West Ham United Take Advantage Of Indifferent Newcastle

Mike Hewitt

It's been the story of Newcastle United's Premier League campaign thus far. Spots of decent play, loads of poor play and struggle to try to claim a point. This time it didn't happen.

There was always going to be a lot of interest around this match - in the game thread I called it the "What Tangled Webs We Weave Bowl". Both bosses have managed their opposition, many players have played for their opponent. Beyond that, the two clubs were direct neighbors in the table (West Ham United at 9th, Newcastle United at 10th). In spite of their struggles for form this season, Newcastle were still within spitting distance of the top six. For the second week in a row, however, the Toon have failed to capitalize.

It was far from a Louvre-quality exemplar of the beautiful game, as neither team seemed much intent on playing decent football, and as is the case in these type of matches more often than not, it took only one moment of quality to decide it, and that moment fell to West Ham. Predictably, it was Kevin Nolan who put the winner past Tim Krul, diverting a hard and low cross into the Newcastle net late in the first half.

True to form, this sparked the patented Newcastle United Mid-Match Wakeup™ in which the Toon finally looked interested in the match, but a Demba Ba header that came very close to crossing the line (but looked to be saved well by Jussi Jaaskalainen) and a near goal olimpico from Hatem Ben Arfa would prove to be as close as we would get to taking anything (however undeserved) from the match. Newcastle are developing a serious problem in the form of this League form, and it's going to need some addressing quite soon.

On the bright side (very little), Gabriel Obertan came on and looked very interested in the match. Tim Krul saved well from Andy Carroll and then very nearly put a header on goal from a late corner kick (although one wonders about the wisdom of the short corner in this particular situation with your goalkeeper in the attacking box) and... well... that was about it.

In addition to the wounds from the loss that will need licking, you must add in Jonas' injury that caused him to be withdrawn in the first half. It was another ugly one for the Toon, continuing on a disturbing trend through the first 11 matches.

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