A comfortable performance saw the Hammers win 2-0 against Cardiff. It was a great opening result for West Ham and a brilliant way to start the new season. Which a great deal more for the disastrous performance I saw Newcastle play on Monday night – as they lost 4-0 in Manchester.
The two clubs face each other on Saturday. I was a little worried about this game before last week and felt that after a difficult season last year; Newcastle might have a much stronger one this season. And yes, I know it is only one week in and they had a very difficult away trip against a Man City side that looked world class and Newcastle fans won’t like me saying this, but their performance was an utter embarrassing shambles.
Defensively they looked awful, particularly Debuchy, who put in a catastrophic performance. The whole team was full of petulant reactions, sloppy passes and an obvious lack of passion for the club; the entire team looked unhappy. Cisse and Ben Arfa, who I would highlight as the danger men looked off the pace and un-interested.
After Monday night’s performance I am pretty confident we could get another good result here.
`West Ham played well, it was a solid and steady performance, but equally, Cardiff were so poor it was an easy game with no real threat that West Ham would do anything other than win. The Bluebirds did not manage a single shot on goal. This was thanks to a fantastic defensive performance as well as a poor attacking display from Cardiff. Winston Reid was solid as ever in centre defence along with James Collins. I was surprised to see Joey O’Brien start over Razvan Rat, but was not disappointed with his ever reliable performance.
The Hammers were without their star striker Andy Carroll, who was missing with a heel problem, but it was Joey Cole, who stole the limelight with his superb early strike. Cole’s display will probably earn him another start against Newcastle.
Modibo Maiga is likely to lead the line again, and I think he did a decent job against Cardiff. Maiga held the ball up well at times and did a lot of hard work that won’t be appreciated due to his lack of goal threat. As a West Ham fan, I urge other fans to get behind Maiga.
I would really like to see Morrison feature at some point this week. I was a little bemused to see Vaz Te come on when West Ham were leading comfortably last week, I felt that would have been a perfect time to introduce Ravel. Maybe it was Sam’s way of saying thank you to RVT who could be leaving. A cameo appearance is the least he deserves and if he does, I will be sad to see him go.
Andy Carroll will miss out again, but West Ham could give Downing and Razvan Rat their first starts for the club. Downing looked very sharp when he came on and I am excited to see more from him.
Newcastle will be without Steven Taylor, who is suspended following his straight red against Manchester City as well as having Loic Remy and Jonas Gutierrez missing out due to injury. Yohan Cabaye is also likely to miss out.
The last time the two met at St. James’ Park, we saw West Ham run out 1-0 winners thanks to a Kevin Nolan goal. It was a rare away win.
Kick-off this Saturday is a traditional 3pm.
And I’ll go for a safe 1-1.
Enjoy the game!