West Ham’s transformation under David Moyes over the last two years has been sensational.
He’s taken us from relegation candidates to top-six contenders and favourites to win the Europa League in such a short space of time.
One of the most obvious improvements the Scot has made is the unity within the squad, with Mark Noble as club captain clearly keeping all the lads in check and together as a tight-knit group.
The harmony within the dressing room is clear for everyone to see right now, but Jesse Lingard has given us a very interesting insight into one of the secrets behind that success.
Having enjoyed a fruitful loan spell in east London during the second half of last season, Lingard’s career has been given a second-life.
Despite not returning as a regular starter at Old Trafford, the Man United forward is making more of an impact off the bench, even scoring a later winner against us at London Stadium a few weeks ago.
And Lingard has opened up on what it was like to join West Ham and how the squad welcomed him into the dressing room after he joined, revealing the importance Mark Noble has on the dressing room’s culture.
In his column on The Players’ Tribune, Lingard wrote: “I felt like I just fit in straight away. There’s a great goup of lads at West Ham. They made that transition so easy for me.
“When I first arrived, I was like, “Get me in the group chats!”
“Let me tell you about Nobes. He’s got banter, or at least he thinks he does. He had it in for me from the time the gaffer called me Golden Boy in training.
“Seriously though, he took me under his wing and explained to me what West Ham is all about. I remember on one of my first away games, I was sitting in the back of his car on the way to the airport. It was just me, him and Aaron Cresswell.
“Immediately, I was on my phone. Just automatic, as you do. But he wasn’t have any of it. He turned to me saying, ‘Whoa, no phones allowed in here! We talk.’
“I was like, ‘Ok… fine.’
“On the plane, I would normally whack the headphones on and listen to music, but Noves and the rest of the guys wouldn’t stand for it.
“It was like that everywhere at West Ham, proper conversations about everything. No phones, no social media. If we were having dinner at a hotel, we’d stay down there for ages just talking. It helped us bond as a team, and personally, it helped me a lot.
“When I came back to United, I felt like a different person. I’m more mature, more confident. I’m taking more responsibility. To be fair, I’ve got to credit David Moyes and the West Ham lads for the. Cheers for everything, boys.”
As insights go, Lingard’s words certainly show just how special the culture currently is at the moment, with Moyes and Noble making sure everyone knows how they need to behave in order to fit in.
For a player so used to just being on his phone, or listening to music when traveling with his teammates, to embrace a complete shift in culture and behaviour and then see it completely transform his career path and perspective on life just goes to show how important a good and solid culture can be. Not just for a team, but also for individuals.
It’s so pleasing to know that this is currently the situation behind the scenes at West Ham, as there have been so many examples in the past where that has clearly not been the case.
Long may it continue, even after Noble hangs up his boots next summer.