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West Ham United Name Ex-player Noble as Sporting Director; Barcelona Defensive Duo Injured

West Ham United has named former captain Mark Noble as its sporting director. The development marks Noble’s return with the Hammers months after he retired at the end of last season. The 35-year-old former central midfielder will begin work in January. In a statement, Noble will work closely in support of team manager David Moyes and the board. He expressed his happiness to be back with West Ham and he hopes his knowledge and understanding of the club will help him in his new responsibility. It was Moyes who endorsed Noble to the position and he believes the former player will help the team in the future. Currently, the London-based club are battling relegation with only one win in seven games this season. West Ham United is hoping that Noble will help reverse their fortunes and move to the safe zone in the process, people who are into sports betting have said.

Barca Defensive Duo Araujo, Kounde Injured

Barcelona will have two of their defensive bigwigs sidelined due to injuries. The club said that Rafael Araujo and Jules Kounde sustained injuries on their thigh muscle during their respective international games. The Uruguayan Araujo was taken off inside the first minute of his team’s friendly loss against Iran. Kounde only played 23 minutes in France’s Nations League win over Austria. The defenders will miss their nations’ next games and are likely unavailable for Barcelona’s games when club football resumes. Barca coach Xavi Hernandez may opt for a new defensive line for the team especially that the Clasico match against Real Madrid is just weeks away. Kounde, who has been a vital part of Barcelona’s rearguard, especially at the right-back spot, might miss three weeks due to the injury. Aside from the duo, Memphis Depay sustained a hamstring injury while playing for the Netherlands.

Thomas Letsch to Manage Bochum

German Bundesliga side Bochum have appointed Thomas Letsch as their new manager. Letsch, who coached Vitesse Arnhem, Austria Vienna and Erzgebirge Aue, signed a multi-year deal with Bochum that will last until 2024. Letsch also worked with Red Bull Salzburg and left the club when they chose current Leipzig handler Marco Rose for the vacant head coaching post. Letsch and Rose will meet on October 1 when Bochum travels to RB Leipzig. The 54-year-old is famous for his attacking style and worked with several future players including Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano and Konrad Leimer. Bochum sporting director Patrick Fabian called Letsch as “a dream solution” for the position. Letsch led Arnhem to sixth and fourth-placed finishes in the Eredivisie. He also took the team to the 2021 Cup final when they eventually succumbed to Ajax in injury time. Bochum fired former coach Thomas Reis following six straight losses to open the 2022-23 season. Caretaker coach Heiko Butscher gave Der Blue its first point of the season with a draw against Cologne. However, they are last in the Bundesliga table. Letsch’s appointment is expected to help Bochum gain victories in the German top-flight and secure more European football betting locks in the future.