west ham united

26.08.2017… West Ham (h)…

Newcastle United 3 West Ham United 0

St. James’ Park… Saturday August 26th… 3pm

Attendance: 52,093

Ticket: £41 – Programme: £3

A great performance, both on and off the pitch. Three points, three goals, a clean sheet; and Mike Ashley left in absolutely no doubt (if he ever had any) as to where we stand…

Not that I’m foolish enough to believe that anything that we can do or say will have any impact on the eventual outcome, but at least a point was made…

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A Simple Point, Very Well Made…

Considering the importance of the game to both sides, even at this early stage of the season, we ended up winning quite comfortably. We just appeared to want it more, something which is going to have to be the case in every game for the remainder of the season if we’re to stand any chance of staying up…

Mikel Merino is a class act though, far too good for us in our current state…

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Daylight… A 2-0 Lead…

Anyway, the transfer window closed on the following Thursday, and (in an outcome that was no real surprise to anyone) no new recruits arrived…

Conclusions, following another summer of empty promises and half-truths from Mike Ashley and his cohorts? With Rafa, it’s going to be a long hard season. Without Rafa, it’s going to be a car crash…

Newcastle United; Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Merino (YC), Hayden (Diame 82), Ritchie (Murphy 88), Perez, Atsu, Joselu (Mitrovic 72)

Not Used; Woodman, Gamez, Saivet, Aarons

Goals; Joselu (36), Clark (72), Mitrovic (86)

West Ham United; Hart, Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbanna, Creswell, Rice (Lanzini 45), Noble (Kouyate 71), Antonio, Ayew (Sakho 70 (YC)), Fernandes (YC), Hernandez (YC)

Not Used; Adrian, Fonte, Obiang, Masuaku

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

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15.04.2017… Sund v W.Ham…

Sunderland 2 West Ham United 2

Stadium of Light… April 15th… 3pm

Attendance: 40,168

Ticket: £30 – Programme: £3

My excuse? I’d never been to The Stadium of Light…

Two rare goals for Sunderland, the first direct from a corner, the second a late equaliser. Although a solitary point is of little use to them in their attempt at yet another great escape…

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Outside The Stadium of Light…

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Inside The Stadium of Light…

Sunderland; Pickford, Jones (Borini 87), O’Shea, Denayer, Manquillo (Kone 88), Cattermole (Januzaj 76), Gibson, Ndong, Khazri, Anichebe, Defoe

Not Used; Mannone, Rodwell, Pienaar, Djilobodoji

Goals; Khazri (26), Borini (90)

West Ham United; Randolph, Kouyate, Carroll, Lanzini, Snodgrass (Nordtveit 81), Collins, Ayew (Calleri 90), Byram (SO 90+5), Fonte, Masuaku, Fernandes

Not Used; Adrian, Cresswell, Feghouli, Fletcher, Rice

Goals; Ayew (5), Collins (47)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

16.01.2016… West Ham (h)…

Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 1

St. James’ Park… Saturday January 16th… 3pm

Attendance: 50,031

Ticket: £33 – Programme: £3

It’s been a bit of a strange week. Last Saturday, travelling to Watford, listening to Blackstar, oblivious. Then Monday happened and it made sense, it sounded different, it had been staring us all in the face. It was good to have those two days where it was just the new Bowie album…

Anyway, the events of last week and other things happening closer to home had put me in a pretty reflective mood prior to the match, so spent a couple of hours on Saturday just wandering through Newcastle and reminiscing. The quayside, Dean Street, Grey Street, Leazes Park. A fairly circuitous route to the match I guess…

Findings…? Even on a cold, damp day, Newcastle really is a beautiful city… and none of us is getting any younger…

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Pre Match: View of St. James’ from Leazes Park…

Following the bracing walk, there was a football match, a pretty good one too. In fact, I enjoyed the game far more than I have in ages…

We played with a tempo, and this was largely down to the introduction of Jonjo Shelvey. His ability to spray passes accurately, and at speed, gave us a cutting edge (and a half a yard) that hasn’t been there in a very long time. The quarterback analogy is a good one…

Two up after fifteen minutes, two cracking goals. The first a great shot from Ayoze Perez, following a Shelvey pass. The second, a beautiful move. Shelvey to Janmaat on the right flank, a great piece of control, a first time cross behind the back four to Wijnaldum, bang…

We dominated for the remainder of the first half and should have been out of sight, a striker anyone…?

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First Half Action: Newcastle Take a Corner…

We conceded early in the second half following a defensive error but we didn’t fold. Although West Ham pressed, we had as many chances to go 3-1 as they did to equalise. Rob Elliot made a good save late on from Kouyate but any result other than a Newcastle win would have been more than a little unfair…

In summary, a much better performance and a very welcome three points. But that’s all it is, three points. We’re still in the bottom three, there’s still a lot of work (both on and off the field) to be done…

Travelling to Watford next weekend in a slightly more positive frame of mind, Bowie on the headphones…

Newcastle United; Elliot (YC), Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett (Saivet 57), Colback, Shelvey, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Pérez (Gouffran), Mitrovic (Lascelles)

Not Used; Aarons, Darlow, Riviere. Toney

Goals; Pérez (6), Wijnaldum (15)

West Ham United; Adrián, Tomkins (Jenkinson 75), Collins, Ogbonna. Cresswell, Noble, Kouyaté, Obiang (Jelavic 45), Antonio (Moses 70), E Valencia, Payet

Not Used; Randolph, Reid, Song, Cullen

Goals; Jelavic (49)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

24.05.2015… West Ham (h)…

Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 0

St. James’ Park… Sunday May 24th… 3pm

Attendance: 52,094

Ticket: £29 – Programme: £3

Premier League status retained for another season, Jonas Gutiérrez etched into folklore…

Nothing much to celebrate though, for the the third year running the second half of our season was written off, for the second time in three years we’ve been dragged into a relegation fight. It’s not good enough…

Pre-match…

Ashley appeared on Sky before the game and said some words that, on closer analysis, didn’t really mean anything and in some cases just weren’t true. It wasn’t really an interview, that would have involved some level of interaction, some interrogation of responses from the interviewer, it was more of a pre-prepared statement. ‘Continued Investment’, ‘Continued’, really? ‘I won’t leave until Newcastle have won a trophy’, although fourth place constitutes a trophy, does it? So does this mean we will take the actual cups seriously or not? I’m guessing not…

Just how achievable any of this will be without a top quality coach, a substantial investment in players and the retention of the few good ones that we have remains to be seen. Actions speaker louder than words, so over to you Mike…

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Safety Assured: 2-0… Jonas Gutiérrez…

The match…

The first half was tense, the pattern was typical of home games this season, lumping it long to no one, losing our way as the half dragged on. Elsewhere, Hull were playing well against a distinctly understrength Manchester United side, a couple of goals disallowed, wobbling…

The second half couldn’t have been more of a contrast, we looked like a different side. Vurnon Anita was unrecognisable, he chased every ball and left the field to a standing ovation. Daryl Janmaat was outstanding too, the man has been pretty much the only highlight of an awful season, good in defence, strong coming forward, great temperament; keep him and make him captain. One player stole the day though, Jonas Manuel Gutiérrez. How ironic that a man who has been treated so appallingly by the club should be the one that saved it, and how fitting that a man who has been through so much should score the goal that almost brought the roof off St. James’ Park…

That second-half performance is what I would expect to see from a Newcastle side, playing at home, against a side outside of the top four. Attack in numbers, create chances, get the crowd behind you and teams will fold. When this place gets noisy it overwhelms lesser teams, it always has. It won’t always work but we’ll win more than we’ll lose, and we’ll entertain; and isn’t that what football is supposed to be, entertainment? We certainly haven’t been entertained this season, particularly at home; this was the first time in all of our nineteen home league games that we’d won by more than a single goal margin, that says it all really…

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Post Match: Now Follow Through on Those Words Mike…

Post-match…

As promised, the fans got behind the team throughout the game, saving the feedback on the previous nine months until after the final whistle. The response to the occupy protest was more than disappointing, 500 supporters at most. To think that we’re still accused of harbouring unrealistic expectations; on this showing it appears that the vast majority of our fanbase have become very easily pleased…

What next then? A top manager? Big signings? Player retention? I wouldn’t have thought so, maybe a few more vague statements of ambition before the extended season ticket deadline passes. But after that? More of the same old half-truths and unfulfilled potential I would imagine…

Newcastle United; Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Anita (Gouffran 89), Colback, Sissoko (YC), Rivière, Gutiérrez (YC), Cissé

Not Used; Taylor.R, De Jong, Pérez, Cabella, Ameobi, Woodman

Goals; Sissoko (54), Gutiérrez (85)

West Ham United; Adrián, Jenkinson, Burke (Tomkins 69), Reid, Cresswell, Kouyaté (Lee 77), Song, Downing, Nolan, E Valencia (Amalfitano 63 (YC)), Cole

Not Used; Jarvis, de Carvalho, O’Brien, Jääskeläinen

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

29.11.2014… West Ham (a)…

West Ham United 1 Newcastle United 0

Upton Park… Saturday November 29th… 3pm

Attendance: 34,977

Ticket: £43 – Programme: £3.50

My first trip to Upton Park since late 1997, when an overweight John Barnes had settled things in our favour…

More problems with public transport… 10.43 from Nuneaton, due into London at 12.50, arrived in London at 14.05. Twenty minute queues for a tube ticket followed, then a ten minute wait for a connection at Moorgate and a stop-start journey to Upton Park. End result, didn’t get to my seat until twenty past three…

Ground wise, Upton Park appears to have lost some of its magic following various redevelopments in the 17 years since my last visit but that could just be my selective memory playing tricks. Having said that, anything has to be better than the location to which they’re moving to next; soulless, corporate and dull, another example of a club selling its history for short term gain…

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First Half: The View That £43 Gets For You at Upton Park…

The game itself was awful. Nothing happened in the twenty five minutes of the first half that I did manage to see, and nothing much happened in the second half either. West Ham took the lead when a sliced Cheikhou Kouyate shot fell into the path of an unmarked Aaron Cresswell who buried it from close range whilst Rob Elliot sat on his arse. West Ham never really looked like extending their lead after that and we never gave the impression that we were likely to equalise, either with ten men or eleven. The Sissoko sending off pretty much summed up our entire afternoon, absolutely pointless…

The game petered out, the final whistle blew, and on leaving the ground I discovered that at least one thing hasn’t changed; that being the one hour wait for a tube at Upton Park Station, in the same winding queue behind the fence, with the same pushing in…

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Second Half: Newcastle Prepare to Take a Free Kick…

Positives though, find the positives; definitely not my worst travelling experience at Upton Park, in reverse order…

Second place… A cup tie lock-out against Sunderland in 1992... I was studying down in London at the time and took the opportunity to go and shout for anyone who was playing against the mackems. Didn’t get in, and Sunderland won…

First place… The game that didn’t happen in 1997... Travelled down from Newcastle on the coach for a midweek game; heavy rain all day. Gained entry to the ground, waterlogged pitch (fancy that), postponed prior to kick-off. By the time the coaches left London it was almost the same time that it would have been if the game had been played. Being a glutton for punishment I went back for the rearranged fixture (a cracking 0-0), hence the torn ticket (they didn’t issue new ones, just ripped the existing ones)…

Having said all of the above, it’s days like today and the ones recollected above that make you appreciate the results at Spurs and West Brom. Enthusiasm dampened but not diminished, travelling north next weekend for Chelsea at SJP…

West Ham United; Adrián, Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble (YC), Kouyaté (Nolan 85), Amalfitano (YC), Downing, Jarvis (Zárate 70 (YC)), Carroll

Not Used; Vaz Te, O’Brien, Demel, Jääskeläinen, Cole

Goals; Cresswell (56)

Newcastle United; Elliot, Janmaat (Taylor, S 74), Williamson (YC), Dummett, Haidara, Tioté (Cissé 63), Colback (YC), Gouffran (Cabella 63), Sissoko (RC), Ameobi, Pérez

Not Used; Anita, Riviere, Alnwick, Armstrong

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…