West Ham United pay a nervy visit to St James Park with both teams struggling to find their footing in the Premier League so far. Interesting lineup announced by Bilic this afternoon, with Pedro Obiang once again finding his place on the bench. A strange move I can’t seem to wrap my head around given one bad performance. Such an integral part of our squad last year has seemingly taken a back seat. A bright spot on the line up is seeing young Declan Rice get the nod again, wonderful Slaven putting some faith in the youngin’.
A few set pieces and corners for both sides came to no fruition for the first 30 minutes of the match. A lot of dispossession and cancelling out of tactics made for a tense, albeit a bit slow, period. We hadn’t noticed Andre Ayew was in the match until he went down with a cleat to the face for a few minutes, blood forcing him to switch from his beloved #20 shirt to #60. Perhaps now, he will show up to the match.
And then Joselu happened in the 35th minute. Declan Rice was dispossessed deep in his own half and it was Joselu who would break the monotony.
That’s how the first half would finish, more or less. It would be Newcastle with the most chances as the 6 minutes of injury time came to a close. Slow play, injuries, poor possession, and Joselu would prove too much for the Hammers. It was a strange showing as West Ham, when they did push forward and attack, looked a bit threatening. However, they could never find that final touch. Hopefully the second half has a bit more promise.