West Ham manager David Moyes is selecting Mark Noble ahead of Said Benrahma because of his defensive capabilities, according to Paul Robinson.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England goalkeeper believes Noble’s ability to cover for the attack-minded Tomas Soucek is the real reason for Benrahma’s absence.
Noble has started West Ham’s last two Premier League fixtures despite Benrahma producing eye-catching displays against Leeds United and Crystal Palace earlier this month.
The attacking midfielder, on loan from Brentford, was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton, a decision which bewildered fans.
Benrahma’s seven appearances in the Premier League this season, of which only two have been from the start, have yielded two assists.
When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of David Moyes’s team selection last weekend, Robinson said: “It was an interesting one.
“Noble drops in when they are out of possession and he can provide that defensive cover when Soucek pushes on and gets involved higher up the pitch. Noble can secure things up with Declan Rice in the middle. It was a defensive move from David Moyes.
“I would love to see Benrahma starting more often. At Leeds he was fantastic. He took his chance in that game and showed what he can do.
“I do not think Mark Noble is a number 10 and if you are going to play with a number 10, Benrahma should start.”