STATS: Big money spent, but Mark Noble remains West Ham's key man

West Ham United have invested heavily in midfield talent down the years, but academy graduate Mark Noble continues to set the standard.

It is all well and good scouring the globe for world-class recruits, but sometimes the best option can be found on your doorstep.

Clubs are forever being pressed to place greater emphasis on youth development, with academy systems producing potential stars of the future.

Some clubs have embraced that philosophy more than others, with West Ham United among those to have benefitted greatly from home-grown talent down the years.

The Hammers are not known as ‘the Academy of Football’ for nothing, with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole a few of those to have emerged from their ranks in the modern era.

Mark Noble is another local lad made good, with the talented midfielder an East End native who continues to hold his own in illustrious company at Upton Park.

During his 10 years as part of the first-team set-up, the 27-year-old has seen many big names come and go – some for big money.

He is currently playing alongside the likes of Alex Song, Stewart Downing, Cheikhou Kouyate, Morgan Amalfitano and Kevin Nolan, with many millions spent on acquiring their services, but it is Noble who continues to set the standard for Sam Allardyce’s side.

  PositionTouches GAMETotal Pass GAMEAccurate Pass GAMETotal Att Assist GAMETotal Tackle GAMEInterception GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Mark Noble MF 66.5 50.42 42.92 1.17 2.92 2 12 988
Alexandre Song MF 62.21 46.43 36.57 1.14 2.64 1.21 14 1,111
Stewart Downing MF 58.42 39.68 33.95 2.84 0.58 0.58 19 1,693
Cheikhou Kouyaté MF 45.25 30.19 23.69 0.5 2.81 1.63 16 1,328
Morgan Amalfitano MF 29.36 17.43 13.57 0.36 0.93 0.79 14 778
Kevin Nolan MF 23.93 16.8 13.47 0.47 0.67 1.2 15 718

Noble has been a model of consistency throughout his career and something of an unsung hero.

It is that which has, perhaps, kept him out of the senior England set-up.

The Opta statistics above suggest that Roy Hodgson should be readying a call, though, with the no-nonsense midfielder topping those around him in just about every area at Premier League level – with Downing, who has been involved with the Three Lions of late, expected to have attempted more assists as a key creative influence.

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