Mark Noble: West Ham captain says he couldn’t say no to penalty call because it would’ve ‘haunted me for life’

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mark Noble says refusing David Moyes’s call to take the penalty he missed against Manchester United would have “haunted him for life”.

The West Ham captain was sent on by his manager in the 93rd minute tasked with rescuing a point from the penalty spot with his first touch after Jesse Lingard had put the visitors ahead with his late strike.

Noble had not missed a spot-kick for five years but his soft effort was at the perfect height for David De Gea, who saved his first penalty since April 2016 having conceded the last 40 faced.

Moyes had asked Noble whether he was happy to go on and take the penalty ahead of Declan Rice, with the captain stepping up to the task.

“It would have been lovely in my last season to have scored so, obviously, missing hurt,” said Noble, who will retire as a West Ham player at the end of the season.

“The thing I take out of it was that if the manager had asked me and I’d had said ‘No’, that I didn’t want to take it… I can live with missing, that’s not a problem with me, but would I have been able to live with saying no and sitting there and watching somebody else take it, not knowing ‘What if’?

“That would have haunted me for the rest of my life, so I take a bit of strength out of that.”

The Hammers will get a shot at redemption when they face United at Old Trafford in the third round of the Carabao Cup tonight.

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They made the same trip in the FA Cup quarter-final last season but were knocked out after extra-time. This time around, though, Moyes has far more depth to call on as he looks for a first win over his former employers since leaving Old Trafford in 2014.

New signing Kurt Zouma has made a big impact in his first two West Ham appearances and it is a sign of the depth on offer to Moyes that the Frenchman is expected to be rested this evening.

“The situation with Kurt is that it doesn’t really surprise me,” Noble said of the defender’s flying start. “He has played at a top level, he’s a top, top player, he’s a French international, a fantastic addition to the squad with the likes of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson who have all been fantastic for us.

“We have strength in depth now and Kurt coming in, playing the way he has done in the last two games has been great for us.

“For sure, the games we have, we’re going to need him this year, and we’re going to need all of our players, especially the boys at the back because playing week-in, week-out, nearly 60 games I think we’ll have this season if we progress, it’s going to be tough.

“I’m sure that the boss will make some changes [against Manchester United] because of the games coming up and the amount of games the international boys have played already, so we’ll see what team he picks. It’s a great away day at Old Trafford for the fans to come and enjoy it.”

Another new signing in Czech midfielder, Alex Kral, who joined from Spartak Moscow on deadline day, will be hoping for a debut at the Theatre of Dreams this evening as will former Fulham goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola who is yet to start after joining on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.

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