West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match
Thoughts from West Ham 1 Newcastle 1.
After digesting yesterday’s match away at Champions League chasing West Ham, I’m again stunned by the change in mentality of the team.
Without Trippier, Wilson and the shock ruling out of ASM (after having lumps kicked out of him for 90 minutes against Villa), you’d be excused for writing this one off as a bad job.
Instead we were the better team for large parts of the game and indeed had two very good chances in the first 10 minutes, then defended so well that West Ham didn’t have a single shot on target in the second half.
Another tremendous battling point under difficult circumstances that leaves us six Premier League games unbeaten, 12 points from 18, and only four goals conceded in those six games. A country mile away from the performances we saw at the start of the season.
Here are the three big points I am taking away from West Ham 1 Newcastle 1.
Performing well without our top players
You could certainly argue that Wilson, ASM and Trippier are our best players at the moment, although that may change in the future.
With all three out, our squad looks considerably worse, as Krafth, Murphy and Wood are just not of the same calibre.
However, rather than lament the loss of our game winning players, the team simply put in a hard working performance, ran West Ham ragged and got a very creditable away draw against a top four challenging team. A few months ago without our top players, we would have looked lost, clueless and hopeless.
Work rate through the roof
Under Eddie Howe, the biggest change has undoubtedly been the levels of work and running put in by the entire team.
Fraser, who had looked a shadow of his former (Bournemouth) self since we signed him, ran himself into the ground for the team at the London Stadium. All over the pitch this was the same, testament to the new team spirit and the heightened levels of coaching being given to the squad (not that it was a high bar to improve upon).
Wonderful Willock and a Geordie Giant
My top performers of the match had to be Willock and Burn.
Another absolutely imperious display at the back for Burn, winning duel after duel, shutting out the likes of Bowen and Antonio, then distributing well on top of that.
Willock too, is back to his best, his performances steadily improving since Howe took charge, finally getting his first goal of the season after anticipating a mistake from Rice (who was shocking all game) and producing a very smart finish just before half time.
I think the whole team played really well today, with only one mistake being made the entire game. This sets up for next weekend’s match against a Brentford side that has nosedived in form, making that a real six pointer.
Win that and we can put some real distance between us and the bottom three, whilst sucking another club right into the relegation battle.
Stats from BBC Sport:
West Ham 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 19 February 12.30pm
(Half-time stats in brackets)
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
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Guimaraes 88), Shelvey, Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 79), Murphy, Wood
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)
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