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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from West Ham 0 Newcastle 2

3 months ago
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Saturday night ended West Ham 0 Newcastle 2.

Newcastle playing ok in the first half but West Ham still hit the bar twice and had a couple of other decent chances.

After the break though, Newcastle saw their two chances on target smartly finished, by new boys Wilson and Hendrick.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Ben Cooper:

POSITIVES

Pressure Drop

After the Rafa fallout of last season, Steve Bruce has at last had a chance to stamp his authority and different managerial style on the team.

That was something most of us viewed with some trepidation given his track record and what we have seen at SJP when his teams have visited.

Against West Ham it worked. The players looked like they knew what they were supposed to be doing and most of them did it effectively. If nothing else, for one week that will take the pressure off the club and turn Talksport’s attention to West Ham.

Funky Kingston (Park)

Having more attacking players on the pitch was a definite bonus.

The team had the option of hitting it long to Carroll, using the pace of Wilson running the channels, or ASM running through at a back line which didn’t know whether to drop deep or push up.

Not only that, but having options on the bench meant that the team could attack for the full game, rather than watching some knackered forward crawl around on his knees chasing lost causes as the team grimly hung on to what it had.

Or watching JoeLinton do whatever it was he thought he was doing. For the time being, the club now has attacking players who can contribute in a variety of ways and one injury won’t destroy all attacking plans.

Sweet and Dandy

Football is a team game but it is also about little teams within a team, working together and understanding each other.

Mr Sweet and Mr Dandy themselves, Lascelles and Fernandez, are undoubtedly a partnership that gets the best out of each other. They rarely give anything away cheaply.

They are probably the only two central defenders at the club who are completely comfortable in a 4-4-2 and that formation also saw the best out of ‘Silver and Gold’, Hendrick and Manquillo, who also looked like a good right-sided unit.

Likewise, ‘Bam Bam’ Wilson and Carroll seemed on the same wavelength.

Was this planned in some sort of transfer strategy? Who knows, probably not. It did not all work so well, ASM and Lewis seem like they need to work on their fledgling partnership with Lewis outnumbered at times.

In the middle Shelvey always looks physically vulnerable in a midfield without cover and WHU created enough chances to have made the game more competitive, but United do look as if the new players have gelled quickly and enjoyed the change in formation. How’s the bacon did you say? Crispy.

NEGATIVES

Got To Be Tough

I don’t think anyone watching the game was under any illusions that United beat a team who will be in the bottom three at the end of the season, unless something changes in amongst the bubbles.

The Hammers couldn’t even organise the ‘taking the knee’ at the start of the game.

Undoubtedly, United were assisted by the tactical genius of David Moyes who played an attacking front three who looked like they were playing musical chairs, without any chairs, while leaving out the likes of Yarmalenko, Felipe Anderson and Haller. Something serious must have happened to those three players, excellent at their previous clubs, to not get into the team ahead of the exotically named Jarred Bowen, sounds like he was Made In Chelsea, played like Drag Race.

As for Antonio, when your only striker is taking long throw ins into an empty penalty area, there is at least one major flaw in your attacking plan.

“I didn’t enjoy the performance and didn’t enjoy the game. We didn’t show enough quality and I thought it was a disappointing game.”

Yes well that is mostly your fault David. He was right in that it was probably the third best game of the four PL games that day but you still have to win them, not every game is a 4-3 defeat at Anfield. United will have much harder games than this to play this season, 37 possibly, and I am presuming that the rest of the season will be much tougher than this.

Monkey Man

While watching football played in empty stadiums on TV might have seemed like the saddest thing on earth to do on a Saturday night, as the Sky cameras panned to a desolate London Stadium, it got sadder. Mike Ashley was still there.

His presence still divides the club, a dark cloud over everything that happens. Three points, good performance, lots more attacking, all very welcome and encouraging on the pitch, but nothing more than that until the big, big, monkey man has gone.

I’ve Got Dreams To remember

If Arsenal had only won 1-0, United would have been top of the league on Saturday night.

I’m not completely sure but I think that would have been the first time that had happened since SBR in 2003?

Anyway, I’m sure my teenage son has never seen NUFC at the top of the league and I would have loved it to have happened just once in his lifetime.

Yesterday was probably the best chance!

Stats from BBC Sport:

West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 12 September 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Wilson 56, Hendrick 87

Possession was West Ham 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were West Ham 15 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were West Ham 3 Newcastle 2

Corners were West Ham 8 Newcastle 7

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 75), Wilson (Almiron 85), Carroll (Sean Longstaff 88)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Ritchie, Krafth, Fraser

Crowd: 00,000

(‘This game was good, I defy anyone to say otherwise’ – West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 Match Report HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(David Moyes unhappy in defeat to Newcastle ‘Didn’t particularly think it was officiated well tonight…’ – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce gives his reaction to the victory – Read HERE)

(West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 – Watch official match highlights HERE including 2 quality goals)

(Alan Shearer gives his reaction to Newcastle’s opening night victory – Read HERE)

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