Saturday, 24 August 2013

Newcastle 0 West Ham 0 - Defence make a point as chances are scorned

Well it's not a game that will live long in the memory but that's true of the two previous matches between the two sides, a 0-0 draw at Upton Park and our 1-0 win in Geordieland last season. But had Nolan or Maiga buried great headed chances, we would have won again.

Defensively we were excellent, until the 92nd minute when an intended cross came back off the far post and fell invitingly at the feet of Gouffran, who missed from two feet! Pardew would have scored that one with his pants around his ankles and a player's wife bent over in front of him blocking his view of the ball!

But that really was Newcastle's one chance in the game, and that was a freakish accident. Demel and O'Brien controlled the flanks superbly, Reid and Collins were totally in control down the middle, and the midfield screened the back four tirelessly. Time and again, a Newcastle player in possession looked up and saw a wall of claret and blue. We weren't parking the bus, when we had the ball we attacked, we were just brilliantly organised, committed and disciplined. Noble and Diame, in particular, worked like the proverbial Trojan, chasing back, closing space, niggling at the man on the ball, slamming the door shut on any gaps and looking to springboard attacks when we won back the ball.

And we created chances. Maiga should have scored with an unchallenged header in the first half. Nolan had an even better chance in the second but, like Maiga, headed wide. Reid was agonisingly close twice in the first half. And Maiga had a goal struck off for offside, when the ball fell to him unmarked following a deflection.

The spirit was excellent, typified by the disappointment shown by Downing and Diame when they were substituted. It was pissing down, and West Ham players of yore would have been more than happy to make an early exit from a soggy game in the North East - but this lot are hungry!

Four points from six and no goals conceded to date. The opposition haven't looked great but we are playing without Carroll and had he been fit for today's game I have no doubt we would have collected maximum points. It wasn't thrilling but it was a huge improvement on the five goal hammering in our relegation season!

Player ratings: Jussi 5 (nothing to do!); Demel 7, Reid 8, Collins 8, O'Brien 8; Noble 7, Diame 8; Downing 6, Nolan 6, Jarvis 7; Maiga 6 Subs: Cole 6, Morrison 5


Sav said...

Solid at the back but toothless and ineffective up front. I think that Vaz Te can do a much better job than lazy Maiga in attack. The game was there for the taking but we had no punch up front!

Hammersfan said...

We had two excellent chances and a goal disallowed Sav! I'm no fan of Maiga but he so nearly created a goal for Reid, netted an offside goal and had a good chance which he fluffed. All in all, he was a presence so I think your criticism is OTT.

Anonymous said...

when is fat sam going to realise mark noble isnt good enough for this league? no matter how much hammersfan bums him! i was almost suicidal watching that game today but then i had a thought-this is as good as it ever gets for west ham.ultimately, just existing is a result for w.ham.

publish this you cockney mincer

Stani said...

Agree, was nice to see the subbed players showing a positive kind of disappointment at coming off.

I think with Maiga, he is obviously doing a job for the manager therefore is restricted. Credit to him for putting the team first. I hope he's given opportunities to play with Carroll when he returns, with a chance to concentrate on getting on the end of some of those knock downs instead of doing a job like he has to now.

Cole would have felt harshly done by at being dropped but it was a difficult decision to make for the manager.

Also good to see Morrison being given a run out. It will help him psychologically knowing he's in the manager's thoughts. With his temperament, had Allardyce continued to overlook him having used him and given him so much hope during pre-season, there would have been a danger of Morrison getting upset about it. Allardyce needs to handle him with wisdom.

Stani said...

And since you haven't mentioned it HF, I can only assume you haven't heard it, but this is what Pardew said about us in his BBC interview:

"It was a tight game. West Ham did their usual, played long ball and played for time a little bit...frustrated us."

Just lost all respect for the guy. Clearly trying to save his own skin after another crap performance by his team.

fred149 said...

Lol anyone seen the org. People complaining saying Morrison played crap when he came on, and are complaining about him wearing gloves and having ravel on his shirt.

Anonymous said...

You've been batting on about the scoring ratio of the Leeds Strikers who have then proceeded to find the net with regularity,making your comments look stupid.

Maybe you should be more worried about where West Ham's goals will come from this year?

Anonymous said...

Alan Pardew: "West Ham came and played long ball football"

Match stats - Long balls;
Newcastle: 44
West Ham: 38


Sav said...

West Ham were in control of the game. We just couldn't put the ball in the net. But it's been quite a while I watched an away match without feeling the other team would score against us at any time. Also, the midfield looked solid, barring the usual errors by your protégé Mark PR Nobles.

fred149 said...

Sav, Diame made alot more errors then Noble thats for sure, Diame almost cost us a goal noble did not.

davefking said...

It was a game of two halves IMO
I notice, not many comments on Downing. He confirmed to me a waste of six million pounds of money and a typical Downing performance. A crossfield pass to Jarvis that ended in row Z of whatever the stand is called. A clear cut goal scoring opportunity header in front of goal but passed across the face of goal for some obscure reason and basically contributed nothing for the game apart from one cross into the middle. Yeah, I'd be disappointed to come off after a showing like that.
Have defended Maiga in the past and credit due he won a few balls, not that anything looked dangerous from them really. If he continues to stand around like a telegraph pole after he has done a move then he won't find me defending him much longer.
20 minutes isn't much time to judge Ravel but he didn't make any difference to the game IMO. Surprised that it was Diame who came off as I would have taken Nolan off myself just for a bit of extra impetus, not as a Nolan bashing exercise.
Joe Cole? yeah well. Ineffective.
Take your pick from Collins, Reid, or Diame as my MOTM and if I'm honest, I reckon we'd have won if we'd've had the big fella up front.
My first time at St James Park. Impressive ground.

Anonymous said...

Pardew or Allardyce ? - Sam all day long. Pardew should go back to being a heating engineer or whatever he did before becoming a football 'manager'.
Mind you. he's just waiting for Ashley's payoff. As for respect, he only cost us money - 400 grand from Reading - and couldn't make it in the PL after one season. Strictly a one-trick pony, perfect for Ashley & Co.