Well it wasn't pretty. It wasn't very skilful either. There was very little Academy about it. The passing was generally poor. The crossing was generally dire. The football rarely flowed. Brooking might have winced. Peters too. Hurst would have wondered why Carroll was on the pitch. But Moore would have smiled at the performances of Tomkins and Reid. Nothing fancy, but quietly efficient for the most part, the pair of them. And considering their ages, that has to bode well for the future.
Diame was a tank in midfield but lost the ball far too often. Noble ran the show in so far as anybody in a West Ham shirt ran the show, but the show barely passed curtain up using that analogy. Jarvis wasn't involved before he was substituted. Benayoun was poor, Maiga was even worse, and Carroll was, for the most part, truly dire. But Allardyce? He was brilliant. To steal three points through organisational discipline is his trade mark and he did his job fabulously.
What is there to report on the game? The goal was lucky but classically Nolan. O'Brien's shot was going well wide but Nolan, an inch onside and on the edge of the six yard box unmarked, diverted it home. That is why this guy should have been Player of the Season two years ago when Parker got the award, and it is why he should be in England's squad for the game against Sweden. He combined with Carroll second half and the pony tailed plonker forced an excellent save from Krul. And our only other serious threat on goal came when Nolan engineered a yard of space on the edge of the box, collected Diame's excellent pass, and fired a yard wide.
Newcastle were poor, very poor, and seemed to be leggy after the game in Belgium. Apart from a header that Jussi clawed away brilliantly, they offered next to nothing. But maybe we were just too well organised for them. O'Brien and McCartney both played well defensively and Demel, a foul throw apart, was ok after coming on.
The performance was workmanlike in the extreme. But who cares? We collected a magnificent three points, a huge bonus given our record at St James' Park. That's 18 points in the bank from just 11 games! We are SIXTH in the Premiership! West Ham, in sixth place! Above Arsenal. Above Spurs. Above Liverpool. Above Newcastle.
Were you watching Alan Pardew? Were you watching Demba Ba? For the most part, Andy Carroll was!
Player Ratings: Jussi 8: O'Brien 7, Tomkins 7, Reid 8, McCartney 6; Noble 7, Diame 7; Jarvis 4, Benayoun 4; Nolan 7, Carroll 4 Subs: Maiga 5, O'Neil 6, Demel 6