Following our 0-2 win at the London Stadium on Saturday night, we reached out to Scott Johnson – a devoted Hammers fan who spoke to us in the build up to the game for our weekly ‘Opposition Opinion‘ feature.
Here’s what he had to say about the result, the tactical battle he felt Bruce won, Carroll’s elbows, our three new signings and Souness’ claims that the Wilson goal shouldn’t have stood:
“First things first, the result was a fair one.
“We may have hit the woodwork a couple of times, but West Ham were routinely struggling to deal with Newcastle on the attack or break them down in defence. To me, that says Newcastle were deserved winners.
“I was really impressed with Lewis, Hendrick and Wilson all making their debuts with such confidence, and for me the best thing for Newcastle fans would be that everyone looked ready to play to a plan, and they were willing workers.
“The direct nature of playing with Carroll and Wilson up top may not be what some of the players want, but they did it, and did it without complaining.
“On that note, the 4-4-2 really showed up the lack of movement in West Ham’s attack whilst allowing a strong route out. Carroll was imperious in the air and with a willing runner like Wilson they were impossible to mark and the Hammers defence struggled constantly.
“Bruce won the tactical battle and if he shows this acumen throughout the season it will be another comfortable season for the Toon.
“As for some of the post match comments, I can see why Moyes was aggrieved by some of the officiating. Carroll probably should have got at least a yellow card for his first aerial challenge, VAR seems to be inconsistent on penalty calls, however it was probably frustration for Moyes that was boiling over.
“The Souness comments about Wilson’s goal also holds some water, because goalkeepers seem to get a lot of protection and it should be enforced evenly. We see some goals like this given and some disallowed and football fans constantly decry the inconsistencies, so as long as goals and challenges like this are allowed all season then fine. If they’re not, then it’s a reason to moan about officiating again.
“All in all, Newcastle were the better side, but it’s hard to know how good they can be because West Ham were also very poor. But they seem to have all the pieces necessary to make this season secure and build moving forwards.“