By Sean Fisher

20th Nov, 2022 | 8:10am

West Ham United incident nearly landed Mark Noble in big trouble

Mark Noble has reflected on the altercation he had with a West Ham United fan shortly after the club moved from Upton Park to the London Stadium.

West Ham’s move to the London Stadium didn’t exactly go down well with the club’s fanbase, with a large portion of supporters not taking to the 66,000-capacity stadium straight away.

It was a difficult transition for the club, and fan protests included fans running from the stands and planting West Ham flags on the pitch.

In one altercation, Noble threw a fan to the floor after he invaded the pitch, and he gave his version of events via an interview with BBC 5 Live.

“If it was anyone else I don’t think it would’ve happened. I was never shy to say what I thought if I thought it was right for the club,” said Noble.

“Do I understand that the fans were unhappy? Of course, I do, I’m a fan myself. All my family are fans. Do I understand the situation that we’re in? Yes of course. But do I agree with fans running on the pitch? With players, these are my mates – you never know in this world what someone’s going to do.

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“I just saw red and threw him to the floor and if it wasn’t for Joe Hart I probably would have got myself into trouble.
I wasn’t angry, I was just so upset that my football club had resulted to that.”

Boiling point

The transition to the London Stadium wasn’t a smooth process for anyone involved with West Ham. Waving goodbye to the Boleyn Ground after 100+ years of calling it home was never going to be easy.

The club, however, knew that it had outgrown the 35,000-seater stadium. Bigger and better things were needed, but the new stadium only provided the former.

Fans were understandably upset with the new ground, but invading the pitch is never a good idea – as Noble pointed out.

His clash with a fan was an ugly low for the club, but Noble is now on board with the club as a sporting director and can help make changes to make the London Stadium feel like home.

Success on the pitch will always help a club settle in with happy memories, but that seems a distance away with more boos than celebrations heard ringing around the stadium this season.