David Hautzig's Match Report

Brighton 3, West Ham 1. Shot Down By Birds.

The last few days in Claret & Blue have been depressing, infuriating, and predictable. All in equal measure. Whatever small level of patience I had for the current regime vanished when I turned out the lights to go to sleep on Wednesday night. The lack of business, and the absurd reasons given for that, insulted the basic intelligence of every West Ham supporter. To use the “no time for a medical” lie two times in a twelve month span is almost psychotic. The Tony Henry story was farcical. Both for the hideous nature of the comments, and the ineptitude of Henry for making them in a world where everything you say can easily be disseminated in seconds. So sitting down to watch the match today felt more like a chore than a pleasure. Whose fault is that? We all know.

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West Ham were fortunate not to have Byram enter the referee’s book in the early moments when he delivered a hip check that would have earned rave reviews from my former fellow season ticket holders for The New York Rangers. Bong went down with a bang, but all Brighton got was a set piece that West Ham handled well.

Javier Hernandez admitted yesterday that he had wanted to leave in the recently closed window. I can’t say that I blame him. But I do blame him for a giveaway that led to a quick Brighton counter. Cresswell tried to one up Byram in the ice hockey challenge by tripping Knockaert from behind near the center circle, a tackle that I think could have seen red on another day. The referee played the advantage, and Brighton took full advantage. Gross took the ball from Knockaert and fed Murray alone in the box. The man always seems to score against us, so why not today?

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Brighton 1
West Ham 0

After the goal, West Ham looked like they wanted to settle down and play for a professional 1-0 loss. Brighton swarmed like a team that knew exactly what they wanted and how they would get it. They sprayed passes around the West Ham penalty area, making both Byram and Cresswell look more than just uncomfortable as wingbacks. The Hammers overall looked like a team that didn’t want to be there. I wanted the whole day to end as quickly as possible.

West Ham had their first real threatening moment of the match in the 25th minute when Cresswell did well to send a cross into the box from a tight area. Byram got to it in front of goal, but his header lacked pace and went more down than forward. Duffy cleared it, and instead of a level scoreline it remained 1-0 to the hosts.

Moments later Brighton thought they had a shout for hand ball. Bong sent a low cross into the box that found Knockaert in front of goal. His one timer went right into Ogbonna’s arm, but Roger East was right there and waved off the penalty claim straight away.

Despite my earlier comments about Chicharito, I’ve never doubted that under the right circumstance Lil Pea could be a valuable asset for us. The 30th minute showed why. Hernandez started an attack with a pass to Noble twenty yards out. The Captain passed it right to Mario in the box, who barely had the ball for a millisecond before feeding Hernandez in the box. Even after his initial opportunity dissipated, Chicharito broke to his right and found the upper left hand corner of the goal.

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Brighton 1
West Ham 1

The hosts should have regained the lead a minute or so later when Noble and Ogbonna got in each others way trying to clear a cross in the West Ham penalty area. The ball came right to Knockaert in front of goal, but he sent his shot over the bar.

West Ham finished the first half far better than they started it, with Cresswell sending two quality crosses into the box. With a little luck, either Mario or Byram would have scored. Then the visitors earned a free kick on the right side of the Brighton penalty area, followed by a corner. They almost paid for another defensive misstep by Byram that allowed Brighton to break with a pasture of space to work with, but Zabaleta got a crucial toe in to break it up.

Halftime
Brighton 1
West Ham 1

The second half started with a lot of nothing, done very quickly. The ball looked to move up and down the pitch quickly, but with very little purpose. Like everyone had a bit too much coffee during the break. The first opportunity of any kind came in the 59th minute when Rice was forced to put the ball out for a corner. The initial delivery went nowhere. But seconds later, West Ham were struck by lightning for the second time this season when Izquierdo repeated his wonder strike from the 3-0 win at The London Stadium with a curler into the top left corner.

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Brighton 2
West Ham 1

Brighton were on the attack again in the 67th minute when Schelotto went on a run down the right. His cross found Gross in the box, but the shot went high over the bar to see the chance wasted.

Brighton moved the ball around the West Ham box in the 74th minute, with Izquierdo combining with Gross before the his shot was deflected out for a corner. But a few minutes later, Collins gave the ball away with a bad clearance. Gross took over near the top of the box and sent a low shot past Adrian.

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Brighton 3
West Ham 1

A few minutes later, Gross was sent in again down the right. Everyone but the German international thought the flag would go up. It didn’t, and it took a fine save from Adrian to prevent Brighton from scoring a fourth.

I wonder if somewhere around the 84th minute, Mario thought to himself “glad it’s only a loan”.

Final Score
Brighton 3
West Ham 1

Not that I had any delusions we would not be dragged back down into a relegation fight, it’s still unpleasant to actually be in it. For real. When the season began, I looked at the two matches against Brighton as six points to be had.

I just had the wrong team.

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David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 1, Slimeballs 1. Not A Good Point, But Not A Bad Point Either.

I hate Bournemouth now. I mean, I really hate them. And I used to like them in that second club kind of way. It wasn’t that they were awarded a goal they shouldn’t have gotten. And to be fair, they were the better side for most of that match. Heck, even Wilson acting like a total putz afterwards wasn’t the thing that turned on the revulsion in me. It was the club itself, using their official Twitter feed to make light of the fact they got away with cheating. I never expected them to say, “hey, the goal shouldn’t have counted”, but to publicly revel in it put that club in a light I never would have expected from them. So a curse on all their houses.

The Hammers began the match on the front foot, a term I only just learned has its roots in cricket, with Arnautovic leading the way in terms of being a nuisance to the Slimeball defense. Cresswell tried a low shot from outside the box, Noble sent a volley onto the top netting, and Kouyate got his head to a cross after a short corner that Begovic saved easily.

The first real opportunity belonged to West Ham in the 14th minute when Zabaleta once again started an attack by tracking back and winning the ball in the Slimeball half. He sent a beautiful cross into the box that split the Slimeball defense before settling on Arnautovic’s right foot. It was on its way to the back of the net but Begovic did well to push it over the bar for a corner.

The Slimeballs had their first real look at goal in the 21st minute from a set piece after Kouyate was whistled for a foul against Gosling 30 yards from goal. The delivery curled over the wall and found Francis unmarked at the far post. With a tight angle he tried to roll it across the face of goal but Adrian got a toe to it and knocked it out of the danger zone.

If two minutes can be considered extended pressure, then the visitors had that in the 31st minute, starting with a free kick after Ginge was shown a yellow card for being a brick wall that Fraser ran into. Moments later, Cook tried a shot from outside the West Ham penalty area that had Adrian beaten but curled just wide. That terrified feeling of not capitalizing on the early dominance began to creep in.

As the first half ran down, West Ham asked the final question before the break when they won a corner but Begovic punched it away from danger.

Halftime
West Ham 0
Slimeballs 0

The first moment of interest in the second half came when a shot attempt by Kouyate from inside the box went off the hand of Ake, but Atkinson didn’t do a thing in all likelihood because of the close range. Moments later Arnautovic won a corner but the Slimeballs cleared from danger. Lanzini then sent a ball across the face of goal but nobody was there for West Ham. Zabaleta sent a looping ball towards goal that his fellow Argentine Lanzini came an inch from getting to. The sustained pressure continued with yet another corner that Begovic was able to grab hold of, followed by an Arnautovic counter and a soft shot by Zabaleta.

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In the 60th minute, Kouyate and Arnautovic combined on a give and go, with Kouyate doing the give while Arnautovic provided the go. The Austrian was in on goal all alone, but chose to try one more touch instead of a shot and that gave Cook time to get in his way and eventually win the ball.

The 63rd minute was a moment that could be more upsetting than giving up a goal. Lanzini went down holding his hamstring, and with quite literally no other creative midfield player on the roster the good vibrations at West Ham started to fade. Hernandez replaced him, but to what effect would remain to be seen.

While the loss of Lanzini may not have been directly responsible for what happened a few minutes later, I had to wonder. Masuaku and Arnautovic were working down the left of the Slimeballs penalty area. Without any outlet to work the ball into the penalty area, the ball eventually went all the back to Adrian. He hoofed it, and West Ham no longer had the ball. And you do need the ball if you want to score a goal. Goals help you win the game.

Minutes later, the danger of reeling from injuries and the lack of creativity punished West Ham when Fraser was let loose on a run down the left. Adrian should have come out to smother it, but his indecision combined with Zabaleta getting beaten allowed Fraser to run onto a pass from Stanislas and fire it into the net.

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West Ham 0
Slimeballs 1

Last week, playing with my son on his birthday caused me to miss the Arnautovic goal at the start of the second half. Today it was writing the paragraph above. When I looked up because of Tony Gale’s excitement, the ball was behind Begovic and the game was even. The play was not that dissimilar. Ogbonna sent the ball long after the restart, Kouyate headed it forward, Arnautovic got a foot to it but Begovic couldn’t control and Chicharito banged it home. Fox In The Box. It’s what he does when allowed.

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West Ham 1
Slimeballs 1

Despite the goal, the Slimeballs went back to asking the questions. Worryingly, West Ham looked disorganized and unsure in their own area. Players looked at each other, thinking it wasn’t their job to get the ball from danger. Worryingly like the early part of the season.

The 87th minute brought a moment of fear for the home supporters when Wilson and King combined in the West Ham area but King’s end product didn’t have enough pace to trouble Adrian. To make matters worse, Cresswell then pulled up lame with yet another West Ham-string problem. Turned out to likely be an ankle issue, but bad puns are part of my strategy to manage stress from these games. So I chose not to remove it. Just so you know.

By the time the five added minutes began, with all of the injuries I was 100% ready to accept a point and lick our wounds. The Slimeballs didn’t agree with that and kept pushing forward. It appeared that the final seconds were going to take place in the visiting half. Noble played Byram down the right and the late sub earned a corner. But Noble didn’t beat the first man, and the Slimeballs had a last chance to counter. West Ham defended well, and the teams shared the spoils.

Final Score
West Ham 1
Slimeballs 1

When this run of games against the teams around us in the table began, I said seven points was what I expected. Two games into it we have four, so based on my expectations we are ahead of schedule. But for me, today was a bit like that first game against Big Sam when he returned to Upton Park with Sunderland. I wanted to win that game so badly it felt like a Cup Final. Obviously today was different. And a draw was a fair result by and large. I just wanted to beat them.

Because they are cheating, good for nothing Slimeballs.

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David Hautzig's Match Report

Huddersfield Town 1, West Ham 4. Sing It, Mick!

Players and managers often have Matchday routines and plans. So did I. You see, today is my sons eleventh birthday. He was supposed to take his first archery lesson this morning while my daughter was at school (yes, her current school has morning classes on Saturday). Then we were going to go out for lunch, come home to open presents, make his chosen dinner of Spaghetti & Meatballs, play with the aforementioned presents, and then call it a night. However, Mother Nature interfered yet again. Ice, freezing rain, and snow after 60 degrees and torrential rain yesterday made the roads treacherous. I expected to be home alone during the match, but that didn’t happen. And on your kid’s birthday, you shouldn’t say NO to a request because you are watching West Ham. At least I wouldn’t. Thankfully, he didn’t ask for much and I had a lovely morning watching football.

As always, there was drama for West Ham before a ball was kicked. Andy Carroll didn’t make the trip because….exactly. Rice was dropped because….no clue. Moyes only named six subs to the bench because….temporary insanity? I know the U23 squad played yesterday and Moyes reportedly decided it was more important for certain players to play that match than sit today. But he couldn’t decide on one? Whatever.

The first opportunity of the match fell to Huddersfield when they won a corner in the sixth minute. The delivery was good, as was the flick on into the space right in front of Adrian. Fortunately for West Ham nobody on the home side made a run to go for that second ball and it rolled out for a goal kick.

As the first half moved into the 20th minute, The Hammers started to at least try to assert themselves a bit more. Lanzini made a couple of runs, as did Arnautovic, and Kouyate just mistimed a run onto a pass from Ginge. But despite that bit of endeavor, there was still no end product. In fact, there wasn’t even an attempt on goal. The only positive ball came from the reborn Noble, but it only went out for a goal kick.

I’m so used to watching West Ham make silly mistakes and get punished for them that when they happen to the opposing team I barely know how to react. In fact, I generally expect to see a good chance wasted. So when Lossi sent a short goal kick in the 26th minute to Lolley and Arnautovic pressured Lolley into losing the ball to Noble all alone in front of the Huddersfield goal, I saw Noble channeling his inner Carlton Cole (bless him) and skying it to the atmosphere. Instead, he showed experience and skill and easily slotted it home for his 50th career goal.

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Huddersfield 0
West Ham 1

Irony. Only one different letter from Irons. Yet so appropriate for our club. In the 42nd minute, Huddersfield broke down the right. The ball came to Lolley. The man responsible for West Ham’s opener. Noble, the man who scored after that error, had a chance to challenge Lolley on the right side of the box ran right past him. Lolley then had nothing but pasture in front of him and ran into it. He cut to his left and let rip a left footed screamer that beat a diving Adrian.

Halftime
Huddersfield 1
West Ham 1

I won’t lie. I was with my son when the second half started. I tried to keep an eye on the clock to know when to get back downstairs for the start of the second forty five minutes. So when I did get back to the IPad plugged into the television, I had to put my glasses on to make sure I saw the screen correctly. The replays were thankfully as wonderful as the live action. Arnautovic showed the kind of skill we lived for from DiCanio and Le Snake by passing to himself over Smith’s head and drilling it past Lossi only eleven seconds after the re-start.

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Huddersfield 1
West Ham 2

Minutes after West Ham regained the lead, they won a corner. Cresswell’s delivery found Ogbonna in the box. His bouncing header was touched by Kouyate and looked destined for the back of the net. But Mooy was stationed on the line, and perhaps on another day before goal line technology a bad ref or linesman would have ruled it a goal. But technology was there, and the ball only went halfway in. Horseshoes and hand grenades as they say.

The visitors stayed on the front foot, and after some nifty one touch passing between Kouyate, Obiang, and Arnautovic the latter was sent free by Kouyate. Lanzini cut across and into the box, and our Austrian Talisman rolled a perfectly weighted ball to the little Argentine. Smith held his hand up, but since the linesman is decidedly not a preschool teacher he didn’t call on the Huddersfield right back. Lanzini ran onto the ball and put a low shot past Lossi.

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Huddersfield 1
West Ham 3

Huddersfield was obviously in a position where they had to chase the game. West Ham were ready to pounce, almost to a degree I had a hard time believing. Kouyate, having his best game in ages, won the ball on the right side of the West Ham penalty area. His long ball was brought down by Arnautovic, and he was off to the races. He wanted to finish what he started, but Schindler caught up to him and forced Arnie to rethink his plan. Which he did, with a pass to Lanzini in the box. A delightful finish into the top corner was next, and West Ham were up by three.

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Huddersfield 1
West Ham 4

The home side had a chance to make the final fifteen minutes a bit more interesting when new signing Alex Pritchard stepped up to take a free kick from twenty five yards out. His shot was poor, but it took a deflection off the wall and Adrian had to dive down to his right to palm the ball out for a corner. West Ham were given a small gift on the ensuing set piece when Smith’s shot from inside the box clearly went off Obiang and out for what should have been another corner. Instead, Moss pointed to Adrian for a goal kick. After that, it was just good ol’ Moysie shutting them down.

Final Score
Huddersfield 1
West Ham 4

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

I am going to guess that most West Ham fans despaired and expected the worst when Lolley equalized. I know I would have settled for a draw at that point. A second half goal explosion was about as likely as a progressive comment from Donald Trump. For all of the calls for a young, aggressive manager, I don’t think we have the infrastructure and management to support such a project. Eight years in and if there has been progress under the current regime I’d love for someone to point it out to me. That’s why I was OK with Moyes coming in and am willing to give him a shot at this longer term.

We are now eleventh in the table, albeit a table tighter than the suit I got married in. But to start the run of games that by most accounts will define our season with a comfortable win away from home is brilliant.

Happy Birthday, Son.

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David Hautzig's Match Report

Shrewsbury Town 0, West Ham 0. Chicken Feet Make The Best Stock.

There I was. Minding my own business. Making my son some breakfast when I decided to see if any FA Cup matches were on over here.

Well what do ya know. Us.

So I turn on the TV in the kitchen a few minutes before kickoff, swivel it my direction, and get the cream cheese and smoked salmon from the fridge. I had a lot to do at home this morning, including restocking one of the freezers with chicken stock. If you’ve never made soup or stock from chicken feet, I advise you to end that flavour drought as soon as possible.

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I was in no position to construct a report based on notes taken from game action, and as it turned out that was absolutely fine. Chicken feet was and still is the highlight of the day. Make no mistake about it. Shrewsbury Town are the side that can claim to have deserved a win today. Nolan had that golden chance to score after Cullen made the mistake on the cross, and they probably should have done better in the dying moments after Burke lost control near the centre circle. Twitter was in virtual flames after the match, tearing the players new orifices every which way it could. And we were poor. The stats speak for themselves:

Possession:
Shrewsbury Town 55%
West Ham 44%

Shots:
Shrewsbury Town 9
West Ham 4

Accurate Passes:
Shrewsbury Town 260 (64%)
West Ham 180 (54%)

Corners:
Shrewsbury Town 4
West Ham 2

But I’m going to go against the grain a bit. Isn’t somewhat fair to say that Shrewsbury Town did to us what we did, to a degree, to Man City? Chelsea? Even Spurs? They had only conceded five goals at home all season. And while no single player apart from Sadler The Bloodbath impressed me especially, and he more for his toughness than anything, Shrewsbury Town were the kind of lower division side I love watching in this competition when I can be neutral. Spirited. Resolute. Organized. Well coached and drilled. They played well defensively, and should have seen themselves through.

Our attacking play was, well, appalling. But there may be an inalienable truth we must accept. We are not a particularly good team going forward. We have a couple of good players on the ball, but the times this season and last we have tried to be more expansive going in one direction we have looked frail and exposed on the other end. So maybe it was best to keep the defensive end solid because, in the end, we have to.

Jacob Steinberg and others on Twitter said a replay was the last thing West Ham need. And while I’d rather not have another match in ten days time at The Track, it doesn’t have to be a chain around our necks. Youngsters will likely get another chance to show what they can offer, as will some first teamers that spend more time sitting than running. The larger pitch will probably benefit us, and we will likely win by a goal or two. A loss today would have stopped the momentum and increased positivity we have gained in the league. A draw does not.

A couple more random thoughts from what I saw.

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I had a season ticket to the New York Rangers ice hockey team for many years. It was not uncommon for a player to be cut while playing and only miss one shift while being stitched up on the bench. I’m willing to buy Cullen some skates if he’s interested. You could see in his eyes there was no way on Gods Green Earth he was going to let this opportunity end because of a piece of bone that can be replaced.

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Is it possible that Moyes, and even Bilic, were right in not starting Hernandez when so many screamed for his inclusion? And that’s not a slight on Chicharito. It’s just hard not to wonder if he was bought in the same way we buy stuff from the market when we forget to make out a well conceived list. You need onions and milk, you come home with cookies and a DVD. We all know what he needs to succeed. Didn’t Sullivan? Don’t answer that.

Anyway, today neither shocked nor annoyed me. We are West Ham. We are not a club that is beyond this kind of performance. We can be breathtaking against a top side, and lethargic against a pub team. You know it to be true. So simply get on with your day.

That’s what I need to do now anyway.

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David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 2, Newcastle 3. Depression Returns.

I don’t recall the year, but it was in the 90’s. Newcastle were in the Champions League, and ESPN had the television rights to that competition in the USA. I was freelance at the time, and with no work that day I decided to order Chinese food for lunch and just sit on my sofa in my rather small apartment and watch TV. With European parents and a dad that told me from early on that Football, real Football, was the single greatest sport on earth, there was something oddly special about that day. Special enough that I still remember the day and how I felt. To some degree, the plight of the Geordies could be seen as worse than our own. They have fallen even farther, and it’s not like Ashley is any improvement over our lot. So if misery does indeed like company, we had appropriate guests today. Unfortunately, the misery today was all ours.

For a stretch of time in our recent history, bad passes that led directly to opposition goals were almost a game to game occurrence. In the 6th minute, West Ham were the recipient of such a gift when Saivet tried to roll a pass back and Arnautovic jumped all over it. He attacked the Newcastle defense one on three, cut to his right and fired a low shot past Elliot.

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West Ham 1
Newcastle 0

It didn’t take long, however, for Saivet to redeem himself when Newcastle were awarded a free kick from thirty yards out. Adrian, to be fair, gift wrapped the present by positioning himself way too far to the left. Saivet had a huge amount of empty goal to aim at, and he curled his delivery over the wall and into the bottom corner.

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West Ham 1
Newcastle 1

Newcastle did more to take advantage of their equalizer than The Hammers did to pounce on their even earlier lead. In the 16th minute, Yedlin raced with the ball down the right and sent a low cross into the box. Gayle was there to one time it, but his shot went over the cross bar before Cresswell was able to scramble it away. The crowd was quiet, as if they had the distinct feeling today might be far worse than they had anticipated. West Ham’s meek reaction to the Newcastle goal was the likely reason.

West Ham won a corner in the 25th minute when an Arnautovic delivery into the box was sent over the bar by the man who was involved in everything to that point, Saivet. Cresswell sent the set piece into the box where Antonio rose above the crowd to meet the ball but his header went over the bar. While the effort was a bit disappointing, the action did level off a bit with the home side at least taking part in the attacking festivities. Moments later, Masuaku tried a long range shot that Elliot had to dive to his left to stop.

Newcastle had a good opportunity from a set piece in the 31st minute when Masuaku mishandled a ball to the right of the West Ham penalty area and fouled Ritchie. The set piece was cleared, but only as far as Diame who sent his shot over the bar. Ritchie had another golden chance minutes later when Gayle fought off Ogbonna in the box and rolled a pass to Ritchie. The Scottish international curled a shot that beat Adrian but not the post. The lumber that helped against Hull last season looked to be back. In the 39th minute, Gayle had yet another chance to put Newcastle on top with an open look at goal from 15 yards out but he missed the target and sent his shot high over the bar. Newcastle were slicing the West Ham defense apart, which was jarring to say the least after recent performances.

At that point being level at halftime felt like a bigger gift than our goal.

Halftime
West Ham 1
Newcastle 1

West Ham didn’t look like they were going to create a goal by the masses, so Arnautovic tried to create one on his own. He started just outside the Newcastle area and took on Manquillo and Clark before creating enough space to try a left footed shot. The curling effort went just wide.

Newcastle had every right to think they deserved the lead, and in the 53rd minute they got it. After a number of less than stellar clearances, Atsu nutmegged Zabaleta on the edge of the area and rolled the ball to Mo Diame who slammed it past Adrian.

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West Ham 1
Newcastle 2

For a team that have rarely been awarded penalties, West Ham found themselves on the receiving end of a second spot kick in as many league games that they likely should not have been awarded. When Antonio was brought down by Clark and Mason pointed at the spot, Tony Gale immediately questioned the decision. Replays showed the foul did indeed happen just outside the box. When I saw Ayew step up to take it, I immediately had a bad feeling. Why not Arnautovic, who has enough confidence for an entire squad at the moment? Ayew’s stutter step was almost like a death knell for what was about to happen, so when Elliot stopped the penalty easily I wasn’t even a little bit surprised.

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Minutes after the absurdly bad penalty, Newcastle broke after West Ham squandered a corner. Zabaleta and Cresswell got in each others way, and the ball ricochet down the left to Joselu, who found Atsu in the box for an easy one timed shot pas Adrian.

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West Ham 1
Newcastle 3

When Andy Carroll came on for Antonio, the obvious strategic move would be to use his presence in the box. Which is why the Cresswell short corner prior to Newcastle’s third goal was so absurd? In the 69th minute, West Ham won another corner and this time Plan A was adopted. Carroll got to the ball first, Elliot couldn’t hang on, and Ayew drilled home the second ball. I still don’t forgive him for the penalty, but I’ll take the goal.

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West Ham 2
Newcastle 3

In the 77th minute, my patience with Ayew ran out. West Ham were able to clear their area and launch Ayew on a counter. With acres of space in front of him, he inexplicably slowed down, lost the ball, and Kouyate had to foul to stop Newcastle from breaking. Moments later he was replaced by Hernandez.

The Hammers won a free kick in the 83rd minute from just outside the right side of the Newcastle eighteen yard box. Cresswell sent it into the box, but Newcastle did well to clear it from danger. A minute later Masuaku had the ball down the left and while his ball control can be impressive, that was not the time to dance around. Eventually Obiang sent a weak ball right at Elliot, the kind of action that was indicative of his overall lousy day.

Final Score
West Ham 2
Newcastle 3

This was just an awful day. We could have truly moved away from danger with a win, and not only did we fail in that endeavor we played quite poorly as well. Make no mistake, Newcastle were the better side and deserved the three points. West Ham reverted to the kind of scatterbrained defending that got us into the trouble we were in and are back in. The attack had no cohesion, and even when Carroll was inserted the route one version went off the road and into a ditch.

A very disheartening performance to match the freezing rain we have in my part of the world.

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