By Sean Fisher

19th Nov, 2022 | 12:10pm

Mark Noble completes mission for West Ham United staff changes after blunder

After a bizarre refusal at the London Stadium, Mark Noble set out on a mission at West Ham to improve the staff around the stadium.

West Ham waved an emotional goodbye to Upton Park in 2016, with the Hammers moving to the 66,000-capacity London Stadium the following season.

It was an incredibly difficult transition, not only for fans but also for the players. Noble revealed via BBC 5 Live that he was once bizarrely rejected entry into one area of the stadium despite being the club captain.

“It was so hard. That move was so hard because as soon as it went wrong on the pitch the blame was going to be on the new stadium,” said Noble.

“It was going to be tough and there is an extra 30,000 people in there so you’re going to hear it.

“There was one time – there was a poster of me in a tunnel, it must have been four metres high. I’ve walked down there but the geezer has gone: ‘Sorry mate, you can’t come down here’ – I’m the captain of the club.”

But after the blunder, Noble revealed he set out on a mission to improve the staffing around the stadium: “It’s because it wasn’t our staff. It was a different situation. Now, that’s been improved because in the last two or three years I’ve made it a mission to improve the staff on the gates so that they know the players.”

Settling in

It was always going to take time for West Ham to settle down in the new stadium. The move didn’t go down particularly well with many supporters and it was a tough transition to make.

Upton Park was a much more personable and historic stadium, one that naturally felt like home to Hammers fans. Clearly, the players felt the difference too, and Noble took it upon himself to make changes.

To have the captain of a football club denied entry at his own home ground is laughable and shows just how out of touch the stadium was with the club after the initial move.

It was obvious that the club had outgrown Upton Park at the time and needed a more expansive ground, but the move itself was handled poorly and took a toll on the club at the time.

The London Stadium is slowly but surely starting to feel like home. It’ll never match the energy and character of the Boleyn Ground, but fans have certainly had the new ground rocking on a few occasions.