Given the late timing of Wilfried Zaha’s dramatic equaliser against West Ham last Saturday, there’s a good chance that you’ll have missed the on-pitch bust-up that occurred between Irons captain Mark Noble and Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye.
Amidst scenes of wild celebration across Selhurst Park, the two men had to be separated by their respective teammates after clashing following the final whistle, with Noble telling the press afterwards that he didn’t like Cabaye’s attitude to the game.
Known by Hammers fans as “Mr West Ham”, Noble speaks above about his annoyance with Cabaye following the Frenchman’s apparent reluctance to shake his hand, although I would imagine Yohan was simply trying to express his disgust at West Ham’s time-wasting tactics in the seconds immediately after the pair began talking.
Referee Bobby Madley gave six minutes of additional time after the clock reached 90, which, following injuries to Hart and Fonte, alongside substitutions, bookings and a converted penalty, was only right. Even so, there is a certain degree of irony attached to the fact that the Irons let two points slip just as the game ticked into the 97th minute, following a half when they did everything within their power to whittle time away.
For me, Yohan is the sort of combative character that team’s need on their side when they’re battling down at the bottom of the table. Against Chelsea two weeks ago he was at his aggressive best, taking the game to the defending champions whenever he got the opportunity, at Newcastle, he had no hesitation in putting himself slap bang in the middle of controversy following a full-blooded tackle on Yedlin and this weekend yet again, he’s riled the opposition by expressing his annoyance with their approach to the game. He’s the sort of play who gets firmly under the skin of whoever he’s up against and for that, I love him.
He probably should have shaken Noble’s hand but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to attach any blame to him for allowing his emotions to boil over in the immediate aftermath of what was such a huge moment for us. Let’s hope he and the rest of the squad embrace the momentum given to us by Wilf’s last-gasp leveller in the weeks and months to come, even if it does end up annoying one or two opposition players along the way.