West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul and Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals.
Thursday, January 6
Giving goals to Newcastle
Newcastle 5 West Ham 0
It’s painful enough watching the live scores on bbcsport.com — it must have been infinitely worse for any Irons up north.
Parker’s swerving shot early on is our only good moment. Newcastle’s first is a succession of errors. Piquionne passes to an invisible right wingeron the edge of the Geordies’ box, the ball is hoofed upfield, Tomkins heads it sideways to Lovenkrands and it’s two versus one at the back. Lovenkrands plays in Leon Best, Green is slow to come off his line and it’s 1-0 after 18 minutes. His first PL goal. Another player whose Premier League career we’ve kick-started.
For the second Tomkins gives away a free kick. We go to sleep at a free kick and don’t get goalside — Wally Downes must be appalled — allowing Lovenkrands to run through and cross and Best again to score through a tangle of flailing claret and blue legs.
The third sees Tomkins clear the ball straight to Nolan who finishes first time from the edge of the box. Half-time and it’s 3-0
Matt texts “I hate WHU’ while Nigel texts “Usual business restored”.
It gets much worse in the second half. Criminally it’s two versus Matthew Upson at the back again and Best finishes easily. Pathetic defending. Then Barton is given too much space to cross by Gabbidon and Lovenkrands beats our defender (Tomkins again?) to the ball to score.
And it should be six when Nile Ranger misses an open goal.
Tomkins in particular, has had a nightmare, which can happen to young players, but there’s no excuse for the senior players lack of fight.
Grant explains: "Everything we tried to do didn't go well and the physical side and quality wasn't there." Apart from that we were fine.
My Gooner-supporting sister-in-law Eliza texts: “Losers losers losers 5-0 to Newcastle! Losers! Losers!” Thanks.
This was embarrassing. We're bottom again. The most unproductive cockney visit to Newcastle since Michael Caine went in search of his bruvver's killer in Get Carter.