Newcastle put in a very solid and professional display against West Ham on Saturday. While it was an open game, Newcastle took a couple of their many chances to grab all three points. It is the first time that’s happened in the opening matchday since 2012.
Steve Bruce got courageous and named a side with two strikers in a fluid 4-4-2. It resulted in a plethora of chances while also remaining solid at the back.
There were many performances to get excited about. Especially those of the three new lads who Bruce named in the starting eleven.
Jamal Lewis linked up well with Allan Saint-Maximin down the left. After a tentative start, he grew into the game and ended up putting in a very good debut.
Callum Wilson, in just his first match, showed what a transformative signing he could end up being for this team. He was constantly on the prowl for space in the box and made this team look such a threat while he was on the pitch.
Then there’s Jeff Hendrick, who was pushed out to the right. He had a quiet first half but came alive during the second. His graft was relentless while he also displayed some moments of genuine class.
The Republic of Ireland international, on the back of his goal and assist, has claimed our first Man of the Match poll of the season. Hendrick received 40% of the total vote as he gets the nod over both strikers, Callum Wilson and Andy Carroll, who come in second and third.
It was an excellent display all around. Considering the team featured three new signings, two of whom were just signed earlier in the week, there could be a lot to get excited about this season.