A Noble Cause


The pending move of Liam Noble to Morpeth is indeed a strange one and like many fans I cannot quite understand the reasoning behind it from the club's or player's point of view. 

The main question that any fan would ask is "Why on earth would any player at his peak want to drop down a further two levels in the non-league football hierarchy to play in front of crowds of five or six hundred? Does it show a lack of ambition or is he unhappy with the current set up at Pools.

The only answer I can possibly think of, like most working chaps, is down to money. When Noble signed for Pools it was considered a coup and as I mentioned in last month's edition of Monkey Business the Non-League Paper stated that it was the best signing that any of the non-league clubs had made.

At the same time Noble said that it was good to be back home up north and again the same words were repeated when he signed an extension to his contract during the close season. I am convinced that the move back home is one of the few reasons that Pools were able to sign a player of his calibre in the first place.

According to reports in the Mail, in Noble's spare time, along with team mate Ryan Donaldson and the Morpeth manager, they all coach at Newcastle City so there is the connection with Morpeth. Much like Pools, Morpeth are not exactly setting the world alight, standing 16th in their division. From what I have heard from my friends up north, they have a sugar daddy of sorts who is investing in the club and by all accounts the town is starting to get behind the football team.

A marquee signing of the stature of Liam Noble for Morpeth Town is putting down a marker, not only to the team,  but also to the town and the fans.

It has also been quoted that Noble would sign a lengthy contract with The Highwaymen, presumably on the same or enhanced wages that he is currently being paid at Pools, which I can understand offer stability and security. From Liam Noble's corner, he will be playing in a jumpers-for-goalposts league but on a personal level will have financial security for a few years and a hell of a lot less travelling up and down the Queen's highway in the National League which can be devoted to family time.
"he will be playing in a jumpers-for-goalposts league but on a personal level will have financial security for a few years"

In the other corner whilst Pools would possibly be losing their best footballer they would be getting one of the highest wage earners off their books and I understand a token fee would also be exchanged in Pools' favour, which may come in handy if Pools are fined by the league because of the appalling events at the recent home game against Dover. Reading between the lines I don't think Noble is Hignett's favourite either on the pitch or in the dressing room as I am sure he could wind a lot of people up one way or another.

As we have a surfeit of midfielders at the club this is one area that Pools would not struggle for a replacement, my money being on Gavin Holohan with him swopping roles with Jason Kennedy, who in turn would fill Noble's boots. Having Holohan in the side would ramp up the pace of our current one-litre midfield to that of a 1.2 litre midfield but without the turbocharger. Sans Noble our midfield lacks a regular goalscorer so Hignett must be hoping, nay praying, that the Invisible Man (Luke Williams) returns to fitness sooner rather than later in order for that problem to be resolved. Personally I was hoping the lad wouldn't leave Pools as he is vocal and leads by example - something Pools have lacked for a good number of years. Either way, good luck to the lad.

Afterthought. Unless he was passed over by Morpeth, I wonder how Ryan Donaldson felt about not getting a similar offer?

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