Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Wednesday January 12 2011
Stoke gaffer Tony Pulis has made a move for central midfielder Mark Noble. The 23-year-old has been a player that Avram Grant has depended on greatly this season, making a total of 18 appearances and scoring 3 goals so far.
Despite his big presence in the first team, it would be hard for the Premier League strugglers to turn down an offer that could lift their finances. A substantial bid of that nature would certainly roll around in the heads of manager and chairmen alike.
On the other side of the coin, Potters chairman Peter Coates rolls around in incoming finances from his popular online betting company, so Pulis will eagerly await the January Transfer funds being announced by the 73-year-old entrepreneur. Especially seen as Coats is keen on Noble, and his Upton Park team-mate Carlton Cole.
Tony commented: "I like to do a bit of business in January, because it freshens things up. I`ll be in the market, looking for one or two, but they must be the right deals and better than what we`ve already got."
Noble ended last season credited with being the longest serving West Ham player, with a total of 132 appearances and 11 goals, since playing for the Hammers during the summer of 2003.
The youngster has captained both the England U18 team and the England U21 squad. So perhaps an England international is in the making, although he is also eligible for the Republic of Ireland side. Either way, the 5`11" cockney has a lot of experience, both in league and international games.
Pulis sees a lot of potential in Noble as he is a fast paced and creative midfielder and, if he follows the right path, could have a bright future ahead of him. Pulis obviously thinks Nobles career path should continue and develop at The Britannia Stadium.
Speaking of the importance of finding ambitious players, he said: 'You`re always looking for people who have got something to prove and have a desire to keep their careers going."
In my opinion, Mark Noble could be exactly the creative and youthful edge we are looking for in our midfield. Certainly one for the future but even with his current quality, Tony and fans will rattle their brains as to who should be dropped for his place. A good offer and perhaps one the Hammers can`t refuse, but their survival chances will take a kick in the face if he leaves. But maybe the threat of relegation will lure Mark to a club with more stability in the league. A team such as Stoke would be perfect!
As for Peter`s interest in Carlton Cole, I`m not so sure myself. He is a player who has ups and downs with his form, and it could be a risky one to pay for, especially if West Ham want a good wad of cash for him. Don`t get me wrong, he can be a fantastic player, but only when he`s on form. Consistency is the issue for me really.
Date:Wednesday January 12 2011
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