It’s a delayed start for Newcastle following on from the first international break of the season.
With all games played this weekend already it is up to United ad West Ham to bring this latest round of Premier League fixtures to a close.
With the Magpies still looking for a first league win of the campaign and the Hammers looking for a first home win of the campaign it looks set to be an interesting game played out between two managers who have some competitive history between them at international level.
It was that match in the rain at Wembley where Slaven Bilic’s Croatia side pit an end to Steve McClaren’s tenure as England manager and earned him the now famous ‘wally with the brolly’ tag. While there may be a personal score to settle on that front undoubtedly the focus from McClaren will be gaining three league points for the first time as boss of Newcastle United.
Former Magpie Andy Carroll could be in line to feature for the Hammers against the club where it all began for him. He’s never reached the heights he managed at St James’ Park in those formative years of his career and injuries have played a huge part in that buy on his day he is still a massive threat aerially which is not great for a defence which has a bigger fear of crosses than Count Dracula.
In other news Enner Valences is still out although three new signing – Victor Moses, Michail Antonio and Nikica Jelavic – are available for West Ham
Aleksandar Mitrovic will watch this game from the stands as he starts his three match suspension following his straight red card against Arsenal. Paul Dummett has suffered a setback as he attempts to recover from a hamstring injury while both Emmanuel Riviere and Sylvain Marveaux are some way off a return tof irst-team action desoite stepping up training recently. Otherwise McClaren has the majority of the squad he’s had available for the opening few weeks of the season to choose from after welcoming back his players from international duty and confirming that none of them picked up any knocks.
The most recent meeting between the two sides was that memorable final day victory over West Ham which secured our Premier League status although away from home we suffered a 1-0 reverse in a fixture that tends to lean towards whoever the home side may be on the day. The betting odds for the match would also tend to point to a home win.
Overall there have been 122 games played between the two sides, with Newcastle being victorious on 48 occasions and West Ham on 39 occasions with 35 draws bringing up the total of 122.
Stats and facts
The draw against Manchester United ended a run of seven straight defeats on the road for Newcastle.
However United have lost only two of their previous nine visits to the Boleyn Ground.
Newcastle’s indiscipline has been picked up on but the reality is that neither team are exactly saintly. Newcastle have picked up nine red cards since the start of last season while West Ham have picked up six from their ten competitive matches so far this season.
A lot has been made of our lack of possession in the league but rather conveniently the fact we’ve played over 45 minutes against Swansea (a possession team) with ten men and over 70 minutes against Arsenal (perhaps the ultimate possession team) has been glossed over. An away match against Manchester United has also been discounted as has the draw with Southampton who aren’t too shabby either.
Broadly speaking, 11 v 11 and the game against Swansea aside, I don’t think we’ve looked too bad. However looking ok is all well and good but eventually points need to be registered on the board and the longer we go on without a win the harder those points will be to come by. The aim has to be three points on our final trip to the Boleyn Ground with a point being acceptable.
Howay the lads!
Date: Monday, 14th September, 2015
Venue: The Boleyn Ground