So Mark Noble, aged 25, is about to sign a five year contract, coming as close as anybody can to committing an entire career to the club that nurtured him. He had his chance to move this summer, Fulham definitely enquired, and he could have run his contract down and done a Rob Green, but it looks as if his love for the club and sense of fair play will ensure he does the decent thing.
Noble really is a throw back to the good old days. He already has over 220 appearances to his name and whilst he will never come close to Billy Bonds' record of appearances, by modern standards he could record an amazing number of starts if he and the club see that contract through.
His critics will claim it is because he has no other options but Jol definitely wanted him and, on a Bosman or at a reduced price because of a short contract, there would be a clutch of clubs eager to sign him. If he was "playing the game" as some claim, he would leave the contract unsigned, twisting arms into selecting him on a threat of, "I play or I walk away"; but Gold claims he will sign a contract today. Good on him I say!