Tag Archives: Newcastle

Newcastle 0 – 0 West Ham – Hammers fall short

These days, games against Newcastle United are a bit special for Sam Allardyce. After being unceremoniously sacked by the Barcodes and leaving a big stain on his CV, you can be sure that getting one over on his old club gives the big man an extra little bit of satisfaction. He must have been disappointed, therefore, that Andy Carroll was still not fit enough to make the first team, and instead, Modibo Maiga was given another chance to prove his worth.

In all honesty, it was not a game that will live long in the memory, and Big Sam will feel satisfied with a point. But I’m sure he will feel that all three points were there for the taking, and West Ham’s failure to do so is indicative of a lack of ruthlessness that West Ham need if they harbour any notions of a top six finish.

In the first half Newcastle were poor, and their chances were limited to long range efforts that were closer to the floodlights that the goal. They were nervy and West Ham were comfortable without being very threatening. Noble and Diame bossed the midfield, Collins, Reid and O’Brien were resolute in defence, and Downing and Jarvis played ok. But it just wasn’t happening in the final third. Maiga was irritatingly slow at getting back from offside positions again, and Nolan had a bit of an off day.

The second half saw Newcastle come into it a bit more, but the Hammers were still coping well. Downing started putting in some better crosses for the visitors before being hauled off to be replaced by Joe Cole, but there was still a lack or urgency around the box. Maybe it was the torrential rain that ensued in the second half, but it looked like the Hammers were always going to be happy with a point. In fact it could have zero points as Newcastle hit the post near the end, by which time Big Sam was probably anxious for the final whistle. Today showed us that we still need a new striker in my opinion. Maiga does ok, but is not enough competition for Carroll. Let’s see what the last embers of the transfer window bring.

Ravel Morrison came on as sub today sporting a pair of gloves and “Ravel” on the back of his shirt. He showed some nice touches without having the time to really get in to the game, and as far as I’m concerned he can wear what he likes as long as he does the business on the pitch. After all, this is the guy that would only drink West Ham branded bottled water in his first stint at West Ham. He has had a lamentable start to his career (and life) it would seem, but by all accounts his has grown up in the last year. This could be a big year for him, if he can keep on the straight and narrow, and by implication a big year for the Hammers too. Let’s hope so.

COYI

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West Ham 0 – 0 Newcastle : Match Report

What was anticipated to be a match full of passion, physicality and goals turned out to be a tame affair, and one that will not live long in the memory.

It was evident even before the kick-off that there was something missing from the atmosphere. Maybe it was the downpour that soaked the ground prior to the start of the match, but an out-take from Braveheart it certainly wasn’t. West Ham started slowly, happy to sit back and watch Newcastle play the ball around, a far cry from their usual positive home form. The return of Ben-Arfa for Newcastle gave them more scope, and Fabricio Coloccini was back giving the defence a well-needed boost. In terms of shots on goal, Cisse had an effort cleared off the line by Winston Reid, but the first half remained goalless, although Newcastle were ahead on points.

The Hammers improved after the break and Rob Elliot in goal for Newcastle had to make saves from Nolan, Jarvis and Carroll, and Nolan had a fair shout for a penalty. But the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion, and despite the obligatory positive noises from the management teams, it was definitely a day to forget. Wigan’s win means that Newcastle bums are getting progressively squeakier, and West Ham are still not mathematically safe. Let’s hope that the Hammers’s next game away at Everton will be a tad more entertaining.

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West Ham vs Newcastle: Match Preview

Newcastle travel to Upton Park today in an intriguing encounter which could have a big say in this year’s relegation dog-fight. A win for West Ham would mean they are mathematically safe, while Newcastle are only 5 points ahead of Wigan having played a game more, and will be desperate for the points.

It is also intriguing for the number of sub-plots underpinning today’s game. Big Sam returns to the club that sacked him, a fact that clearly still rankles with the big man. Likewise Alan Pardew returns to his old club where he has many fond memories, but also where it all went horribly wrong. Add to all that both Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll returning home, and you have a match that is not to be missed.

After Newcastle’s 6-0 drubbing by Liverpool last week, the Magpies are in serious trouble and their confidence is going to be shot. Pardew is sure to change the team around a bit, and Fabricio Coloccini may return to the centre of defence after injury. West Ham have no further injury problems with only James Tomkins and George McCartney on the treatment table.

Andy Carroll should have a large physical presence in the game today, and I fancy him to continue his good scoring run, although he is sure to have mixed feelings returning to his boyhood club. I thought that Big Sam would change the midfield around a bit last week, either bringing in Mark Noble or Joe Cole, but he persisted with the Vaz Te and Mo Diame combination. I can see Vaz Te dropping to the bench this week with Joe Cole starting, but Diame may continue in the middle if Sam doesn’t want to change things around. The defence is picking itself with Tomkins out, and the same can be said up front.

I can’t see any other result today other than a West Ham win with form so good at home. I reckon Jussi Jaaskelainen will provide another clean sheet today too, so I’ll plump for a 2-0 win with Carroll and Collins getting the goals.

If the Hammers do get the win, the club should announce a new contract for Mr Allardyce shortly after, and it is a contract much deserved after achieving the target of Premiership survival in a relatively comfortable manner. It should be an interesting summer too, with the necessity to improve from here and plenty of activity due in the transfer market.

COYI