Most crucially, look at just how many times Noble passes the ball! Nolan made 1009 passes last season and 827 went to a team mate. Collison, apparently, only made 105 passes, with just 91 hitting a man in Claret and Blue. Noble, on the other hand, passed the ball 1331 times and made 1074 completed passes!
All season, I argued that Noble was the hub of the team and these stats prove it. Noble and Nolan enjoyed similar game time to each other and Noble saw far more of the ball, and far more than any of his other team mates.
Those who still harbour a prejudice for what ever reason need to explain why the stats support the view that Noble is fundamental to our game plan. Even with long ball Allardyce in charge, Noble gets on the ball more than any other player and all fans of proper football should be grateful for his presence. Without him, the ball would go long far more often!
Pirlo's pass completion rate in the European Championship? Not much better than Noble's!