his time with
WEST HAM midfielder Mark Noble is hoping that the presence of new boy Luis Jimenez will help propel him into the thinking of England coach Fabio Capello before next summer's World Cup Finals in South Africa, writes DAVE EVANS.
Noble finished his time with the England under-21 team after their final defeat by Germany in the European Championships back in June, and now he has an eye on stepping up to the senior squad.
Capello was at Upton Park on Saturday for West Ham's 1-0 Bobby Moore Cup defeat by Napoli, and the 22-year-old, who is the Hammers current longest serving player, hoped that he made a good impression.
"Obviously I want to impress and push on and now I'm finished with the under-21s, I want to push on and get into that senior squad, and hopefully I can do that.
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"I've got to keep working hard and keep impressing people."
Noble had a mixed season last term, never really finding his best form, as well as missing his last two penalties for the club, but he is hoping that the class of Jimenez will have a positive effect.
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"He's a really good player, a clever player," said Noble. "He fits in well because we like to pass it; we like to do little interchanges.
"Hopefully if we can get him on the ball a bit more, then he can score us a few goals this season."
Goals from the likes of Noble himself are also important, something the Canning Town-born West Ham fan is only too aware of.
"I came close against Napoli with a strike, I thought it was in to be honest," said Noble, whose tally of five goals last season consisted of three penalties. "Hopefully I can get myself in that position a lot more and get on the scoresheet a little more, then I'm sure I'll be happy and so will the manager."
Whether Noble gets the chance to do that this season remains to be seen. With Scott Parker and Jimenez set for two of the four midfield spots, Noble will fight it out with Jack Collison, Valon Behrami, Kieron Dyer and Junior Stanislas for the other two places.
So has Gianfranco Zola spoken to the midfielder about what he expects from him this season?
"No, not really," he answered honestly. "I think I know already what he expects from me and that's a good thing. Hopefully I can play as many games as I did last year, score a few more goals and we can finish higher up the league."
There are few Hammers fans who would disagree with that.