This story has really refused to go away ever since Notts County were first linked with Liam Noble back in the pre-season – yet the club has taken it a step further by officially signing him on a free transfer after he was released by Forest Green Rovers earlier in the week.
Friends had been telling me how Noble’s re-signing could be a beneficial thing for us, usually followed by the ‘especially if Jorge Grant goes back to Nottingham Forest in January’.
However, for me this is a mere assumption and I really can’t see Jorge Grant being recalled because although he’s done well, he’s not quite the moulded League Two player we know he can be, so why would Forest consider recalling him for the Championship? It just seems like one of those weak reasons to justify a return of a player given more chances than a cat has lives.
I’m really sick of this! The news is extremely disappointing and I fail to make sense of the decision behind capturing Noble's services yet again.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said or written it, but I fail to see how he can be of any use after he failed to help a struggling League Two team.
And the fact that he signed another deal with Forest Green just a short 3 months ago, it seems even more bizarre that he has decided to ask them to tear up his contract – especially after going on video and saying just how delighted he was to extend his stay there until 2020.
Speaking to the FGR website had Noble said: “I'm delighted. There was obviously a lot of speculation over the summer but I am a Forest Green player and happy to be here to go again for another few years
"We won at Wembley and I wanted to stay. As soon as I spoke to the chairman and manager about a new deal it was a no brainer to stay because I think the club are going places.”
It’s ironic how quickly things can change once you're staring non-league right in the face again.
The word unimpressed would be the easiest way to explain how I am feeling, yet it goes beyond that – I’m disappointed and I feel that the risk is such a huge gamble that it really doesn’t make much sense.
Kevin Nolan spoke about wanting players to be at Notts, he wanted them to be passionate and focused – how much will Noble adhere to this framework?
"We are trying to find out if certain people are available and if they want to come here but, like last season, there will be nobody here who does not want to be here," the manager said.
How long until Noble decides he doesn’t want to be at Notts? He’s shown already that he’s quite fickle when it comes to football already.
Besides reading through Twitter, I noticed a friend Keith Waterfall had mentioned something quite striking – he wrote: "In my opinion Kevin Nolan looks at Liam Noble and sees Kevin Nolan."
This really struck me, as the two are very much alike and if you cast your memories back to Nolan’s days at West Ham United – you will recall him being sent off near Christmas after committing a foul very similar to the one Noble made before Mark Cooper sent him home during his last spell at Meadow Lane.
Don’t get me wrong, despite the level of frustration that I am feeling, I am more than willing to give Noble another chance, but I am nervous that the type of person he is will come back to haunt Notts. As I have said, I don’t question his ability but I do question his attitude, along with his approach to the game, because it’s quite clear that he wants to be playing higher than he is and there are demons quite obviously there when he doesn’t get what he believes a person of his talent deserves.
He’s not the type of player I feel sets a very high example, and even after Notts chairman Alan Hardy attempted to throw fog onto the speculation by tweeting a fan “Liam who?” and then later “That boat has sailed, don’t worry.” – it just seems all rather bizarre.
If we have signed a player that will give his all, avoid silly challenges and focus on being a team player – who can use his ability to help the club (rather than himself) then fair enough.
And hopefully Nolan will understand how to deal with someone like Noble, however I just hope that it won’t backfire or create friction within the camp.
We already have competitive midfield players deserving of a chance to start, so I really wonder how this move will work out.
We can only assume, yet I understand why there are people even more annoyed than I am about this.
We’ll have to wait until January to see how things pan out, we need to focused on the league and ensuring that we are fighting to maintain our current form – as it’s already been an amazing journey this season and I would hate for silly politics to derail us as it always seems to be the case.