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Opinion

The unplayable ASM and the UNPLAYABLE Jonjo Shelvey

2 weeks ago
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Just still attempting to get my breath back after Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 but my god did we make it hard for ourselves.

Nine points clear of relegation and 15th is brilliant considering where we were before, along with only our second set of back to back wins all season, but it should have been much easier than that.

Anyone who tuned in for the second half would have thought we were the 10 man team desperately holding on for the point, yet we were the ones being bossed by 10 man West Ham!

A great start to the game, really positive with Allan Saint-Maximin and Murphy in particular looking bright and lively, and after going up 2-0 before half time, along with the hammers losing a man, you’d think it was in the bag. Not at this club.

Back to the wall defending invited West Ham to get the first goal and then a very dodgy VAR call allowed a penalty to draw them level. After consigning us to a point, Willock then comes on and scores from a fabulous Ritchie cross not 80 seconds later, and then it was all stress and nail biting until the final whistle.

Eight minutes of stoppage time, even Fergie didn’t get that!

Here are a few points I picked up from the match.

Shooting oneself in the foot

Our first two goals came from complete howlers via the Hammers defence. Firstly, Fabianski and Diop get in a complete tangle and give away an own goal, then not five minutes later Fabianski drops a cross at the feet of Joelinton two yards from an empty net, even he can’t miss those apparently!

Maybe we felt sorry for them at the break because it was complete attack against defence for the first half hour of the second half, and if the score had been 2-2 or 2-3 to the Hammers, you’d say they deserved it.

Maybe next time Newcastle United lead, we shouldn’t just invite constant pressure on ourselves?

ASM is still unplayable

Allan Saint-Maximin got his first start since February and we had been badly missing his mercurial talent.

For the hour he was on the pitch, especially in the first half, he repeatedly left the entire West Ham team for dead. Step overs, bursts of pace, cut backs- he has everything you’d want in a player.

Having had a huge part in both goals, and indeed our positive first half performance, we can only hope it is just a knock as he limped off, then is able to keep up these performances for the rest of the season.

Shelvey is also unplayable…

Jonjo Shelvey must be a fan of Iggy Pop because he really is the passenger.

Another game, another completely anonymous performance, only standing out for losing possession carelessly and refusing to step up as “captain.”

There were at least four other players on the pitch I would rather see as captain than Shelvey and a midfielder on the bench that should have started instead of him.

Thankfully at least he (Willock) got the chance to come on and make the impact Shelvey just doesn’t have the energy or willpower to do.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Saturday 17 April 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Diop OG 36, Joelinton 41, Willock 82

West Ham:

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

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff (Willock 81), Almiron, Joelinton (Carroll 90+8), Saint-Maximin (Wilson 64)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Gayle, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo, Hendrick

Crowd: 00,000

(Bizarre Steve Bruce claims after Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Joe Willock saves Steve Bruce’s very lucky bacon – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 3 West Ham 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s eventful win – Read HERE)

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