Cottee: Mark Noble’s new contract is a fantastic boost for the Hammers

“He’s a homegrown player and he plays with passion, but there is so much more to him than that”

It’s fantastic to hear Mark Noble has signed a new five-year deal with West Ham. He was an integral part of the side that got promoted last season.

In fact, he’s been outstanding since he broke through eight seasons ago.

Noble has been a great servant to the club and I hope he plays at West Ham for his whole career, he’s the type of player we will always want to have in our team.

He’s a homegrown player, a West Ham fan and he plays with passion, but there is so much more to him than that.

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It’s selling him short to say otherwise.

Mark is a very skilful player and a great passer of the ball. His delivery from set-pieces is superb too.

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My only criticism of him over the years would be with regard to the number of goals he scores.

But his role in the team at the moment is to sit in front of the defence and with Kevin Nolan alongside him you don’t need Mark to go tearing forward at every opportunity.

It’s fantastic to have a midfielder in your squad who can score more than 10 goals in a season and that was one of the reasons why Big Sam brought in Nolan.

In the dressing room he is a great leader and captain and can sort out any issues.

Plus he’s a goalscorer and they’re so difficult to come by. It’s hard enough to find a striker who can do that.

Some people questioned Kevin after he dropped down to the Championship, but he’s showing he has the talent to still cut it in the Premier League.

His goals help relieve some of the pressure on Carlton Cole who has had a difficult start to the season – with no goals in his five Premier League appearances.

Speaking from experience, there is nothing worse as a forward than going through a period of not scoring.

There were two spells in my career when I went 10 games without scoring – once at West Ham and once at Everton. To break those runs I scored two of the worst goals you’re likely to see, but the relief is such a great feeling.

My advice to Carlton would be to keep getting in the right positions, because he’s got to try and stay confident and give himself every chance to score. It annoys me when people say ‘he’s paid a fortune, he should score goals’ – the money is irrelevant.

Sometimes there are reasons why you can’t find your form, you go out on the field and you can’t engage your brain.

Footballers are human beings and sometimes you can’t solve your problems until the ball hits the net.

You become so frustrated with yourself and I hope he gets the chance to play against Queens Park Rangers on Monday and get back into form.

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