West Ham captain Mark Noble: It’s frightening how much Harry Kane has played... it’ll catch up with him for sure

Mark Noble
Action man: Harry Kane is back in training with Spurs: REUTERS

A home game against Tottenham is always a special one for West Ham fans — and I am no different.

They had three players, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Harry Winks, in the England team the other night and I wouldn’t have minded their plane home from Spain being delayed for a few days!

Seriously, though, it’s frightening when you look at how much football Harry Kane has played in recent months.

It will catch up with them for sure, probably around the Christmas period which is hectic. Their manager is good with that, giving them some time off when he can, but it’s a Catch 22 situation because Harry is so driven, he wants to score goals and be involved so he doesn’t want to miss out on games.

As a fellow player, you try to analyse his strengths and weaknesses and honestly — I don’t see too many of those.

As a striker he’s great in the air, very good with his left foot, brilliant with his right and he’s quicker than a lot of people think.

When he doesn’t score for a few games, suddenly he’s supposed to be gone, tired.

I think his performance against Spain this week shows you he still has plenty of energy right now.

Why is it that the game against Spurs is so special for West Ham fans?

I’m not sure, really. Perhaps we see Spurs as our closest London rival, given that Chelsea and Arsenal have won plenty of trophies over the years whereas Spurs have missed out on titles by a few points here and there.

It’s always competitive and just a good game in which to play. I scored my first Premier League goal against them in 2007 and the atmosphere on the pitch is always amazing.

I’ve been involved in so many wins, losses and draws and you never know what this particular game will throw up. We have had some fantastic results again them — and some bad ones.

Years ago, not long after I had broken into West Ham’s first team, there was quite a lot of talk about a possible move to Spurs but I was always seen as a proper homegrown player and I’m happy with that.

You look at other players such as Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair, who moved to other big clubs — with mixed outcomes. I’ve always said I have no regrets at all. I’ve created a bit of history at West Ham and I think I’ll be remembered a lot more for staying here rather than moving to 10 different clubs.

The players left behind at West Ham during the international break have been training hard, probably harder physically than at some other periods during the season.

There was a time a few years ago when people were putting my name forward for international recognition but these days, I have to say I look forward to a weekend off, without the pressure of another game.

Take the England players. They go from ‘having to win’ for their clubs to the pressure of playing for their country. For me, though, just having that chance of a mental rest for a weekend is a really good thing.

I was having a chat with Pablo Zabaleta on Tuesday and he said the hardest part of the game when you get a little bit older, is the mental side of things, so when you get that time to relax, it’s really good.

Physically you feel okay because you learn, you know your body.

I remember flying into tackles when I was 21, getting big lumps on my shins — and they would heal in a day!

Now you take a lot more time to look after yourself.

Premier kids must be looking abroad

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Premier League clubs are bringing through fewer and fewer English players, meaning Gareth Southgate has a small pool of players from which to pick.

The front three of Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling can hurt any side but players like Mason Mount, Nathaniel Chalobah and Jadon Sancho had to be brought into the squad for the games against Croatia and Spain.

Clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea may be dominating youth football to an extent, but they have a lot of good foreign players. So I think more and more of our promising youngsters, like Jadon, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, will follow his example and go abroad for game time.

Defoe should have been a title winner

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There have been some stories recently about Jermain Defoe wanting to come back to West Ham to end his career here.

I don’t know if that is true but the one thing I’ve always felt about him is that he should have played for a title-winning club in his career.

His scoring record anyway is phenomenal, but if he had played for one of those clubs, it would have gone through the roof.