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Five Things We Learned: West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United

Arnautovic and Ayew score, but it’s not enough to beat Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle United side

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

In a game where it could’ve ended either way, Newcastle United took 3 points this weekend in a rather intense and emotional game. This is Five Things We Learned from West Ham 2-3 Newcastle.

5: Finishing seems to be an issue.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
THE LOOK OF REGRET: Antonio buries his head in his hands following a missed header towards Newcastle Goalkeeper Rob Elliot
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

This one is going to hurt a little, but bear with me for a minute. We’ve seen some pretty incredible games, as West Ham fans, especially with top finishers like Paolo Di Canio, Carlos Tevez and even Ricardo Vas Te, however, we don’t seem to have the same calibre of finishers in this current crop of West Ham players.

Finishing has been something to continuously pop up throughout the last two to three seasons, and it was reinforced well and truly this evening with West Ham United amassing 19 shots to Newcastle’s 11. Of those 19, only 6 were on target. Is there a problem here? Yes. But how can we combat this? We’re not too sure, but either way, it needs to improve soon enough.

4: Lanzini and Noble were sorely missed.

Stoke City v West Ham United - Premier League
AIN’T NOBODY LIKE LANZINI: We all missed him against Newcastle.
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Midfielders Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble missed this match against Newcastle for two very different reasons. In the previous game against Stoke City, it was reported Noble had picked up a hamstring injury which would see him sidelined for the upcoming fixtures against Arsenal and this Premier League clash against Newcastle.

Manuel Lanzini, however, has picked up a two-match ban for deception following a dive during the match against Stoke City. This was given as a penalty kick which was put away nicely by Mark Noble.

With both of these players out, it seemed the midfield lacked a certain level of pace, strength and charisma as Newcastle looked to run rampant throughout this match. Could they have been stopped? Sure, but it was a tough game all round.

3: Newcastle looked strong... Once they equalized.

Hearts v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly
SAIVET: Henri Saivet scored Newcastle’s equalizer after 10 minutes of time
Photo by Christian Cooksey/Getty Images

Newcastle fans have something to be proud of from this match. Once Henri Saivet equalized, Newcastle United picked up an extra boost and were running wild. Their defense strengthened, less mistakes were made in the back and the players knew what they had to achieve before that full-time whistle.

Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo all looked strong, making those forward advances while continuously clearing their lines whenever West Ham United attacked. Combined with the added help from Chancel Mbemba, the Newcastle side changed into a 5-4-1 formation, maximizing their defensive capabilities right through towards the final whistle.

Rafa Benitez has to be proud of the back four/five players because they looked strong.

2: Marko Arnautovic; A Reborn Player

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
ARNIE: Marko Arnautovic scored his third goal for West Ham United against Newcastle United.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

You could make a film following Marko’s journey since joining West Ham United from Stoke City in the summer, however you’d struggle to recapture his last 3 goals from 4 games though. The Austrian international has found a gold mine of form since David Moyes took charge as Manager of West Ham United, and it’s been incredible to watch.

Following his sixth minute winning goal against Chelsea, the forward has proven how much he deserves to be a starting member come match day. Combined with his partnership with Michail Antonio, the Austrian has shown how good he can be on the ball and how strong he needs to be in order to make those last second decisions before shooting.

Can he be stopped? Maybe, but it’s unlikely anyone will try to stop him.

1: This match proved West Ham United NEED reinforcements.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Reinforcements needed next month when the January Transfer Window opens
Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

A few things stood out from this match which could’ve made my Number One this week, however it has to be the fact that this was a game which proved where we need reinforcing.

First up, one of the positions where I feel we need strengthening is the defensive midfield. William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon remains a strong option for next month’s transfer window, and could be a very real possibility. Another player for this could be Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, however he spoke to Sky News midweek, saying “I want to stay at Arsenal. I love my football and I expect to sign a new contract within the next couple of weeks.” Read into that what you will, but it could mean we make Carvalho a target for this spot.

Another defender would go down well. Swansea City’s Alfie Mawson has already been linked to us with a 20-million pound bid already lined up, as reported by The Guardian. The 24-year old would be a good addition, however wither Jose Fonte, Angelo Ogbonna or James “Ginger Pele” Collins would need to depart before this move could go ahead.

Center Attacking Midfielder is another position we need to strengthen. Lanzini’s absence was felt, and we cannot continue relying on him to remain available to play, week in, week out. Having competition/cover for Lanzini would be rather interesting to see, however it depends on the talent we can afford to go after.

A striker is again another place I feel needs reinforcing, because of the fact we stand to lose either Andy Carroll or Diafra Sakho from the club next month. And looking at their track records, my guess is Sakho will leave first. Personally, I’m not surprised West Ham fans have started calling for his exit. He doesn’t want to play for us, then that’s fine. However, another striker to fill the slot would work well, even if young Toni Martinez is promoted to the Senior Team...

What do you think we learned? Have we missed anything? Leave a comment below!