Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Joe Willock saves Steve Bruce’s very lucky bacon
If ever there was a football match where a team won DESPITE their manager (head coach…), it was Newcastle 3 West Ham 2.
Steve Bruce very negative from the first whistle, the only attacking plan was hoping Allan Saint-Maximin will do something on his own.
To be fair, ASM looked lively BUT this is no way to manage a Premier League team.
Steve Bruce hasn’t got a clue, telling your players just to give the ball to Allan Saint-Maximin is not a game plan or even an attacking plan.
Not a great deal happened in the first half an hour or so and then a very bizarre five minutes fell into Steve Bruce’s lap.
On 36 minutes Craig Dawson gifted the ball to Joelinton and made a crazy yellow card foul as he tried to retrieve the situation. It was crazy because he already had a yellow, the referee though allowing play to continue before he showed the red.
Allan Saint-Maximin running on with the ball and his shot looked to be easily covered by Fabianski and Diop, only for the latter to put it into his own net somehow.
Even better was to follow, 10 men West Ham defending a corner five minutes later. Fabianski making a regulation catch five yards out, only to…somehow drop / throw it into the path of Joelinton four yards out, even our Brazilian marksman couldn’t miss that one!
So, second half, a rare chance for Newcastle to really punish the opposition.
At home, 2-0 up, a man advantage, lets get into these!!!
However, this is Steve Bruce.
Not a single other manager would have approached the second half like this embarrassing clown.
Steve Bruce ordering his ELEVEN players to retreat so deep and invite (TEN MEN) West Ham to try and get back into the game.
After a few close escapes, Diop scored at the right end with a free header on 73 minutes.
Still ordered to sit back at all costs, the inevitable happened, Newcastle conceding again after a Lingard penalty punished Clark’s handball. This though only after the NUFC defence had faced ball after ball into the box as Steve Bruce’s tactics invited disaster.
Then only seconds after stepping onto the pitch, Joe Willock saved Steve Bruce’s bacon.
With almost their first attack of the second half, Ritchie crosses and Willock (how on earth does he not get a game ahead of Shelvey???) brilliantly heads home.
Hmmm, if only Newcastle had tried to attack against 10 men a little earlier, instead of this ridiculous all out defensive attitude of Steve Bruce.
As you can see from the stats below, despite Newcastle United playing with a man advantage for 64 of the 100 minutes played, West Ham still had 65% of possession.
In the second half, embarrassingly West Ham had twelve shots to Newcastle’s five, five on target to Newcastle’s two, six corners to NUFC’s zero, plus of course two goals to the one scored by Bruce’s team.
These players are capable of far better than shown this season under Steve Bruce, his luck overflowed today but no way can Mike Ashley allow him to continue next season.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Saturday 17 April 12.30pm
Diop OG 36, Joelinton 41, Willock 82
Diop 73, Lingard 80 pen, Dawson sent off 36
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was West Ham 65% (70%) Newcastle 35% (30%)
Total shots were West Ham 16 (4) Newcastle 16 (11)
Shots on target were West Ham 6 (1) Newcastle 8 (6)
Corners were West Ham 8 (2) Newcastle 3 (3)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff (Willock 81), Almiron, Joelinton (Carroll 90+8), Saint-Maximin (Wilson 64)
Gillespie, Gayle, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo, Hendrick
(Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s eventful win – Read HERE)
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