Noble team talk inspired West Ham to victory at Chelsea
Mark Noble’s expletive-laden team talk fired up West Ham to pull off their first Premier League win at Chelsea in 17 years.
Captain Noble geed up the Hammers to end a string of eight matches without a win in all competitions, as Aaron Cresswell curled home the winner at Stamford Bridge.
Former West Ham skipper Alvin Martin’s son David made his Premier League debut aged 33 in goal and kept a clean sheet, before walking into the stands for a tearful embrace with his dad.
England midfielder and former Chelsea youth star Declan Rice revealed that Noble rallied the Hammers before kick-off in west London, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side sealed their first league win at Stamford Bridge since 2002.
“You know what? Nobes (Noble) got us together before the game and, with a couple of swear words in there, told us we had to be up for the game,” said Rice.
“It’s a London derby, we hadn’t won in eight and if we’d lost we would have been bang in trouble and we knew.
“We worked on our gameplan and frustrated Chelsea and even though it was one-nil, I thought it could have been much more; we thoroughly deserved to win.
“It’s typical West Ham in a way – don’t win in eight and then produce a performance like that!
“It shows we have still got the grit, the desire and the determination to go out there and put in a performance like that.”
West Ham capitalised on a Chelsea side appearing tired from the exertions of a helter-skelter 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia on Wednesday and missing injured England striker Tammy Abraham.
Cresswell converted the Hammers’ best chance of a productive afternoon, that eased the pressure on under-fire manager Pellegrini.
West Ham will roll on to face Wolves on Wednesday night with Rice calling on the club’s players to drag the Hammers away from the relegation zone.
“The manager tells us every week that we need to be a big team: we’ve got the fans, the stadium and the owners who believe in us and we need to be a big team now,” Rice told West Ham’s official club website.
“The focus has got to turn to Wolves now. There’s no point putting in a performance like that and then going to Wolves and getting turned over because then we’re back in the deep end.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard insisted he would not launch any major inquest into the Blues’ defeat, but conceded that his developing young players must learn from the loss and its manner.
“Collectively, yes we can handle that game better, I think that’s part of the (learning) process,” said Lampard.
“I don’t think this will be the worst thing for us because I keep hearing positive great stories about us over the last six weeks or eight weeks.
“I always try to close my ears and don’t like them because of what this league is and the fight there is over the course of the season.
“There will be moments like this. We were never going to come through the season as invincibles.
“It wasn’t going to be the way so when these moments come they are little tests for us and we have to pass them.
“So looking back on the game could they have done something more? Yes, collectively we can do more going forward and manage the game better.”