A miserable day on Tyneside (in more ways than one) with West Ham showing their quality in the end in a game that was generally dominated by wasted chances.
It’s a rare hammering for us – only the third time Rafa’s NUFC side have been beaten by three or more in the league – with us being punished for missed chances and poor defending; it’s as simple as that.
The results ends our run of four unbeaten, with us missing our chances to make it four wins on the bounce – seeing us drop down to 15th (just three points above the drop zone).
Despite badly messing up huge chances on the counter attack on countless occasions, West Ham only ended up having 7 shots to our 15, but their quality told. Really, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise in a game we allowed to be too open, with their front 4 cost just shy of £90m – almost £75m more than ours.
We had our chances and it could have been very different had the woeful Ayoze Perez got his shooting boots on, but it’s one of those days where we just weren’t at the races – and proof that A) we’ll struggle to win with these players if we’re no ‘at it’ and B) that several of our back up players just aren’t up to it (Manquillo and Atsu being examples).
On the plus side, Schar and Ki performed admirably once again, showing bravery and quality on the ball. Rondon was a handful, holding up the ball well and giving us a focal point, but he had very little to work with at times today – with Perez having a shocker, Kenedy struggling to get anything going and Ritchie very quiet. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but the system didn’t work well today, raising questions as to whether we should’ve stuck with the same side that controlled the game at Burnley on Monday.
The 11th minute walk in was sparsely attended, but can you blame fans for trying to do their bit when West Ham’s winger Felipe Anderson cost more than our entire starting eleven.
Here’s how the table looks after today’s results (*before Southampton vs Man Utd at 5.30pm):
Results elsewhere so far this weekend have been pretty mixed from our perspective. On the plus side, Burnley have lost again, losing 2-0 away to Palace and Huddersfield surrendered a 1-0 lead to lose 1-2 at home to Brighton, but Cardiff beat Wolves on Friday night and Southampton are currently drawing 2-2 against Man Utd – despite being 2-0 up at one stage!
Here’s our next five fixtures between now and Christmas:
- Everton (A)
- Wolves (H)
- Huddersfield (A)
- Fulham (H)
Our three wins in November may have given us some hope after a truly dreadful start to the season, but it’s not vital that we get back on track – with some very tough fixtures awaiting us in the new years after these four fixtures above between now and Christmas.