Oh dear. Second half we were so much better, but in the first half the Geordies played us off the Upton Park. On came Morrison and, belatedly, Carroll after a lucky goal in the last minute of the first half, and suddenly Newcastle were on the back foot. First Taylor delivered a delicious cross from the right (with his right foot) and with Carroll not yet on the pitch, Carlton managed to slice wide of an open goal. Miss of the season contender one. Then Downing took the ball to the by-line, crossed perfectly onto the foot of Carroll, who with half the goal gaping empty, blasted the ball into the top tier of the stand.
Mind you, £15m Andy wasn't finished yet. No sir! Chasing back, he committed the sort of foul on the edge of our box that suggested he had not watched any of our games whilst side-lined. Adrian lined up his wall, took up position and, like Jussi, invited a shot into an unguarded corner of the net. Cabaye licked his lips, stepped up, and placed the ball exactly where Adrian invited him to put it. The Spaniard got a despairing hand to the ball but inevitably, it made no difference. 1-3, game over.
Allardyce will again bemoan injuries and missed chances, and with good reason I suppose. Going forward, Taylor was excellent, but at right back, he was hopelessly out of position and he was badly at fault for Newcastle's second. But where were Johnson and Collins as the cross cleared the ex Bolton's man's head and landed onto the foot of Remy - a player we could have signed this summer by the way!
Johnson looked what he is, a Championship defender playing in the Prem.
Jarvis was awful and his withdrawal was long overdue. Time and again he had the opportunity to cross, and time and again, he picked out a Newcastle defender unerringly. The last straw saw him with time to pick a cross on the edge of the box, only for him to literally pass the ball at shin height into a cluster of Newcastle defenders; not only didn't he clear the first defender, he failed to clear the first three! And that was with Carroll and Carlton to aim at! Hopeless!
And Diame was also poor. He seems to have lost the heart for a fight and, behind the striker, was totally at sea.
Which brings us to Allardyce's tactics. We all know that Diame is at his best in the engine room of midfield, so why is he being pushed wide or too far forward? Even with Morrison on the pitch, Diame was the most advanced forward, and given his poor finishing and Morrison's scoring record, that makes no sense at all.
So, another home defeat and now only goal difference keeps us off the bottom. It's Chelsea away next in the League so there must be a good chance that we will be bottom of the pile after that one. Yes Carroll is back, but as Carroll showed today, he is not Messi!
Player ratings: Adrian 7 (Good apart from his positioning at the free kick.); Taylor 6 (superb going forward, desperate when forced to defend) Collins 6, Johnson 5 (one excellent block) Rat 6 (like Taylor, much better in the opposition's half!); Noble 6, Collison 4, Diame 5, Jarvis 1, Downing 6, Carlton 5 Subs: Morrison 5, Carroll 3, Joe Cole 4