Newcastle fans got several pieces of good news during the game at the London Stadium last Saturday.
First of all, we won our first game in the last ten, and then we scored the most goals we have scored in a game this season.
The 3-2 win equaled the 3-0 home win against the Hammers earlier in the season – the start of a 3 game winning streak.
We also moved 3 places up the table and above West Ham into 15th place in the league table, and out of the relegation zone.
Henri Saivet and Mo Diame came into the central midfield because of injuries to Hayden and Merino, and both players played well, and both scored a goal – and their individual performances in the circumstances were excellent.
Henri’s goal was a stunner from a free kick from all of 30 yards out.
Matt Ritchie and players celebrate first win in 10 games
And both Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie hit the woodwork in the first half.
At some point, both these players will start scoring again, and that’s the third time in recent games that Ritchie has hit the woodwork.
Here’s what Matt has said about the Newcastle squad and these are excellent comments from the former Bournemouth man:
“I think the group that we’ve got is very competitive,” “Training is very competitive. We’ve got a good group.”
“We’ve got players that haven’t played as much as they’d have liked. Henri’s come in and scored a wonderful free-kick.”
“It’s the sort of thing we’re going to need.”
“It’s not just 11 players. We need a squad of players, and everyone to be pulling in the same direction.”
“It’s fantastic that everyone’s involved.”
“I think the performance was very good, although, throughout the season, we’ve performed well.”
“And there have been games where you could probably take a point, or take all three, and we’ve been on the wrong end of those turning points.”
“I don’t think anyone thought this season was going to be easy. There was always going to be ups and downs, but it’s the way we react to the downs.”
“The past couple of weeks have been tough for everyone involved at the club. Results haven’t been the way we’ve wanted them.”
“But we showed resilience, and it was great to share that with the fans. “Hopefully, we put a smile back on their faces and they can have a Merry Christmas.”
“You’ve seen already this year that the Premier League’s a ruthless place, and that if you’re not at it, you’ll get beat,”
“We need to make sure the desire, above all else, is breathing throughout the team.”
We have a huge test tomorrow night at home to Manchester City when there will be one flag flying to honor Rafa Benitez.
Pundits are really upset and disappointed the Newcastle fans have stuck with the manager through such a terrible string of results.
But we are not daft and know a great manager when we see one and the fans are right behind Rafa.
Manchester City have won 18 or their 19 league games and have won 17 games on the trot.
It’s time that streak was broken.