Mark Noble ‘not bothered’ if he plays in final home match as West Ham player against Manchester City

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mark Noble insists he is “not bothered at all” if he doesn’t get onto the pitch during his West Ham farewell on Sunday and suggested divine intervention must’ve played its part in ending his career with this season’s historic campaign.

Manchester City’s visit to the London Stadium is the Hammers’ final home game before Noble hangs up his boots after well over 500 appearances for the club at the end of the season.

A number of tributes are planned for the midfielder, but David Moyes’ side are also desperate for a positive result as they look to pip Manchester United to the final Europa League place.

Noble is not expected to start the match and while a substitute cameo appears the most likely outcome, the 35-year-old insists he has told Moyes the team must come first.

“I’m not bothered at all if I play,” Noble said. “I’ve spoken about it with the manager. For me the club getting into Europe again, into the Europa League, outweighs a sentimental send off for me. Obviously, I’m going to get a great reception, I know that and if I get some minutes great but I have played enough minutes in my life. We need to worry about getting the points rather than worrying about me.”

Noble announced that this season would be his last before the previous campaign had even finished, and says he has at no point since contemplated playing on.

The Hammers have enjoyed an historic campaign, reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League, while the sense of unity between the club and its fanbase that had been torn apart in the difficult years following the departure from the Boleyn Ground has been restored.

“It will be emotional Sunday, but I’m pleased I get to do it on my own terms and retire from football rather than football retire me,” he added.

“Through the years I have been playing, I’ve had some good seasons and some tough ones. I think someone was looking down on me having this season as my last. We’ve had so many phenomenal moments. I wake up and think: ‘Yeah someone’s looking down on me and letting me end my career on this season’.”

Noble is yet to confirm his plans post-retirement and has vowed to take a break over the summer to consider his options but it seems inevitable that he will return to West Ham in some capacity.

“I have spoken with the manager and with Karren Brady last night on the phone and they have both made it clear that they want me to come back and do something at the club,” he said.

“What that role is yet, we have not quite worked out. I’m definitely going to go on holiday and spend some time with the wife and children and do some things that I’ve never been able to do before.

“We have had long conversations about [my future] and we’ll sit down in a couple of months and work out what that is.”

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