Player Analysis

Player Spotlight: Mark Noble

From West Ham United Stats

#16
Mark Noble
DOB: 08/05/1987
Position: Midfielder

West Ham United Career
Appearances: 256
Goals: 31

Debut: 24/08/2004 vs Southend United
Debut Goal: 06/01/2007 vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Mark Noble has been in and around the first time for so long now that he feels like a part of the furniture. It’s hard to believe that he made his first team debut more than 9 years ago now, and harder still to believe that he is only 26 years old.

Our longest serving current player, Noble is actually fifth place in our list of all time Premier League appearances (170), behind John Moncur (175), Rob Green, Trevor Sinclair (both 177) and Steve Potts (204). His total of 256 club appearances also places him at number 47 in our list of record club appearances – and, should he reach 30 appearances, as he did last year, he will climb to 38th.

As can be the case with such long serving players, it’s easy to forget or overlook the job that Noble does for the club. Some fans see him as a bit of a workhorse but little else. When Alou Diarra was signed last summer, Noble was the name many people put forward to drop out of the side – a call which could be heard again this season when Ravel Morrison returned from loan.

However, Noble does seem to gain recognition from outside the club. Dietmar Hamann recently tweeted that Noble was “a fine player” and “lovely to watch”, while the Englishman also surprisingly appeared in the Capello Index Premier League XI and Dream Team last year.

So, which is correct? Is Noble a “fine player” worthy of a place in a Premier League XI, or is he merely a hard working mid table midfielder?

For the full article on Mark Noble, including a comparison of last season with and without Noble in the starting XI, a look at his changing role this season, and a comparison with Hodgson’s England midfielders, head to West Ham United Stats

Tom Aldworth / hammerstats
COYI


Interview

Harry Redknapp Interview Time Change

Just a note that the timing of the Harry Redknapp interview has changed tonight on LBC 97.3. It will be played out in two parts at 5.45pm and 6.45pm. This is because I’ve got Ray Davies of The Kinks coming into the studio live at 7.30. You can listen to LBC on DAB in London and the south east, on Sky channel 0112, Virgin 973 and Freesat 965 or at lbc.co.uk


Financial

What is the FA Cup worth to West Ham?

Following on from my Capital One League Cup financial rewards article I thought I would explain the financial rewards of the FA Cup competition in comparison.

Unlike the League cup clubs earn money prize throughout the stages of the FA Cup.

Prize Fund

Third Round Proper winners: £67,500
Fourth Round Proper winners : £90,000
Fifth Round Proper winners : £180,000
Sixth Round Proper winners : £360,000
Semi-Final winners : £900,000
Semi-Final runners-up : £450,000
Final runners-up : £900,000
FA Cup Final winners : £1,800,000

The gate money for FA Cup ties is split 42.5% to each club, 10% to the FA Cup prize fund and 5% to the FA.

FA Cup TV & Radio Rights

ITV has 16 live matches including the final, where they have the first pick of every round. BT Sport has 25 live games including the final.

Below are the TV facility fees paid out to each club when their game is shown on TV Live, delayed feed or as TV highlights.

FA Cup Round Live TV Recorded TV Highlights

Third Round Proper £144,000 £72,000 £6,750
Fourth Round Proper £144,000 £72,000 £6,750
Fifth Round Proper £247,500 £123,750 £6,750
Sixth Round Proper £247,500 £123,750 £6,750

Radio Fees

Full Match (90 mins) £8,100
Half Match (45 mins) £4,050

Our entry into the third round proper is not until 4th January 2014 next year but looking at last season and our games against Manchester United this is what we approximately received in TV & shared gate income.

Under new FA rules the home club sets the price of the tickets whereas in the past the figure had to be agreed upon by both participating teams. In the case of a third-round tie, the minimum price set by the FA is £15.

The Boleyn home tie against Manchester United on 5th Jan 2013 achieved an attendance of 32,922 at £20 per ticket netting us around £279,987. As the game was also featured live on ITV we netted another £144,000 for LIVE TV plus the Highlights and Radio fees making a grand total around £438,837.

As we all remember that late Van Persie goal which broke our hearts and deprived us of another famous victory against Man United under the evening Boleyn lights but that draw was financially beneficial for the replay.

We played the replay on 16th Jan 2013 at Old Trafford in front of a crowd 71,081 priced at £45 per ticket. That one game netted us around £1.39m as the 42.5% percentage of the £3.19m gate. Again it was picked as the ITV Live game which bought it another £144,000 plus £14,850 in highlights and radio fees. So a total income around £1.55m for the night

So we disappointingly exited the FA cup at the third round proper but our combined income of around £2m over 2 games was financially worthwhile.

When you compare that West Ham stated in their 2006 financial accounts that our 2006 FA Cup run in which we were runners up generated a relatively modest £2.4m of income, net of bonus payments and other costs.

At the time the club said in its company accounts “When this figure is placed in the context of Premier League merit fees of £450,000 per league position it is perhaps clearer why, despite the tremendous excitement and sense of history generated by the club’s appearance in last May’s FA Cup Final, so many clubs now prioritise the league ahead of either cup competition”

The merit fees in the Premier League 2013/2014 season are set to be £1m per league position.


Interview

Interviewing Harry Redknapp - Friday, 7.30, LBC 97.3

Earlier this morning I pre-recorded a half hour interview with Harry Redknapp which will be broadcast on my LBC show tomorrow night (Friday) at 7.30pm. The hook was his book ‘Always Managing’ which has been serialised in the Daily Mail this week. I did try not to make it all about West Ham but I am not sure I wholly succeeded.

Harry is a great conversationalist and has some great anecdotes, but I get the feeling he is already growing rather weary of the whole book publishing process. He’s quite open that he’s not exactly a student of literature, and the book was ghosted for him by top sports journalist Martin Samuels. I’ll do a full review of it when I have finished reading it but I have the distinct impression that there are things which Samuels has written which don’t exactly reflect Harry’s views. Take West Ham’s treatment of Bobby Moore, for example.

THIS extract of the book was published yesterday on the Daily Mail’s website. Here’s the key passage….

When I go to Upton Park these days there are two gigantic portraits in the corners at each end. One is of Sir Trevor Brooking, the other of Bobby Moore. Think about that. Sir Trevor Brooking; plain old Bobby Moore. No disrespect to Trevor, he was a great footballer and remains a fine ambassador for the game but it doesn’t seem right. How was Trevor knighted and Bobby ignored? Now he’s dead you can’t move for pictures of him around the place. It disgusts me. Bob’s got it all now. The old South Bank named after him at Upton Park, statues outside the ground and at Wembley Stadium. They even use his name to sell West Ham United merchandise these days. ‘Moore than a football club’ is the slogan. When he was alive they didn’t want to know him.

There are two problems here. Harry told me he had never heard of the slogan ‘Moore Than a Football Club’ and didn’t even know there was a giant banner of Bobby Moore at the south end of the West Stand. He was horrified when I told him David Gold had tweeted he was rather disappointed with his comments, as he said his views were directed at previous owners of the club. I suspect the real issue here is that Martin Samuels will have thought he was reflecting Harry’s views, but couldn’t quite resist the temptation to ramp it up a little. Harry told me he thinks Gold and Sullivan have done a tremendous job in their time at Upton Park and seemed genuinely horrified that he might have upset them. I advised him to drop them a text to mend some fences. It made me wonder whether Harry thinks he might have some unfinished business at West Ham…

A quick aside. On the way out of the building Harry was met by a very ebullient Peter Storrie, West Ham’s former chief executive. I suggested he should also write a book. He said he’d love to, but think of the lawyer’s bills! He’s given me his card. I think I might ask him if he will do one of my In Conversation interviews for the site at some point. He certainly knows where a few bodies are buried.


Talking Point

Is Three Up Three Down Fair?

With the recent transfer window debacle now done and dusted, it was most evident that most fans on this site thought that the FFP rules ensure the rich grow richer and the poor are kept in their place. The rules have been put into place to help stop clubs going beyond their financial means and into liquidation. However, it also makes it harder for the “have nots” to break into the elite top 6 clubs that have consistently thrived on increased revenues of European football and sponsorship deals. This top six also dominate all the major transfer dealings and the rest are left for the scraps. The top six I allude to is of course, Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

However, I believe if you look beyond the CL and FFP there has also been another factor working for this elite group. Before the inception of the Premier League in 1992, we had the old first division that consisted of 22 clubs. Each season two teams were relegated and were replaced by the top two in division two. Percentage wise that meant that we lost a little over 9% of the existing teams every season. At that rate if none of the clubs relegated came back in the next three seasons, the attrition rate from the division would be 27% over that period of three years. Enter the Premier League and we have a reduction of clubs to twenty and an increase of relegated clubs to three. That now means we lose 15% of clubs every year and if the same scenario was to follow over three years it would be a reduction of 45% of clubs in just three years!

Over the EPL twenty year period Man City have been relegated twice, but for obvious reasons I would suggest that they are an exception to the point I am about to make. Last season with only three games to play, it was mathematically possible for any club from 9th place to be relegated. Similar scenarios happen nearly every season.The intense pressure this puts managers and the clubs under is enormous. But the main problem is that too many clubs go down, and with it comes the financial meltdown that results in losing their best players and most streams of high revenue. Realistically the parachute payments don’t help much because these teams can rarely keep their best players. All this uncertainty only makes that elite six stronger and with Everton possibly being the only exception, every other clubs goal at the start of each season is to avoid the drop. The facts are that 5 clubs who have finished last since 1992 are now playing in today’s EPL, and nine who have been relegated over the same time are back in the top flight. But at what cost? We only have to look at the players we have lost in our two relegated seasons to understand it requires a near complete rebuilding of the club to get us back. The constant tear me down, build me up process that relegated clubs have to endure, again just feeds the elite group. For some clubs like Leeds and Forest it can mean especially tough times as they continue to struggle to get back.

The money grab of the Championship play offs at the end of the season has been an excuse that we can’t do away with the current system. In my opinion it just needs rejigging. The bottom team in the EPL is replaced by the Championship winner. The team that finishes second last in the EPL joins the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed Championship teams in the same play off format as is currently used. We are back to two up and two down and whilst it would be harder to get into the EPL it would also be harder to lose out once there. Financially the league would be better off as well as less parachute payments would be required, even more so if the EPL 19th placed team won the play off’s. With this system I am sure a lot of the fear factor would go out of many games which would surely lead to better quality matches? Whilst it is the Champions League that has been by far the biggest catalyst in making the elite bigger, more stability in the ranks would surely help the other teams build, grow and emerge as challengers. Surely this would be better than thirteen of the EPL clubs starting each season with just a 40 point goal?

Some downsides I see to the points made are that some fans prefer to see a variety of teams each season. New clubs to the EPL over the years have provided great entertainment despite failing at the new level. One that springs to mind is Blackpool. I know some fans would like to “beam me back Scotty” to the days before all the money in the game made it possible for an elite group to be formed. Also, if more teams in the EPL become wealthier, would it make it even harder for the newly promoted clubs to survive more than a season? Another scenario to consider is for the 17th placed EPL club to join the play offs? So, is the current 3 up 3 down system the right way to go?


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