West Ham’s Noble admits he ‘scuffed’ penalty against Tottenham
07:45 18 August 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
But Hammers midfielder vows to take next spot kick that comes along
West Ham talisman Mark Noble has vowed to step up for the next Hammers penalty despite missing against deadly rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday at Upton Park.
There is little wonder why. It was the first penalty he had missed since Peter Cech made a stunning save at Upton Park back in April 2009.
Since then he had scored 17 on the trot, while 12 of the last 13 he has taken were at Upton Park.
His total of 22 penalties in claret and blue is a superb statistic for West Ham’s current longest serving player, so his miss on Saturday was all the more surprising and all the tougher to take for the midfield man.
“To be honest I knew where I was going with the penalty,” said the 27-year-old. “I saw Lloris move first and I was going to go high and whip it in that corner, but I saw him and I just thought I would go safe and obviously it went wrong from there.”
It was that change of mind that may have been crucial in his miss and he also stressed something else about this penalty compared to the others.
“I don’t think I have ever missed the target,” confessed Noble. “I have had a couple saved, but never missed completely and that is a criminal offence.
“I scuffed it a little to be honest. Everything went right in my mind, I knew exactly what I was going to do, but I just didn’t connect with it right and that is the price you pay.”
The Hammer put in an excellent display on the day, but he knows that all it will be remembered for is that miss and it is hurting.
“I know I missed a penalty and I have always said to myself there will be a day when I do miss one, but that is life, it could be a lot worse. I always say to myself there are people in Afghanistan and Iraq getting shot at and getting blown up so missing a penalty is not the end of the world.
“I know it is heart-aching, especially to miss against Spurs, so I will be stepping up for the next one we have for sure.”
Noble has missed before. He missed two on the trot back in 2009 against Matt Duke of Hull City and then Cech, but it was some wise words from another former Hammer that got him back on the road to success.
“I remember missing one here against Chelsea and it costing us a point,” recalled Noble. “Frank Lampard came up to me afterwards and said make sure you take the next one and smash it in the back of the net.
“I never forgot those words and that is exactly what I did and hopefully that is what will happen again. I will definitely take the next one, 100 per cent.”
Who could doubt that Noble will look to grab the ball next time there is a penalty? And who would bet against him smashing it into the net? Not many would be brave enough. It takes guts and Noble has it in abundance.