Disappointing loss, Wilson continues to torment & More- Talking Points from West Ham 0-2 Newcastle

West Ham’s 2020/21 league season started on a disappointing note as they went down 2-0 at home to Newcastle United. Jeff Hendrick and Callum Wilson were on target for Steve Bruce’s Magpies at the London Stadium. Here are our talking points from the game.

Is the Grady Diangana transfer still affecting the players?

On paper, this was a very winnable game, and given West Ham’s tough starting fixture list, it was a game David Moyes would’ve targetted for at least a point, if not all three.

The players weren’t clearly happy with the situation regarding Grady Diangana’s transfer and one wonders if it’s affected their morale. With the next set of fixtures reading Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester, Spurs, Man City and Liverpool, there is every chance the Hammers might only get their first points of the season in November!

Hammers go in the same attacking formation as they did at the end of 19/20 season

Moyes made only one change from the side that had faced Aston Villa on the final day of the 2019/20 season, with Aaron Cresswell coming in at left back for Ben Johnson. That meant a repeat of the 4-2-3-1 formation with skipper Mark Noble again effectively playing as a 10, Pablo Fornals on the left wing, Antonio alone upfront, and the troika of Anderson, Sebastien Haller and Manuel Lanzini on the bench.

Lanzini didn’t even make it off the bench while Anderson, the club’s second most expensive player, only had a minute or so of action. [Read more…]

Soucek & Antonio again on the scoresheet, Wait for two consecutive league wins continues & more- Talking Points from Newcastle 2-2 West Ham

West Ham took the lead twice, but had to settle for a point at St.James’ Park against Newcastle. The Hammers probably edged Steve Bruce’s side on the day and looked good for all three points, a draw wasn’t a terrible result either, especially given Newcastle’s form at home and West Ham’s abysmal run on the road.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Goals again for Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio: They got on the scoresheet in the 3-2 win over Chelsea, and Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio were again on target for the Hammers here. Antonio was virtually gifted his by Jamaal Lascelles, while Soucek finished well from close range after Declan Rice’s initial effort had rebounded off the bar.

The Hammers have struggled for consistency in the goal scoring department, and it’s rare to see players find the back of the net in consecutive league games.

Wait for two consecutive league wins continues: While goals have been tough to come by, West Ham have also never won two consecutive league games in David Moyes’ second stint. For a while, this looked like they might break the duck, but it eventually ended up being another case of points lost from winning positions (apparently West Ham have squandered 24 such points this season according to the commentators!)

Fornals error proves costly: It was an error from Jamaal Lascelles that gifted West Ham their opener, but it was a similar gift from Pablo Fornals that lead to the Newcastle equaliser. The Spaniard made a mess of the offside trap as he stood in the background- a costly, costly error. Fornals did some good things in this game- he had a crucial hand in the opener, but this was a disappointing mistake. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Newcastle?

West Ham started the month of March on a winning note as they beat Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle 2-0 at the London Stadium. The victory, the Hammers’ seventh on in the league at home this season, saw them leapfrog Everton in the table.

It was only the fifth time this season that Manuel Pellegrini’s side had kept a clean sheet in the Premier League- the previous four being at home to Chelsea and Arsenal, and away at Newcastle and Fulham.

There were five changes to the squad that had lost to Man City- Aaron Cresswell coming in at left back, Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Manuel Lanzini in midfield and Javier Hernandez taking Andy Carroll’s place upfront.

As it’s been in recent weeks, Pedro Obiang and Marko Arnautovic were both introduced from the bench. Cresswell’s first half injury forced Pellegrini to make a substitution earlier than he would’ve normally liked, and also meant that Manuel Lanzini played the entire 90 minutes in his first start for the club in nearly 10 months. [Read more…]

West Ham players Declan Rice and Manuel Lanzini named in Premier League Team of the Week for Round 29

West Ham beat Newcastle 2-0 over the weekend, and the performance of some Hammers players was good enough to get them a mention in several pundits’ Team of the Week. Fresh from being named Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards, young Declan Rice was particularly impressive- the 20 year old was Man of the Match at the game. Perhaps apt that Mark Noble and he were the scorers on a evening that also saw the opening ceremony of the Billy Bonds Stand.

Alan Shearer’s official Premier League Team of the Week

Rice finds a mention here alongside Crystal Palace’s Zaha, Man Utd’s Andreas Pereira and Wolves’ Jota in Shearer’s Team of the Week.

Premier League Team of the Week GW29 Rice

Sky Sports TOTW for Round 29

Phil Babb and Carlos Carvalhal were asked to name their respective TOTW’s, and Rice was named in both. Former Swansea boss Carvalhal’s team also has a spot for Ryan Fredericks at right back.

Sky Sports Team of the Week Round 29

Sky Sports 2 TOTW Round 29 [Read more…]

First League Double over Newcastle in 20 years, Outstanding Rice & More- Five Talking points from West Ham v NUFC

West Ham completed a league double over Newcastle as they beat the Magpies 2-0 at the London Stadium to climb to 9th in the league table. An early Declan Rice header and a penalty from Mark Noble were enough for the Hammers to see off the Magpies as they celebrated the inauguration of the Billy Bonds stand with a win over Rafa Benitez’s men.

Let’s take a look at the major talking points from this game.

League double over Newcastle for the first time in 20 years

This is the first time since the 1998/99 season that the Hammers have completed a Premier League double over the Magpies.

The interesting bit- Harry Redknapp’s men won 3-0 away and 2-0 at home that season, the same scorelines that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have managed this season!

Outstanding Rice

England assistant manager Steve Holland was in the stands for this game, presumably to watch the likes of Rice and rising Newcastle medio Sean Longstaff in action.

Rice put in another assured performance for the Hammers and topped it up with a goal. His defensive work was outstanding as usual, but it’s evident that the coaching staff are helping him with the attacking side of things as well- a couple of his passes around the 45th minute were very nice to watch. We didn’t get to see that side of Rice early in the season, and on this evidence, a England call up may not be too far away! Was also the official Premier League man of the Match for this game. [Read more…]