Gianfranco Zola claims Mark Noble has an identical stage of soccer intelligence to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo.
The West Ham United captain performed beneath Zola throughout his two years in cost at Upton Park, starring in midfield alongside Scott Parker.
Noble, 33, will make his 500th look for the Hammers on Friday evening if he options towards Watford on the London Stadium of their essential Premier League conflict.
And Zola admitted he beloved working with the tenacious tackler, citing his intelligence on the pitch as an enormous issue.
He advised The Athletic: “He was an clever participant and I’ve at all times thought-about his footballing intelligence to be nearly as good as Andrea Pirlo.
“Noble was an necessary participant for me on and off the pitch.”
West Ham boss David Moyes may nicely name upon the veteran for the essential recreation towards the Hornets after his starring position towards Norwich throughout a 4-Zero victory.
He supplied an help for one among Michail Antonio’s 4 targets, had a go accuracy of 89 per cent, created eight probabilities and recovered the ball 5 instances.
And the Scot mentioned of the 33-year-old midfielder, who made his senior debut in 2004: “I feel now to get 500 video games for any membership; you must give him nice credit score for that.
“He’s been a one-club man and served the membership extremely nicely, since being a younger participant to the place he’s now – nonetheless main the group, nonetheless very vocal, nonetheless taking part in very nicely. Lengthy might it proceed.
“We’ve had some nice gamers right here having many video games like that – Billy Bonds, Sir Trevor (Brooking), Bobby Moore. I feel for Mark to get to 500 video games for West Ham is a good achievement.
“He’s captain, a very necessary participant for us, necessary within the dressing room, and I feel West Ham ought to contemplate themselves fortunate to have such a great participant but in addition a very good man across the membership. I hope he can work in the direction of getting one other 100 or 200 video games.”