Taken in isolation this wasn’t a bad performance but when it comes on the back of 0-3 and 0-6 scorelines, three defeats in a row and 0-10 in terms of goals is what most people will remember.
Also as per usual, Yoan Gouffran was pulled off before the end, all very bizarre. At least the manager left him on long enough to score the winner! The fact that he made way for Obertan is just so wrong on many levels.
A point’s a point you cannot grumble…Well maybe you can but it won’t do you much good. In the context of Newcastle’s season and especially their away form, a point at west Ham must be seen as a positive, even if other results meant United ending up in a weaker position overall.
There is nothing like getting taken apart by a top class team and this was nothing like…getting taken apart by a top class team .Fair play to the visitors because they were decent but United were woeful, it was as though every player’s weakness came to the fore at the same time.
All the action is at our end and when a substitute appears there are groans in the away end as instead of Ben Arfa we have Shola bizarrely replacing the industrious Gouffran.
With half an hour left the ball is in the mackem net, a Marveaux free-kick eventually ends up at Cisse’s feet and he finishes, but the flag goes straight up, receiving texts from mates watching in the pub isn’t exactly comforting , the unanimous verdict is that the goal should have stood.
Ben Arfa even at half pace has the beating of the left-back and as he drifts across him yet again with a minute left, the penalty area opens up. Reaching the edge of the box the defenders come to meet Hatem and maybe he could have slid the ball in for the likes of Cisse but you would bank on him hitting the target but he hits the ball well…but over.
His winner burst a massive balloon marked tension and apart from the 502 travelling fans and Fulham team/coaches, there was a release that made sure any neutral knew how important this result is to the football club and supporters. One result doesn’t make a season but it can set it up.
The comforting thing was undoubtedly the number of chances Newcastle managed to create and on another night Papiss Cisse would have been taking the ball home as well as three points for United. A goal early on at St.James’ and it will be some atmosphere.
Simpson, Obertan and Anita have been more or less frozen out since the January recruitment and the manager was back to the blind bravado before the game as he tried to inject confidence into players I’m guessing he knows weren’t up to it.