West Ham v Newcastle United – Match Report
West Ham 0 Newcastle United 0
Saturday 4 May 3pm
Watch Highlights Here
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.
For neutrals things are getting very interesting at the bottom but for Newcastle fans it is potentially still two more weeks of high anxiety.
It was definitely a point gained today but all eyes will be on Match Of The Day to see if Papiss Cisse’s first half effort crossed the line, it certainly looked that way for me.
The linesman didn’t though and Newcastle’s very decent opening forty five minutes didn’t bring that critical advantage it deserved.
In an action replay of our last away match at West Brom, it was another proverbial game of two halves.
Newcastle again faced an airborne second half assault and despite a few scares, overall they did ok in dealing with Carroll and co.
After two shockers at home against Sunderland and Liverpool, doubts as to Newcastle’s character were widespread, but they certainly answered on that score.
No one more so than Cheick Tiote who was a massive factor in making Diame totally anonymous, most of you will remember how he controlled much of the game at St.James’ Park without breaking sweat.
Tiote’s creativity/forward passing wasn’t great but you could say that about most of our midfield as Cisse was usually the lone target in front of them.
On their return to the starting eleven Gouffran and Ben Arfa did ok. Gouffran with excellent workrate and link up play plus one effort when he put wide from an acute angle, whilst Ben Arfa was our biggest first half threat despite still not looking fully fit.
Harsh reality though is that if the mackems get anything on Monday against Stoke and Wigan beat Swansea on Tuesday, Newcastle will drop into the bottom three.
Certainly a sobering thought for those unfortunates travelling back on the ‘dry’ trains from Kings Cross tonight.
Getting away from our immediate anxieties for a moment.
If Newcastle stay up, would Andy Carroll be good for United? Today he was anonymous in the first half but a threat in the second when West Ham began to get crosses into the box and corners & set-pieces. Long balls were largely ineffective due to Carroll’s isolation up front.
On that subject, as Carroll ran around forlornly up front on his own in that first half, it allowed Newcastle to easily work the ball out of defence. A reminder of what a chancer Allardyce is as his one tactic is to keep as many people back as possible and then counter-attack and of course get as many set-pieces as possible. Playing such a defensive game in a home match when they are already safe just beggars belief.
As Newcastle fans maybe it is fair comment that we often don’t know what we really want but with the likes of Allardyce we definitely know what we don’t want.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Taylor 80), Reid, Collins, O’Brien, O’Neil, Diame, Vaz Te (Collison 59), Nolan, Jarvis (Cole 83), Carroll
Newcastle United: Elliot, Simpson, Taylor, Coloccini, Mapou, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa (Shola 66), Cisse, Gouffran (Gosling 76)
Unused Subs: Harper, Williamson, Perch, Anita, Campbell
Ref: Phil Dowd
Crowd: 34,962 (2,000 Newcastle)
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