In another very poor display Newcastle were well beaten by West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park this afternoon.
It was interesting to note that in their last 4 visits to Upton Park Newcastle have had 4 different managers, and this was also West Ham’s first win over the Magpies in 10 games.
But this was an aimless display from Newcastle United, especially in the first half.
The lads were 2-0 down at the half with two good goals from Italian David Di Michele, whose first goal after just 8 minutes was rather lucky, as it took a deflection and ballooned over the helpless Shay Given.
After about 20 minutes the Newcastle team came more into the game, or should we say they actually woke up, with Duff and N’Zogbia prominent, and Owen went close just missing the right hand post, although he was flagged for offside.
Newcastle were playing quite well at this stage, but then West Ham scored again when Given made a magnificent save from Di Michele, and the ball ballooned back to the Italian. Taylor and Coloccini should have tackled or blocked the shot, but they did neither, and allowed the Italian to find his composure and rocket home the ball from just 15 yards out.
It was a bad goal to concede and Shay Given must have thought he was getting no cover from his defense. Cacapa was playing in front of the Newcastle back four but he looked slow and sluggish, and was having difficulty distributing the ball.
The only good thing about this game was a beautiful goal from captain Michael Owen after 67 minutes, and after that Newcastle played their best football of the afternoon, and if they could have got another goal at that point, things may have been a lot different.
But it wasn’t to be and after two minutes of injury time Boa Morte was clean through and one on one with Given, but he amazingly shot wide.
West Ham’s 3rd goal had come after 52 minutes when Di Michele was straight though, and his cross come shot, found Mathew Etherington who shot home easily past Given. The game looked all over but then Newcastle, out of the blue got a goal back.
On 67 minutes Michael Owen beat West Ham skipper Lucas Neil beautifully on the edge of the penalty area, and put the ball home in beautiful style past a helpless Robert Green. That finish would certainly have impressed the onlooking England manager Fabio Capello.
Some changes made in the second half by Chris Hughton helped, and Bassong was brought on for Edgar, who had a very poor game. But Bassong went in at left back and again looked a good player, and it seems he must start in mid-week against Tottenham.
But make no mistake, Newcastle are in big trouble right now, and it almost looks like this season almost a washout already, and we will once again do nothing in the league. The players have lost all their fire and vigor and have lost their last 3 league games now.
If Ashley can’t sell quickly, he will need to at least bring in a new manager, and waste no time about doing just that.
The sooner new owners are brought into the club the better, because only then will we be able to start rebuilding – yet again.
Newcastle right now are drifting aimlessly, and that is sad to see for cuh a proud club.
West Ham: Robert Green, Lucas Neil (c), Herita Ilunga, Scott Parker, Matthew Etherington, Carlton Cole, Matthew Upson, Mark Noble, Julien Faubert, Valon Behrami, David Di Michele
Subs: Jan Lastuvka, Walter Lopez, Luis Boa Morte, Hayden Mullins, Callum Davenport, Kyel Reid, Freddie Sears
Newcastle United: Shay Given, David Edgar, Claudio Cacapa, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Geremi, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Xisco
Subs: Steve Harper, Sebastien Bassong, Ben Tozer, Nacho Gonzalez, Mark Doninger, Ryan Donaldson, Shola Ameobi
Referee: Phil Dowd