A defeat is always hard to take, especially at home, but when you suffer defeat in the manner we did then questions have to be asked.
A lack of urgency, composure, goal threat and many other things combined ensured yet another abject display was on offer, with West ham seldom looking like losing the lead once Nolan had put the away side into a 37th minute lead. Something needs to change and it needs to change sooner rather than later.
In a first half devoid of any real goal threat the best Newcastle could muster was a shot from Papiss Cisse which went well wide. Hatem Ben Arfa tried to create something with the ball at is his feet but alas everything he tried he failed. At least he was trying though…
It feels odd writing this but it wasn’t until Kevin Nolan was in the right place at the right time to turn a wayward shot into the back of Tim Krul’s net to give the away side the lead eight minutes before half time.
In truth you would be hard pushed to deny West Ham didn’t deserve to be in front.
Half-time: Newcastle 0-1 West Ham
I’d like to say the second half improved for Newcastle, but it didn’t. Demba Ba thought he had equalised but the officials judged that his header hadn’t crossed the line and that Jussi Jaaskelainen had done enough to deny Demba against his former club.
Mike Williamson almost bundled the ball over the line before Hatem Ben Arfa went close direct from a corner, but there really wasn’t a lot to shout about from a black and white perspective. Indeed Andy Carrol could have wrapped up the point for West Ham but for a smart save from Tim Krul, who nearly connected with a header at the other end on a last ditch foray up front.
It wasn’t to be though and that was that.
Full-time: Newcastle 0-1 West Ham
So where do we start? The players need to take some of the blame for being woeful again. The only player I’d give any real credit to is Davide Santon who did alright. Ben Arfa tried also so I’ll give him that. The rest need to sort themselves out and get going again before this season drifts into obscurity.
Alan Pardew also needs to take some of the blame. He is paid to keep players happy, it’s part of his job, but he is mainly paid to get results and whether that means dropping out of form players or playing players in positions they perhaps would prefer not to be played in the he has to make the call. He can’t keep trying 4-4-2 hoping it clicks, he needs to be proactive in trying to make things click. In fairness he didn’t try the tired excuse after Europe post match, which is what I thought he’d try…
Of course he hasn’t been helped by chubby and his not-so-able sidekick Derek, who seem to believe that one first team player per position is enough leaving Pardew with little or no options when it comes to trying to drop players or shuffle the pack.
Next up, Swansea… A must win.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Shane Ferguson, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba
Subs: Rob Elliot, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveux, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi
West Ham: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Joey O’Brien, Winston Reid, James Tomkins, George McCartney, Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame, Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis, Yossi Benayoun, Andy Carroll
Subs: Raphael Speigel, Carton Cole, Modibo Maiga, James Collins, Guy Demel, Gary O’Neil, Robert Hall