But if not Noble, then who? Vaz Te certainly deserved consideration. He was lively throughout and his strike was fabulous, albeit Collison was in a better position had the mercurial Portugese played the ball back. Given the finish nobody could complain, but had he missed...
Tomkins and Reid were very good but what threat did Cardiff offer? They barely crossed the half way line!
Nolan had a goodish game but came off, and Noble was much more prominent in midfield. O'Neil too was lively and forced a brilliant save with that lovely shot from the edge of the box, but again Noble used the ball better and saw much more of it. Collison doesn't really come into the reckoning.
Taylor would have been a fair shout in my opinion - the corner we scored from was delicious - and he performed well in the left back role. Demel was as good, if not better, and his pass for the Vaz Te goal was superb.
Cole didn't cover himself in glory and Green had nothing to do so neither need trouble us here. It was a great finish from Maynard but he wasn't on the field long enough to qualify. Only Beckham gets MOTM for a fifteen minute stint!
So did Noble deserve MOTM? Maybe he did. The point is, he was again the hub of the team and his positioning, awareness and passing were a crucial factor in us controlling the game. Did he make a mistake? I can't think of one. I would love to see his Optima stats for completed passes and winning tackles - I bet he was close to perfect.
So why do the Noble knockers persist in attacking the guy? Simples, to quote Pulp Fiction, pride is fcuking with them . As each game goes by, so Noble looks better and better. It's time for his critics to show some humility, recognise his talents and celebrate that the Academy has produced another gem.