Newcastle United head to East London tomorrow to take on West Ham United in a match that has a bit of an old boys reunion feel about it.
The first switch about we see is in the managerial dugout where former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce will try to guide West Ham further away from the relegation zone whilst former Hammers boss, Alan Pardew will be wanting to end a run of four straight defeats against the side he used to preside over.
The dugout isn’t the only meeting of former colleagues in this one though as Upton Park is now classed as home for two former Mags in the shape of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll. We’ve seen first hand what a dangerous pairing they can be as they feed off each other so it’s fortunate for us that our former skipper will be missing through suspension although our former number nine has recovered just in time to face his hometown club after appearing as a substitute against Cardiff last week.
As mentioned above, Carroll is available while Ravel Morrison is still expected to feature despite lingering doubts over his future.
Kevin Nolan serves the final game of a four game suspension with James Tomkins also set to miss out following his red card at Cardiff last weekend. Winston Reid and James Collins remain sidelined while Guy Demel is rated as doubtful after suffering a head injury.
Mathieu Debuchy serves the last of his three game ban, while Fabricio Coloccini and Ryan Taylor remain sidelined through injury.
Newcastle have failed to beat the Hammers (lost one, drawn two) since they won promotion back to the Premier League, with our last victory being the 5-0 win at St James’ Park in January 2011.
At Upton Park it is West Ham who have had the better of the meetings between the two sides over the years having won 29 of 59 games played in East London. United have registered victories on 15 occasions with the numbers being made up with 15 draws.
However, our exemplary record at St James’ Park (P60, W31, D20, L9) means that overall we have the edge over West Ham. The 119 matches played to date have yielded 46 wins for Newcastle compared to 38 for West Ham with 35 draws being registered between the two sides.
Stats and facts…
Newcastle have lost four games in a row in all competitions. A fifth loss in a row would be our worst run of results under Alan Pardew. The last time we lost five in a row was in our relegation season.
United have failed to score in the last three Premier League games.
West Ham were the only side to keep prevent Newcastle scoring home and away last season.
The Hammers have lost 14 points from winning positions this season, more than any other team.
Newcastle are yet to draw an away game this term.
Expanding on the old boys theme at the start of the article, the following players have represented both West Ham and Newcastle – Demba Ba, Craig Bellamy, Lee Bowyer, Franz Carr, John Dowsey, Kieron Dyer, Dave Gardner, Paul Goddard, Shaka Hislop, James Jackson, Vic Keeble, Matthew Kingsley, Paul Kitson, Robert Lee, Joe Loughlin, Scott Parker, Stuart Pearce, Wayne Quinn, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, George Robson, Keith Robson, Harold Smith, Nolberto Solano, Hal Tate and David Terrier.
West Ham’s win last weekend came just at the wrong time for us. They were torrid prior to that and whilst there is no shame in getting humped by Manchester City, suffering a similar fate against a side a league lower is not something to shout about.
United need to stop the rot before it sets in and starts to erode what was a cracking first half of the season. There hasn’t been a lot wrong with the performances aside from being a bit flat at times but ultimately it’s results that matter.
Will we get one at Upton Park? I’m not sure. There are too many ex-Magpie factors at play for me to worry about. Andy Carroll is one of those but Sam Allardyce is the biggest one. I don’t recall him losing against us since he was unceremoniously booted out of Newcastle by Mike Ashley although I might be wrong. Hopefully that changes tomorrow.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 18th January, 2014
Venue: Upton Park