Our final visit to E13, on League duty at least, was a bit of a wakeup call and a reminder of the limitations of the squad and of the manager. The approach to the match from a United side was too defensive and conservative which an early goal left the side with an uphill task, considering the selection.
The recent ale house of choice for West Ham is the Blind Beggar in Whitechapel. This time, it was swerved for the White Hart across the road. An old fashioned East End boozer converted into a contemporary ”brew pub” taking the Craft Ale concept to its outer limits. The Black Tea Lager was just plain strange and it really did have a taste of a bitter old manky brew. Won’t be doing that again. Can’t think of a better example of how the East End has changed so that areas like Whitechapel, Bethnal Green and others now mimic more familiar hipster enclaves.
Upton Park is one of English Football’s grand old traditional grounds but I for one am getting sick of the deliberate delays on the tube going to the match. Same as last year, there were hold ups at least 5 minutes per tube stop including an eternity at Mile End. We left Whitechapel at 7:20pm so that plenty of time for a 20 min journey to make the match you would think. We ended up in the ground 15 mins after kick off because of a “customer incident” at Upton Park station. Unless I know different, that’s just an exercise in putting football supporters in our place because you can get away with it, never mind needlessly pissing off ordinary members of the public getting home after a hard day. If it’s because Upton Park station can’t handle the volume of people then it’s about time WHU went to Stratford frankly.
So the first quarter of an hour is unreported which considering the start we made is just as well. From the time I got into the ground the lack of cutting edge to our play was apparent and we seemed incapable of stringing 2 passes together. The midfield 5 had a lamentable game and it’s obvious a midfield centre of Colback and Anita is just too poor. Wijnaldum (or Wijjy as I’ll never get his name right) was a real disappointment. This is my first match after a 3 week Holiday and Wedding so this was my first opportunity to see the new NUFC and our man from Holland was not the driving force I was expecting. More from him and Thauvin, who was invisible, is essential this season.
West Ham looked by far the sharper team, especially on the break with Moses firing wide from a break following an NUFC corner. A warning for United that wasn’t heeded. Apart from Janmaat having a great chance to level mid-way through the half when he was one on one with Rudolph, that really was it for us.
That earlier warning that was issued by Moses was ignored 4 minutes into the second half what Thauvin sloppily lost possession from his free kick deep inside West Hams half and a swift counter attack found Moses slice through the defence to fire a shot off the bar only for Payet to hit the rebound in to claim his double and leave us 0-2 down.
It was quite apparent that the side was ill-equipped to draw back a 2 goal deficit. I think McLaren betrayed his more defensive and conservative inclinations in the team selection. Certainly one if not both De Jong and Perez should have started. Cisse was too isolated but also has the look of a man who knows his United career is coming to a close. Abject and disinterested are two adjectives you could use. We desperately need his goalscoring instincts this season and he needs better support around him.
De Jong and Perez’s double substitution in the 60th minute, and that of Aarons coming on later, undoubtedly improved the sides attacking capabilities. If this didn’t result in clear cut chances, never mind goals, we at least caused the WHU defence some concern. The best two opportunities were a deflected shot on the edge of the box from De Jong that was tipped over and a Janmaat shot (probably our best attacking threat and a better winger than Sissoko) that should have hit the target.
West Ham deserved their win by some distance but for our United, promise now needs to generate points. The phoney war of the season has now finished and we simply have to get 3 points from Watford H before Chelsea (we can’t seriously beat them for a 4th season at home??) and Man City. No one should be thinking in terms of a crisis but McLaren has to look at his more attacking options in his squad before this lack of points becomes a genuine concern.
Newcastle United: Krul 6; JANMAAT 6, Coloccini 6, Mbemba 6, Hiadara 5; Anita 4 (De Jong 6), Colback 4, Sissoko 3, Wijnaldum 4 (Aarons 6), Thauvin 3 (Perez 6); Cisse 3
Subs not used: Gouffran, Obertan, Lascalles, Darlow
Mags: 5. Short on voice or encouragement. This was a flat Monday evening in most respects. “Stick Peggy Mitchell up your arse” raised a smile or two and hasn’t quite left my head since.
Theirs: 7. In good voice. Usual lusty chorus of Bubbles and posturing from the Chicken run.
GUY HANNAY-WILSON – Follow Guy on @tfGHW1892
I take back the comment regarding the stoppage. This was due to a man suffering a heart attack on the station platform. Apologies for typing first without knowing the facts – Guy.
true faith : WELCOME TO THE NEW TF WEBSITE Next Post:
THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Eyes Wide Shut – 15/Sep/15