After looking doomed for relegation in January, West Ham United are savouring the comforts of 11th place with five Premier League matches left to play.
The Hammers sit seven points ahead of 18th place Fulham with a game in hand, and Mark Noble has taken to peering up the table rather than down.
“Our aim since the start of the season has been to at least match last year’s finish,” the midfielder told West Ham’s official website.
“We didn’t have the best of starts, we know that, but since Christmas we’ve really dug in and put the points on board - that’s what has made us half-safe now.
“There’s five games left that we need to get points from and come tenth again.”
West Ham’s push for 10th starts with Tuesday’s visit to face Arsenal, who Noble started his schoolboy career with as a nine-year-old.
The 25-year-old says he has no fear of the Emirates - asking why his side can’t bag three points in North London?
“I was at Arsenal as a young kid before I went to West Ham and they probably did develop me as a player a bit,” he added.
“I’ve won there once before during the great escape we had and who says we can’t do it again?”
And if West Ham do come away with points from Arsenal’s home ground, the stats say Noble will be at the heart of it.
He’s the Hammers’ foundation for success in the centre of the park, winning back possession at a high rate and driving forward to create chances.
|Team||Chance created||Big Chance Created||Dribbles||Won Tackle||Interception||Ball Recovery||Apps||Mins|
|Mark Noble||West Ham||24||7||36||63||64||266||33||2,893|
The talismanic midfielder leads the Hammers in several key statistical categories - chances created, tackles, interceptions and ball recoveries - and boasts the second most dribbles in the squad.
Arsenal played 120 minutes in the penalty shoot-out win over Wigan at the weekend to reach the FA Cup final, so face fatigue concerns ahead of well-rested West Ham’s visit.
And Noble will be keen to take advantage by breaking up the Gunners’ slick passing and sparking the counter against tired legs on Tuesday - two things he has excelled at this season.
Arsenal face a real fight to finish fourth and should be wary of Noble, who has all the tools to extend Arsene Wenger’s side’s winless streak in the Premier League to five games.
So perhaps the Englishman is right to ask why West Ham can’t win at the Emirates - after all he looks the greatest threat to the Gunners that Sam Allardyce has at his disposal.