If Steve McClaren didn’t know how tough the head coach job is at Newcastle, then he will now, after Newcastle’s less than acceptable performance at West Ham last night when we lost the game – all too easily – to West Ham 2-0.
And it was the very impressive Dimitri Payet who ran the show for the home side.
Dimitri Payet scoring West Ham’s second goal last night
Payet had been a former target of Newcastle, but he was too old (he’s 28) and too expensive for Newcastle, who prefer the younger, cheaper editions of Payet.
But that transfer policy means we very rarely sign players from the continent who can make a quick impact at Newcastle, which is just one reason why Alan Pardew is now at Crystal Palace and making an impact at the London club.
It’s the beginning of the seas and are players still need to get, but last night’s performance lacked commitment and lacked passion, and it simply was not good enough.
This is what Steve McClaren said after the game:
“We’ve got talented players out there, but we didn’t do the basics well enough,” “We had been for four games, and that had kept us in games, but we didn’t do that here.”
“It’s a process, and this is normal. These sorts of nights and games are painful to go through, but sometimes you have to go through them to learn about individuals and your team.”
“We have to learn and move on, and make sure we give a big reaction on Saturday.”
“The players have been told it’s disappointing, but all you can do in football is dust yourself down and look forward to the challenge of a home game, and put this game and result to bed.”
“We can make excuses and say the preparation wasn’t ideal, but it’s no excuse. We felt the preparation wasn’t long enough and asked the referee to put it back.”
“But we didn’t do tonight what we have done for the previous four games in terms of organisation, discipline and being hard to beat, we lacked that.”
One concern that hasn’t been solved from last season is that it’s now over four games since we last scored a goal – 402 minutes to be exact.
If you cannot score goals you cannot win games, and when that second Payer goal went in after 48 minutes we couldn’t see Newcastle getting back in the game, al;though we did attack as best we could.
But it wasn;t good enough, and West Ha,m basically were happy enough to hold onto their two goal lead and a good 3 points.
Newcastle have now made a worse start than last year at this time – and we now have to somehow beat newly promoted Watford on Saturday.
If we cannot improve things over the next five games or so, then we could be in for yet another struggle on the league this season.
To say the very least – that would not be good.