MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 2 West Ham U 1, St James’ Park, 16/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,031

by • January 16, 2016 • Match reportsComments (10)3970

An explosive first half hour saw us blow West Ham away and then hang on for a precious victory to lift us out of the bottom three.  Jonjo Shelvey came in for the China-bound Chieck Tiote for his debut and we were out of the blocks like a shot, pressing very high up the pitch and taking the initiative from the off.  We could have been one up inside two minutes when Perez was denied by Adrian and only poor control from Sissoko when bearing down on goal robbed him of a great chance but we didn’t have to wait long when Perez put us ahead inside six minutes.

We’ve been crying out for a midfielder capable of passing the ball since Cabaye left and Shelvey had an instant impact, GiniWestHamJan16picking out Wijnaldum with a smart ball and his fine lay off was curled beautifully by the little Spaniard past Adrian’s despairing dive.  Perez is the king of that technique and it was a fantastically executed goal all round.  West Ham were on the ropes and we almost scored a second shortly afterwards when the ball ping-ponged around inside the area before being hacked to safety but then they went down the other end and nearly levelled themselves, a pullback from the byline being hacked away feet away from the goal and behind for a corner by the excellent Coloccini.

Astonishingly, we were two up inside fifteen minutes with another absolute pearler.  Shelvey drilled a pinpoint ball fully fifty yards to Janmaat and he took the pass in his stride on the run, got behind the fullback and zipped a ball across to Wijnaldum who buried it into the roof of the net from six yards out.  Everyone was rightly purring about Shelvey’s pass but for me, Janmaat deserved as many if not more plaudits – his control and vision was superb and he was another that was outstanding today.  Still we poured forward and could easily have had another couple before half time.  Janmaat again fizzed a cross in that Adrian could only parry across the face of the box but we couldn’t force it home and he saved well from Mitrovic, who also swiped at a cross but only managed an air shot as their defence looked ragged.  They did have another good chance themselves when Kouyate had a clear sight of goal but Eliott saved well with his legs and we went in at half time two up and with a spring in our stride.

We were brought back down to earth within five minutes of the restart though when Mbemba sold Eliott, who himself wasNorthern Threads Winter Sale slow off the line, short with a backpass, allowing Jelavic to nip in and round the keeper to slot home despite the despairing attempts of Dummett on the line.  We looked nervy for a while as West Ham started to dominate possession and Jelavic made a nuisance of himself but they never really threatened seriously.  Dummett went off, presumably injured, forcing a reshuffle that saw Saivet come on for his debut and Colback dropping back into the left back slot and we sat very deep, with the Frenchman looking slightly frozen in the spotlight.

As time ticked on, we had a few sights of goal ourselves.  Mitrovic, who grafted his socks off all afternoon had a couple of half chances that were blocked and Shelvey blazed a couple over the bar when it might have been better to hold possession and it looked like we were going to be denied at the last when Kouyate met a cross just yards out but Eliott made a vital save from point blank range to gasps of collective relief.  Bemusement followed when the fourth official held up six minutes of injury time but after what seemed like forever, the whistle sounded on a very satisfying victory.

Obviously Shelvey’s influence was a major positive and he had a great debut and there were some impressive performances all over the pitch from us – Eliott making a couple of vital stops, the back four on the whole very solid and Sissoko and Mitrovic again putting in a shift but by some considerable distance, the man of the match was Wijnaldum.  His fitness is way above what we have been used to for a long, long time and aside from never stopping all afternoon, his touch, vision and footballing brain was second to none – add in the fact that he is our top scorer and his value to the team is priceless at the minute.

So, a good week for us at long last but we are still a long, long way from safety.  Watford is as vital a game as this one and I make us one of six sides that could go down – a win down there would make the world of difference.  Things are certainly brighter than they were when the final whistle went down there just a week ago though, that’s for certain

Keep the Faith

Newcastle United – Eliott 7, Janmaat 8, Coloccini 8, Mbemba 7, Dummett 7 (Saivet 5), Colback 7, Shelvey 7, Sissoko 7, WIJNALDUM 9, Perez 6 (Gouffran n/a), Mitrovic 7 (Lascelles n/a)

Ref – Swarbrick – 8 – Thought he reffed it very well, allowed play to flow – a million miles away from that knacker midweek

Our Fans – 8 – Very good when the team needed them

Their Fans – 6 – Best London support for me but quiet today

GARETH HARRISON – FOLLOW GARETH ON @truefaith1892

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10 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 2 West Ham U 1, St James’ Park, 16/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,031

  1. tom Bates says:

    So we’ve missed out on Austin but going for another midfielder Townsend we have enough players for two midfields but desperately need a striker. Sounds like Mclaren has pushed for more english players with league experience which goes against Ashley and Carrs policy. Think Townsend could be a good signing for us though.

  2. Bob says:

    Townsend would be a decent signing but who drops out. It would appear either Perez or Sissoko. Gini is doing well, Mitrovich about the only striker, Shelvey with a very good debut with eitherColback or saivant as the holding player. Perez probably needs a rest for a game or two but I’d rather have him than Townsend. Can’t see us paying £ 12m plus for a bench player. I don’t believe Austin was even on the list – just pr and media hype. In fact it doesn’t even look like a striker is on a list. Charnley is clearly a waste of space, but everyone knows that.

  3. Andy bee says:

    Really don’t get the Perez needs a rest debate. The guy is a genius and always puts a shift in hounding opposition when we don’t have ball. Great three points and performance yesterday the need for a proven goal scorer now very clear should have been 4-0 at halftime yesterday ( that’s being conservative…..sorry for swearing) . I’m gonna go out on a limb and get suckered in by the rumours 25 m for lacazette and Townsend 12m oh what a beautiful week we have as Kirchhoff settles in further at the stade de shite.
    (Ashley keep ya pikey fkin free coat )

    • Bob says:

      I totally agree on your comments about Perez, he has had a great start at the toon and has been a crowd favourite from the off, although it took a while for McClaren to recognise it. He is still young and last year he faded a bit after a good run and would probably have benefited from a “rest” for want of a better word. His last couple of games have seen a bit of a drop in his usual performance which is why I mentioned it. However, he did score a very good goal yesterday which probably proves me wrong. He is a game changer though.

  4. Peter Shearer says:

    Good comments Andy Bee-especially re the free coat! Previously I had had you down as an Ashley sympathiser,so got that wrong!

  5. mike says:

    if we had a striker we would be dangerous!!! 4m for Austin my goodness!!! wot did we pay for Thauvin? Mitro plays well but he cant hit a barn door at present.

  6. Jarra mick says:

    I wouldn’t have Townsend on a free and we’re going to spunk 10 million plus, it beggars belief. Priority must be a centre forward, then a defender/ left back but a winger for fuck sake!! We need to be developing our squad by filling areas we are weak in not just buying players because they are available.

  7. Kenny Henderson says:

    With 2 tough away games to come these 3 points were fuckin huge, if we can manage to win one of them though, well we would be starting to turn the corner. I would have had Perez dropped yesterday as he was struggling for a while, what do I kna,his goal was class. Well done son!!

  8. Andy bee says:

    Haha thanks Peter – I’m definitely anti-ashley but just can’t after 25 plus years ever contemplate long term boycott which has led to ‘ debate’. ( did boycott Spurs game mind, felt physically sick with my pint in the labour club wotching on tv). Yes he can stick his cheap tat up his fat arse.
    Totally agree with the striker requirement to add options to mitros effort but I’m quite excited with prospect of Townsend if it comes off , the fella is lightning and has a point to prove ( ala Jonjo) .
    But let’s get a quality goal scorer in and then go to work next week discussing the demise of German centrehalf’s with unwashed colleagues.