Slaven Bilic responds to criticism aimed at Mark Noble

Mark Noble has been in great form for West Ham this season.

Speaking to the Standard, Slaven Bilic has responded to criticism which has been aimed at Mark Noble during his career, with the West Ham boss claiming the midfielder should be playing for England.

Bilic said: “His critics have also said that he lacks pace. Maybe against a stop-watch but this is not athletics. You have many players who are not that quick but they are clever, they are reading the game and they know where the ball is going to be. The way he is playing with the ball now, though, it is on a level which should be high enough for England.”

Noble put in a man of the match performance for the Hammers earlier this week, assisting one goal and acting as the main playmaker as West Ham defeated Aston Villa 2-0.

It was arguably Noble’s best performance of the season, but he has still be in great form for the majority of the campaign.

The occasional mistake has been overlooked due to the 28-year-old performing well for the Hammers, scoring two goals and registering three assists in 23 games.

He was made captain before the start of the season, and has repaid Bilic’s faith in him, with the head coach claiming Noble is now at the level which is high enough for the England squad.

He is more consistent than Jonjo Shelvey, with the same ball-playing skills, and has a more noticeable impact on games than Fabian Delph - two players considered for selection at the Euros this summer.

Noble is sure to miss out on a call-up for England again this summer, but he must be considered soon due to just how well he is playing for the Hammers.

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