West Ham 2-3 Newcastle: Magnificent Mags earn monumental win to give us all a Merry Christmas

I’ve barely got a fingernail left, but it feels like Christmas came early! A long overdue win after 8 defeats and a draw in our previous 9 and our first victory in two months! A massive moment in our season and one that could prove to be the turning point if we are still to be a Premier League team come May next year.

And what a huge win that is. Not only does it restore huge confidence and belief back into what was becoming quite a bedraggled camp, it sees us leapfrog potential relegation rivals West Ham and propels us out of the bottom 3.

At 2pm, most NUFC fans would’ve been left scratching their heads after seeing a midfield partnership of Mo Diame and Henri Saivet in the starting 11. It was the latter’s first start under Rafa Benitez and the former had offered so so little in previous starts (all of which we’d lost).

Three hours on and not only have they been part of a monumental win, they’ve both got on the scoresheet!

It was a crazy game. At half time we could and should have been one or two goals up. Saivet atoned for his early error (that lead to Arnautovic’s opener), scoring this superb free kick to put us level and that was followed by Gayle and Ritchie both hitting the woodwork:



Then came the second half. Mo Diame blasted home after some good work from Atsu to give us the lead we deserved  just 7 minutes after the restart. He’s now scored against Hull, Wigan and West Ham for NUFC, so considering he doesn’t tend to get on the scoresheet, it seems he only does against his former sides!

Two minutes later West Ham were handed a penalty (despite the foul coming outside of the box!) and thankfully justice was done, with Ayews’ tame effort saved by Elliot.

Just five minutes later and our lead was extended. Atsu and Joselu combined well on the break, with the Spaniard cutting back for the brilliant Atsu to convert from close range.

I hoped this would give us the breathing space and confidence to kick on and cruise to victory, but it proved to be an unbearable last 20 minutes. Andy Carroll made a nuisance of himself in the box, allowing Andre Ayew to tap in from close range to make it 2-3.

From then on in we put bodies on the line, kept our shape and saw it out for what must be seen as our biggest three points of the season. We move up to 15th and extend our lead over West Brom and Swansea – with the former losing at Stoke and the latter left settling for a point at home to Palace.

Results elsewhere may have been mixed (Brighton won & Huddersfield got another decent away point), but it was always going to be about us today.

Rafa said yesterday that it will only take ‘one win’ for our confidence to be ‘back’, believing it would see us return to the sort of side we saw earlier in the season.

It was a team effort but a few deserve special mentions.

Saivet – He’s done the exact opposite of what most modern players would have done in his situation. Banished to the reserves and barely ever given a chance by Benitez, but determined to make something of his NUFC career, he’s trained, worked hard and remained patient that his chance would come. Today he got it and he took it. A huge effort from him and superb free kick to boot.

Diame – A big goal for him and big effort. He was sarcastically cheered off by fans in his last appearance at SJP, but he’s scored a vital goal today and put himself about. Fair play.

Lascelles – He is so so important to us. Our presence at the back, our leader, motivator and key communicator in the side.

Atsu – A goal and an assist and a threat all day on the break. Had Zabaleta on toast once again.

Elliot – Recovered well from the odd nervy moment. Ayew’s penalty save was comfortable but crucial and he stood strong as they flung several balls into the box late on.

An absolutely crucial win and a much needed moment for Benitez, the boys and our frustrated following after two months of very little to shout about.

It’ll be a much more ‘Merry Christmas’ thanks to that! HWTL!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan – he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

73 thoughts on “West Ham 2-3 Newcastle: Magnificent Mags earn monumental win to give us all a Merry Christmas

  1. Good write up and GIFs, cheers Olly. Yes the site is very slow. I suspect too many adds. Had a feeling we would pull off a win today. Feels good eh?!

      (Quote)

  2. So, having justified Diames boos, I think it’s only right and fair to start with him. Excellent run and finish for his goal. He could have been forgiven for trying to hide a bit today after those boos, but good on him for coming out and doing the biz – that’s exactly the reaction I’d hoped for from him and those that booed I’m sure (or hope) will be pleased with that reaction too. I think he is way more effective played a bit deeper in midfield rather than that #10 position.

    The second thing for me is that Joselu is never going to be a great CF. But he looks so much better when Gayle is there with him Imo. That’s not to say I’m happy with the partnership and forget the transfer window – not at all. But I think, stop pissing about with Perez or Diame off Joselu as a lone forward and stick with those 2 up front.

    That’s a cracking win today like. WH had hit a bit of form and if they won, they were pulling away from us. Good grit shown by the lads and that will build confidence I reckon.

      (Quote)

  3. Yeah the City game is a write off so they can disregard that and concentrate on building mementum against the more mortal sides.

      (Quote)

  4. Just woke up. WTF!

    That team looked so poor on paper. Saivet FFS!

    Anyway a win and we can look forward with confidence. Just City next. They’re due a defeat and it often happens that after a run of defeats wins arrive like buses.

      (Quote)

  5. I’m not saying Park the bus against City, but I would certainly consider playing Dummett LB and Mbemba RB and telling them to stay put. Not getting forward like Yed and Manq like to. Just stay shoulder to shoulder with the CBs and defend a a bank of 4.

      (Quote)

  6. There’s no option but to park the bus, Sharpy. They’ll rip us to shreds otherwise. The likes of Huddersfield, Southampton and Burnley did just that and although they got beat, they avoided a pasting and City struggled for long periods.

      (Quote)

  7. Stuart79:
    There’s no option but to park the bus, Sharpy. They’ll rip us to shreds otherwise. The likes of Huddersfield, Southampton and Burnley did just that and although they got beat, they avoided a pasting and City struggled for long periods.

    Stu – I’d still go 4-4-2 and have 4 defenders, 2 defence minded CM and then Atsu, Ritchie, Gayle & Joselu as attacks with the very slim hope that they could pull something off on a counter attack – and when I say slim I can’t stress how slim I expect that to be by the way. But we do still want a bit of a game plan for a counter. I think if we try to just sit in and soak it up, they will certainly find a way and we get nothing. Those 4 attacking players put a real shift in and defend from the front – chasing down and closing down to give them no time on the ball.

      (Quote)

  8. I agree it’s just damage limitation, thinking about goal difference for end of season – because it could well come down to that. Park the bus and hit them on the counter.

      (Quote)

  9. They could take Arsenal’s ‘invincible’ record this season. I think we lost the last ten against them even before their current pomp. They have been a bit of a bogey team so what chance has we got now?? 😕

      (Quote)

  10. This is NUFC. It’s just like us to lose 8/9 and then win 2 on the trot with one against the best team in Europe… Unlikley, but if any club can work under these strange permutations we can.

      (Quote)

  11. Had trouble believing my eyes yesterday. Where did that Diame come from? He was 80% more effective than ever before. Great game fom Atsu too. Well done all.
    After that I’m expecting 6 points from the two home games 🙄

      (Quote)

  12. Georgio, Atsu my motm mate but thought Saivet had a brilliant game apart from the early blooper he made. Considering it was first start in a year he did well, that free kick was brilliant.

      (Quote)

  13. George Caulkin‏Verified account
    @CaulkinTheTimes

    Follow Follow @CaulkinTheTimes

     More

    Replying to @TartoonArmy @Matt_Law_DT and 2 others

    Their most qualified manager for years came to a failing club which had been belittled by its ownership & talked about size, history & potential. He stayed after relegation. He got them up. He makes genuine efforts to engage with fans/city. He takes on Ashley. It means something.

    Go on George, you tell em 😀

      (Quote)

  14. kimtoon:
    George Caulkin‏Verified account
    @CaulkinTheTimes

    Follow Follow @CaulkinTheTimes

     More

    Replying to @TartoonArmy @Matt_Law_DT and 2 others

    Their most qualified manager for years came to a failing club which had been belittled by its ownership & talked about size, history & potential. He stayed after relegation. He got them up. He makes genuine efforts to engage with fans/city. He takes on Ashley. It means something.

    Go on George, you tell em

    Don’t fret mate it’s going to change soon

      (Quote)

  15. If I was preparing for the Man City game I hate to say it but I would be practicing all week on the long ball – I know we don’t like it but hear me out.

    City play the high press and all of their forwards close down and put pressure on the defender & midfield – and our lot won’t cope with that (most opponents haven’t this season).
    I would want Atsu & Ritchie staying as high as possible so that every time we get the ball off City, every player smashes the ball long and wide for them to run on to – City’s full backs push up so there should be space down the flanks. Then look to get Gayle and Joselu running through the middle to give the wide man an option.

    It won’t work every time and would need Atsu & Ritchie to be disciplined and run their socks off. Murphy & Aaron’s on the bench for when fatigue catches up.

      (Quote)

  16. I’ve not seen Saivet play so can neither challenge or agree with people’s thoughts on him.

    Will wait for highlights from yesterday on iPlayer as that way I can avoid experts bullshit. Anyone who has the self assurance and will to drop that free-kick after a bad error on his first full start has something about him that would appear to be worth nurturing

    Nice stat below

    Saivet became the 16th player to score a direct free-kick in the Premier League for Newcastle – only Everton and West Ham (17 each) have had more.

      (Quote)

  17. GlosMag:
    I’ve not seen Saivet play so can neither challenge or agree with people’s thoughts on him.

    Will wait for highlights from yesterday on iPlayer as that way I can avoid experts bullshit. Anyone who has the self assurance and will to drop that free-kick after a bad error on his first full start has something about him that would appear to be worth nurturing

    Nice stat below

    Saivet became the 16th player to score a direct free-kick in the Premier League for Newcastle – only Everton and West Ham (17 each) have had more.

    Glos – that was a truly awful pass that lead to their first goal – I mean it wasn’t even close to Clark – it was shocking.
    But you’re right mate, to step up and say I’ll take this freekick when the likes of Ritchie was probably showing interest – that was brave.
    He had a decent enough game after that, and hopefully the goal and his performance after that has lit the flame again and he puts some pressure on – coz for me, Shelvey would be done.

      (Quote)

  18. Apart from those two moments I can’t remember anything about Saivet’s performance at all. I remember thinking he seems well off the pace and not really getting stuck in. Doubt if we’ll see much of him again.

      (Quote)

  19. Sharpy17: Glos – that was a truly awful pass that lead to their first goal – I mean it wasn’t even close to Clark – it was shocking.
    But you’re right mate, to step up and say I’ll take this freekick when the likes of Ritchie was probably showing interest – that was brave.
    He had a decent enough game after that, and hopefully the goal and his performance after that has lit the flame again and he puts some pressure on – coz for me, Shelvey would be done.

    S’right sharpy .. Will and confidence are no small thing and they’ve been in short supply for some time at Newcastle. It’s nice to be talking about someone overachieving at Newcastle for a change 😀

    Not trying to make excuses for the lad but lets hope he mistake was early nerves 😉

      (Quote)

  20. I reckon it was a brain fart cos of rustiness Glos mag, thought he was good after that but did tire second half which was understandable .
    Sharpy, sadly I agree on Shelvey, so wanted him to reach his potential and he gets dogs abuse from away fans about his alopecia . That said he HAS to mature and stop losing it, bit like Mitro has to.

      (Quote)

  21. Attitude aside, I just dont rate Shelvey. He is a passenger for most games. Does not get enough goals or assists, offers nothing defensively and although his passings stats are good, most of them go nowhere. Yes he pulls off the ofd brilliant tbrough ball or long ball – but theyvare fee and far between and in the meantime he offers nothing.

    I would sell him if somebody was mad enough to take his wages off us. He thinks he is a big time Charlie, but he is just average.

    I know he got put in the Championship team of the season, but when I compared his stats with other midfielders in that league last season, he fell well down the pecking order. It was only his hollywood passes catching the eye butvwhen you dig deeper he was actually prety average. And that was as Championship level.

      (Quote)

  22. shamrock:
    Attitude aside, I just dont rate Shelvey. He is a passenger for most games. Does not get enough goals or assists, offers nothing defensively and although his passings stats are good, most of them go nowhere. Yes he pulls off the ofd brilliant tbrough ball or long ball – but theyvare fee and far between and in the meantime he offers nothing.

    I would sell him if somebody was mad enough to take his wages off us. He thinks he is a big time Charlie, but he is just average.

    I know he got put in the Championship team of the season, but when I compared his stats with other midfielders in that league last season, he fell well down the pecking order. It was only his hollywood passes catching the eye butvwhen you dig deeper he was actually prety average. And that was as Championship level.

    Sham – yeah I’m with you mate, he’s shown his talent in the past and his ability to totally boss a game – he could and should be an England regular if he played to his potential regularly. He’s done sweet FA other than get sent off twice already this season. As a toon fan I only demand 1 thing, and that is that the player works his arse off when wearing that shirt – I can accept a lack of talent if he’s giving blood, sweat and tears. But Shelvey has the talent and isn’t working his socks off – and I can’t accept that.

      (Quote)

  23. I anticipate being a bit busy tomorrow assembling and applying batteries and things, so I’ll wish all on here a very merry Christmas to you and your families.
    I know I won’t be giving NUFC and Ashley & the take over a second thought tomorrow – more important things.
    So I hope Santa is good to you all, and you all have a great day however you spend it.

    All the best gang 😉

      (Quote)

  24. With our squad I thought we would be at about a point a game so we are pretty close. Add a striker and we should get to 45. Don’t get a 20-30 million striker and I think we will be just safe, just.

      (Quote)

  25. Merry Christmas to all! It’s late here now and need to go to bed so we don’t disturb Santa as he comes down the chimney… ooops… no chimney… oh well!

    Greetings to all. Have a fantastic Christmas…

      (Quote)

  26. We have about 3 inches of snow in Chicago. Cue Bing Crosby White Christmas. Actually if you youtube Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy it will get you in the mood. I am not religious at all but this is a good version of this song.

    Not only no chimney but not much snow where you are Dubai Toon 🙂

      (Quote)

  27. Eric Sykes:
    Not only no chimney but not much snow where you are Dubai Toon

    Saw some pics of camels in snow in ras al kaimah last week .. just down the road from Dubai … and also snow in the jebels in oman .. so you never know ⛄⛄⛄

      (Quote)

  28. Eric Sykes:
    We have about 3 inches of snow in Chicago. Cue Bing Crosby White Christmas. Actually if you youtube Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy it will get you in the mood. I am not religious at all but this is a good version of this song.

    Not only no chimney but not much snow where you are Dubai Toon 🙂

    Lots of yellow snow Eric…. we call it sand.. lol. Happy Christmas mate.

      (Quote)

  29. Let me just get this right – Brighton, yes Brighton – have had a £18m bid for Dembele accepted From Celtic!

    Anybody who tries to tell me we should be doing better under Rafa while teams like Brighton are breaking our transfer record need to give their head a shake!

      (Quote)

  30. Happy Monday georgio and Merry xmax to all. Lets hope for 6 points at least over the xmax period. All in all happy to get a result against west ham. Sorry for not commenting much but constant defeats, take over talk and the signings we are linked with was too depressing for me.

      (Quote)

  31. Merry Christmas, guys and girls, I hope you all get everything you hope for.
    Let’s hope the new year brings us all good health, prosperity and peace to the world.
    Oh and a new owner for the Toon. 😉

      (Quote)

  32. Morning all, hope you had a great day.

    Came on to mention Tosun & Dembele – but ice & stu already on it.
    They are 2 top class forwards going at very reasonable prices imo. To not be in for them says everything about why we desperately need this take over to happen.

      (Quote)

  33. Kim
    The price for Tosun is being reported as well in excess of £20m.
    Ashley still owns NUFC so where we are is obvious – we are shopping in Poundland.
    Don’t think we will spend much more than a couple of million on loan fees, with Ashley trying to flog one or two players to cover that outlay and leave some change jingling in his pocket .

      (Quote)

  34. Hope you all had a great Christmas. Tosun was mentioned at €25 million so about 20 mil outside of our budget. ☹️

    Poundland it is then I guess unless Amanda Santa dips her hand into her pocket and helps out Fat Ash.

      (Quote)

  35. My preferred option has always been Batshuyi so I hope something comes off there – even if it’s loan with option to buy when the take over happens.
    But I think (from reports) that Slimani looks the most likely. Which to be fair, wouldn’t be a bad addition. I think he a top quality forward and could be the answer to keeping us up during this takeover period.

      (Quote)

  36. I think sadly we are very likely going to be left looking on enviously at other clubs signing players this January, whilst we are left either selling to buy or loaning players at best.
    But for me, I hope it’s short term frustration and the takeover goes through – regardless of this window or dare I say, even this season.
    We desperately need to part ways with Ashley to have any chance at all of thriving as a football club.

      (Quote)

  37. Sharpy, If it doesn’t happen there will be so many disillusioned fans and I would expect to see a big drop in season ticket renewals. After coming so close to a new beginning I fear it will drive away a lot of once loyal fans.

      (Quote)

  38. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, If it doesn’t happen there will be so many disillusioned fans and I would expect to see a big drop in season ticket renewals. After coming so close to a new beginningI fear it will drive away a lot of once loyal fans.

    Kim – I think if there was a time for it to collapse, it would have been after their meet up in the Indian restaurant. I think there will inevitably be complications that will hold it up, coz 1) it’s thd sale of a PL football club, and 2) it’s Mike Ashley.
    But I am confident it will happen, it will just take time – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if it ensures things are done right.
    Look at how many people Ashley has sued & who have sued Ashley during his time with us. Once he’s gone, we don’t want him pissing us about with legal battles. Get the deal right & get rid for good!!.

      (Quote)

  39. Icedog:
    Pulis manager of Boro

    Ice – the players are behind that one. They won their last game and aren’t far from the play off places with plenty of points to play for.
    He was sacked for his ‘playing style’ – which to me suggests that the senior players went twisting to Gibson coz they didn’t like what Monk had them doing.
    A lad I work with is a ticket holder and said they were playing to real good football and it was a nice change after the defensive Koranka – he’s gonna be buzzing with Pulis 😂.

      (Quote)

  40. Sunderland getting flattened and stillnin drop zone. Mourinho losing at home, Pardew still looking for his first win in 6 attempts and B’mth and West Ham holding each other whilst Brighton losing and Huddersfield held. So far so good today.

      (Quote)

  41. shamrock:
    Sunderland getting flattened and stillnin drop zone. Mourinho losing at home, Pardew still looking for his first win in 6 attempts and B’mth and West Ham holding each other whilst Brighton losing and Huddersfield held. So far so good today.

    Sham – beat me to it mate. Just need Lpool to kick Swansea’s arse and it will have been a decent day.
    I still don’t anticipate much tomorrow – in fact if we get beat by 2 goals or less, I’d probably see that as a canny result 🤷🏼‍♂️

      (Quote)

  42. Yeah any less than a 3 goal loss is a result. Important thing is we can write it off and not worry about it. Just need to get a good result v Brighton next.

      (Quote)

  43. West Ham were unlucky. Ref overruled the linesman for injury time offside goal, plus could have been hand ball. Swans are looking doomed – good.

      (Quote)

  44. shamrock:
    Yeah any less than a 3 goal loss is a result. Important thing is we can write it off and not worry about it. Just need to get a good result v Brighton next.

    A draw would do nicely.

    Brighton the Swansea after that isn’t it? – we need to be looking at 4 points from those I reckon.

      (Quote)

  45. Sharpy17: A draw would do nicely.

    Brighton the Swansea after that isn’t it? – we need to be looking at 4 points from those I reckon.

    Stoke sandwiched between those 2 fixtures as well. Stoke are only 2 points ahead of us & Brighton 3 – so I think we should be aiming for 5-6 pts from those 3 games.
    It gets a bit difficult again after those 3, but if we can pick those points up then we go in with confidence.

      (Quote)

  46. kimtoon:
    3 definite winnable games from that lot I reckon

    8-10 pts from those games I reckon Kim. If we want to stay in the PL then that’s what we are going to need from a month like that.

      (Quote)

  47. Sharpy17: Sham – beat me to it mate.Just need Lpool to kick Swansea’s arse and it will have been a decent day.
    I still don’t anticipate much tomorrow – in fact if we get beat by 2 goals or less, I’d probably see that as a canny result 🤷🏼‍♂️

    We’re in a very strange place aren’t we when we think only a 2 goal defeat is a pretty decent result. I don’t know whether it’s because we’re so bad or they’re so good. 🙂

    But results went for us so it’s something at least.

      (Quote)

  48. Eric Sykes:
    I am wondering if Stuart will still go to the slaughter in Australia just for the day out.

    Well if I am being honest, Eric, a day on the piss in Melbourne looks a good deal better than drinking their low strength lager at the MCG.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green