Well, is there a better feeling than waking up on a Monday morning after the Toon win?
Saturday night’s excellent win at West Ham was our first opening day success since 2012, and it’s exactly the springboard we need as we enter a run of very winnable games that can shape our season.
Three excellent debuts for Wilson, Hendrick and Lewis, Andy Carroll looking in great shape and Isaac Hayden celebrating his new contract with an imperious performance.
Here are the player ratings from a big win in East London:
Karlo Darlow – 7
Wasn’t overly busy but dealt with everything that came his way competently, and had no chance with the two efforts that hit the woodwork. A clean sheet will do his confidence the world of good.
Javier Manquillo – 9
It’s about time this lad got the recognition he deserves. Excellent throughout. Solid in defence with some timely clearances as West Ham pushed for an equaliser, and a good outlet going forward. Lovely footwork in the lead up to Wilson’s goal.
Jamaal Lascelles – 7
The skipper was solid as usual, and marshalled his troops with a minimum of fuss, despite a very physical battle with Antonio.
Federico Fernandez – 7
“The most underrated centre back in the Premier League was solid again” was the message I sent my mate through bleary eyes in the early hours of this morning. I think that says it all.
Jamal Lewis – 9
A left back. A left footed, custom made, Premier League ready left back who defends well, gets forward, and is still a bairn who can only get better. What is this sorcery? Excellent debut. I think him and ASM are going to give a lot of right backs all sorts of trouble. Gets a 9 cos it was his debut.
Isaac Hayden – 8
One can only hope he had the decency to remove Declan Rice and Mark Noble from his pockets before he came home. Colossal. Bossed the midfield, and deserves international recognition. A huge player for us.
Jonjo Shelvey – 8
Looked in tremendous shape, focused and even a yarder quicker at times. His guided missile range of passing was a huge benefit as always, and he can be a big player this season with the improved attacking options in the side.
Jeff Hendrick – 9
Another excellent debut. Solid enough in the first half but absolutely fantastic in the second. Great engine, popped up everywhere, a clever little back header for the first goal and a brilliant strike for the second. Decent barnet too.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 7
David Moyes said he was “unhappy with the officiating”….presumably he was talking about Fredericks constantly kicking lumps out of our best player. It’s treatment he’ll have to get used to this season, but he has the talent and temperament to deal with it. Not his best game but still a constant threat.
Andy Carroll – 8
His best game since rejoining by an absolute country mile. Looks in cracking shape. He bullied West Ham into submission and linked up excellently with Wilson. Nearly scored a worldy in the first half when he took Shelvey’s ball on his chest, flicked it over Ogbonna and volleyed over.
Callum Wilson – 9
Brilliant debut from a proper centre forward, and the striker we’ve been dreaming about since Demba Ba. Pace, movement, work rate, and a poachers goal to boot. Said in his post match interview that he was “disappointed not to get a hat trick”…….I think it’s fair to say we love him already.
Miguel Almiron – 7.5 (sub)
on for Wilson, and provided a great outlet as West Ham pushed us back and threatened to equalize. Nicely linked up with Carroll, and then showed great awareness with the pass to Hendrick.
Joelinton – 6 (sub)
Replaced Saint Maximin on the left, and managed a shot on goal which is more than he did in most games last year. It was even a novelty to see him on the ball with movement ahead of him.
Sean Longstaff – N/A