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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from West Ham 1 Newcastle 1

4 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended West Ham 1 Newcastle 1.

Newcastle the dominant team in the first half and undone by one piece of bad defending that gifted the home side a cheap free-kick in a dangerous position, that they scored from.

The visitors equalising with a clever Joe Willock goal just before the break and whilst the second half was more even, Newcastle United not allowing the Hammers a single effort on target in the second period.

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 David Punton.

POSITIVES

Game management

A discernible style and pattern of play is occurring under Eddie Howe. Gone are the days of just giving it a go with the likes of Bruce, Carver and McClaren in the dugout.

We look a side that can manage a game. We are well drilled and well coached. They are playing good football and their strength in midfield is a revelation. It’s the platform to go out and get results.

Ok, we didn’t win the game, but the fact Howe alluded to ‘disappointment’ at not taking all three points, shows how far this group have come since we got a proper manager in.

In against a side who have been in stellar form this season, Newcastle didn’t look too out of place at the London Stadium.

It was a great point and extends the unbeaten run to six. Hopefully it was another step towards beating the dreaded drop.

It’s hard to believe that not so long ago this club was five points adrift of safety and pretty much written off.

Howe and the players need to keep pushing hard because it feels like they are starting to really hit their stride.

Super Joe and Super Joe

In the FA Cup tie against Cambridge, I watched Joe Willock look like a player without any form and his body language was terrible.

Whatever Howe has done with him since ought to be applauded because back is the player of 12 months ago. On form he’s a fabulous asset.

Willock barely wastes the ball of late and he’s finally seen a shot go in. It was a tidy finish and he deserved it. He’s the type of player who goes on a run of games where he scores and that could be the spark.

Then there is the other Joe – Joelinton. Quite simply, we are in awe of him.

His transformation into a midfield power house is a magnificent sight to behold. He’s bossing it every time he plays. Up against Declan Rice, no problem at all. He’s a tank and is undroppable. If he can add a few goals then he will be complete.

I get a sense that will come and he’s very much a candidate for the player of the season.

An absolute unit.

Blyth spirit

Dan Burn is colossal.

A giant of a man who reads the game oh so well.

The native of Blyth has been a brilliant signing so far and once again he put in a sterling and assured shift at the weekend. He plays for that shirt, he’s battle hardened, and he doesn’t shirk the challenges.

Against West Ham he’s had the measure of them for most of the game and I can see him using his height to grab a goal or two between now and May. He’s a gem of a player and we can see why he was so well thought of down at Brighton. It was a real coup to get him. His was a signing that just wouldn’t have been sanctioned under Ashley.

Special mention too for Matt Targett, who put in another thoroughly solid shift. Villa made a mistake letting him go out on loan.

NEGATIVES

Mastering the Krafth

Emil was in at right back for Kieran Trippier, and while he’s put in a decent shift, he did look at fault for the West Ham goal. It’s maybe harsh but that was one negative from the game. We are going to be reliant on the Swede for a good few weeks so he needs to keep working his socks off and I am sure he will do that.

There’s a worry there is always a lapse in him. It just proved what a big miss Trippier is going to be while he recovers from his broken foot.

Wood needs a goal

There’s no doubt that Chris Wood has been a huge benefit so far in terms of his presence up front, winning aerial battles and holding the ball up.

What we really need from the Kiwi now is a few goals to go with it. We all hope that that is going to be the case. Goals are bread and butter for a forward.

I’ve seen it suggested that Burnley getting Weghorst may have been the better deal in the January window. Time will tell.
Wood is a talisman but he needs to find the back of the net soon so that we aren’t reliant on midfielders doing all of the scoring. I wish him well and pray he opens his account soon.

He’s an absolute legend for (allegedly) meowing at the cat kicker Kurt Zouma.

We don’t talk about Bruno

This one will annoy a few fellow fans, I can guarantee it.

I understand that Bruno G needs to be introduced gradually to life in the Premier League and other Newcastle players are in such good form it’s hard to find a slot for him.

However, I would like to see Bruno getting some longer runs from the bench. We are all desperate to see what he can do for the £35m initial outlay on the Brazilian international.

His time needs to come soon.

Stats from BBC Sport:

West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 19 February 12.30pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Goals:

West Ham:

Dawson 32

Newcastle:

Willock 45+1

Possession was West Ham 47% (40%) Newcastle 53% (60%)

Total shots were West Ham 11 (6) Newcastle 14 (10)

Shots on target were West Ham 3 (3) Newcastle 3 (2)

Corners were West Ham 3 (2) Newcastle 7 (4)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Guimaraes 88), Shelvey, Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 79), Murphy, Wood

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Lascelles, Dummett, Fernandez, De Bolle, Gayle, Longstaff

(Eddie Howe frustrated with just one point and explains why Allan Saint-Maximin was missing – Read HERE)

(West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to this fully deserved draw – Read HERE)

(David Moyes very honest when reflecting on West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 –  Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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