West Ham captain Mark Noble has claimed that he is playing in the strongest West Ham squad since he joined the first team back in 2005.
The Hammers have started the season well, losing just one of their opening seven Premier League games to jump up to fifth place in the table coming into this weekend's round of matches.
Noble admitted that the team still have to prove themselves in the long run, but insisted that his current feelings are very positive.
Speaking in his column for the Evening Standard, the 32-year-old said: "Only time will tell, but for me, it’s certainly the best squad. People will say: “Yes, but what about when we had Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson and Michael Carrick?
"Agreed, they were all fantastic players who came through the academy — England internationals who went on to have phenomenal careers — but we got relegated and they were sold. This, as an overall squad, is definitely the best since I started out in the first team 15 years ago."
A big part of West Ham's progress in recent times has been goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. However, he is now set for three months on the sidelines after tearing a hip muscle during last week's 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.
Noble conceded that losing the Polish international until 2020 is a big blow, but said he expects West Ham's backup options to excel in Fabianski's absence.
Referring to Fabianski, he said: "For me, he’s the best keeper I have played with and brings a level of calmness which I had never seen before. Obviously, his absence will be a big miss, but for whoever comes in — Roberto or David Martin — it’s a great opportunity and one I am sure they will relish."