Irony, eh? Not a description of our opponents today, who I need to start by pointing out were very good and deserved this win. No, irony at the attitude of some Newcastle supporters to recent events here. Sorry… but I’m breaking rank a bit here. I’ve long maintained the mantra that protest action is up to the individual and people should respect others’ decision. However, I find the short-sighted, vitriolic attitude of an element of our support to be disrespectful to others at best, and downright thick at worst.
I don’t know what happened in the first eleven minutes of the game as I took part in the walk-in. When I came up the steps Newcastle were kicking off, having gone a goal behind. I was unaware of this as the club had switched off the TVs in the concourse in their latest show of contempt, not that these protests bother them in any way of course. If you think that people trailing into their seats caused the West Ham goal, then you are thick. Other than the fact it was long scored by the time most people emerged, the movement of an arbitrary percentage of people should not and did not affect the defenders who went to sleep a bit, allowing Hernandez to run through and give the Hammers the lead. You also can’t claim the walk-in was unsupported while simultaneously blaming the volume of people supporting the walk-in for disrupting the game.
Apparently some people got abuse when taking their seats. This is unforgivable and contrary to the line of respecting people’s choice. Perhaps tainted by conceding a disappointing goal, but if you think you’ve got the right to abuse others for their harmless choices over inoffensive matters, there’s a place for people like you, and it’s called Twitter.
Newcastle never really clicked today. The choice of Manquillo in for Monday’s match winner Clark was a bit baffling, although a return to the formation that did for Watford and Bournemouth. Manquillo just doesn’t look the part, but this is a consequence of having a neglectful owner, who insists on bargain bin signings.
West Ham looked dangerous on the counter but we had the chances to level and more in the first half. Perez could have won us the game by half time but his finishing was beyond woeful. When through one on one, Rondon was poised to pick up any rebound should Fabianski have saved it. All Perez had to do was hit the target but he blazed wide. Same with the header he put over moments later, or the chance he did well to make for himself, but did abysmally to miss.
Perez was withdrawn after 78 minutes, with Joselu entering the fray to little effect. When Perez left the field there were ironic cheers towards the player who put his fingers in his ears after scoring our first winning goal of the season. Here begins the irony. People who have derided others for initiating disruption towards the team were no doubt complicit in a negative attack on a player in black and white. There will be a response here that it’s ludicrous to assume this, but I believe it fits with the ironic, ignorant attitudes of those that trumpet the line of supporting the team while contributing to a laughably quiet and negative atmosphere.
Here’s the thing with Perez: he cost a couple of million quid from the Spanish second division. He has regularly underperformed in between spells of contributing valuable goals, and I just don’t think he’s good enough to be a starting forward for a Premier League side. But it’s not his fault, it is the fault of a policy of austerity that has limited Newcastle United to playing people sourced from the Spanish second division on the off-chance of a sell-on payday. It’s misdirected anger towards him and it is the absolute polar opposite of supporting the team. Either don’t bother creating an atmosphere of toxic negativity against Wolves, or don’t carp on about supporting Rafa and the lads.
Speaking of Rafa, the striker he wanted to sign, but couldn’t because he cost £16 million, put West Ham two up. Hernandez latched on to Arnautovic’s flick on to notch his and the Hammers’ second and all but seal the win after 63 minutes.
It has to be said our attacking potential was embarrassing as we pushed to get something in the closing stages. Rondon and Atsu fired speculative efforts straight at Fabianski, Shelvey did his party piece of blazing a well placed free kick well over the bar and Joselu smashed a cross over the heads of several well placed team mates.
However, the team were at least trying in spite of the latest dose of irony. With an attacking formation and time to snatch the goal that would set up a grandstand finish, United needed the support in the same way it was credited with seeing them home against Bournemouth. They got another dollop of irony, as huge swathes of the crowd chose to withdraw that support, taking part in an unadvertised walk out 11 minutes from the end. Maybe the message got confused in the Daily Mail or something.
I am not having the opinions of people who are hypocrites and walking contradictions, and I know for a fact that this element of our support base will be back against Wolves, wanting a blue Peter badge for what they delusionally and ridiculously claim to be support.
That boycott may be slightly better supported given that the recent bubble has faded and died against West Ham. In the last minute of injury time, Manquillo rounded off his day’s work by presenting Anderson with the opportunity to make it 3-0. The Brazilian summer signing made no mistake against the team that collectively cost around the same as him. However, it was clear that there are huge numbers in the ground that are just fine with that situation.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 West Ham 3
West Ham: Hernandez 11, 63 Anderson 90+3
Possession was West Ham 41% Newcastle 59%
Total shots were West Ham 7 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were West Ham 4 Newcastle 4
Corners were West Ham 3 Newcastle 7
Referee: Paul Tierney
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie (Atsu 54), Diame, Ki, Kenedy (Shelvey 70), Rondon, Perez (Joselu 78)
Woodman, Longstaff, Lascelles, Clark
Crowd: 51,853 (West Ham 3,200)
(Damning Alan Shearer verdict HERE)
(Newcastle 0 West Ham 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat HERE)
(Has Mike Ashley finally broken the Newcastle fans – Read HERE)
(Rafa Benitez makes clear to Mike Ashley “What they spend, what we spend…you can see that on the pitch” – Read HERE)
Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf