Noble has now had his say: “There have been players at West Ham who haven’t been regulars and who many supporters haven’t really taken to,” he wrote in his Evening Standard column. “At some point, though, we will need those players, so you can’t give them the cold shoulder.
“An example last season was Lucas Perez. He came in for plenty of criticism, but came in for a few games, scored important goals and won us the points.”
Perez’s time at West Ham was a bit strange. He arrived to little fanfare, clearly an addition merely to supplement Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, and it seemed that the Chilean never truly trusted him. That feeling spread to the supporters, who were similarly cold towards the 31-year-old. The thing is, though, he actually did pretty well when he played. As per Transfermarkt, the Spaniard scored six times in 19 games for the Hammers. However, he only played 712 minutes of football. That means that he scored at a rate of one goal every 118 minutes. Now that’s not bad at all, is it? And, after a rough start at new club Alaves, he has now scored in each of his last five La Liga games. There was always a decent player there, but for whatever reason he never got a proper chance at the London Stadium – even Noble admits as much.