BBC pundit Garth Crooks raves about West Ham duo, claims Mark Noble epitomises Hammers

Mark Noble

Garth Crooks has hailed West Ham duo Mark Noble and Michail Antonio.

Pundit Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that Mark Noble epitomises West Ham United - and has raved about winger Michail Antonio too.

The Hammers recorded a second win in a row on Saturday, as goals from Antonio and striker Andy Carroll gave them a 2-0 win over Liverpool at Upton Park.

The win means that West Ham - who recently had an eight-game winless run after a spate of injuries - are now four points off the Champions League places.

With five draws and two wins in the last seven, the Hammers maybe haven't been winning so many games, but manager Slaven Bilic has made them hard to beat, and he deserves plenty of plaudits for adapting his team in the face of injuries to the likes of Winston Reid, Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini.

Now, pundit Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that he was impressed with midfielder Mark Noble's display against Liverpool, and even suggested that the 28-year-old, who came up through the ranks at Upton Park, epitmoises everything about the club.

"The ball into Andy Carroll for his beautifully headed goal was textbook," said Crooks. "In fact, if Liverpool had any sense they would have provided the same type of service for Christian Benteke. All Mark Noble did was play to his team-mate's strengths and it wreaked havoc."

"Noble also knows where the danger is. His clearance off the line was cool, calm and frankly typical of a lad who just gets on with it. He epitomises everything this East End club stands for. The Hammers have produced some wonderful servants in the past and it looks like they've produced another worthy member of the West Ham academy."

Crooks also analysed the performance of winger Michail Antonio, who has impressed in recent weeks, having initially made a slow start to life as a Hammer following his deadline day move from Nottingham Forest back in September.

With two goals in two games, Antonio is making a real impact in the Premier League now, and Crooks believes his goal against Liverpool was 'extraordinary' - and thinks West Ham have a real star on their hands.

"The tackle on Liverpool's Alberto Moreno deep in West Ham's half should have been a free-kick but referee Robert Madley insisted play continue. However, what Michail Antonio went onto achieve thereafter was quite extraordinary. Antonio immediately recovered from the tackle and then followed the move he started in his own half in order to extend himself above Liverpool's defence to head home a most sensational goal."

"This young man has slowly worked his way through a number of clubs to get to Upton Park. If he keeps playing like this he could be making far more appearances," he added.

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