Nerves Settled With Hammers Rout

First Points On The Board For Rafas Magpies

After 2 league defeats and a shocking league cup exit Newcastle finally got their season under way and got 3 precious points on the board with what turned out to be a comfortable victory against West Ham on Saturday.

In a game that looked at this early stage of the season to be a 6 pointer it was good to see Newcastle much more up to the task than against Huddersfield as they forced The Hammers into mistakes at times just by pure workrate and then took their chances when they came their way.

To be fair at half time it was relatively close with Joselus maiden goal after good work by Merino and Atsu all that separated the sides but in reality Rob Elliot was rarely tested in the Newcastle goal and after we had survived one Hernandez chance early in the 2nd half we asserted our control and took the game away from them with goals from Clark and substitute Mitrovic to give us some breathing space and add a bit of gloss to the scoreline and in truth we could have had a couple more.

Aside from getting our first points on the board it is always good to get a win going into an international break so credit to the players for putting in the necessary performance in what was a pressure game given the previous results.

I do think that has to be put in a bit of perspective though - I wouldnt say we have now automatically turned the corner as West Ham were pretty awful in all honesty.

I dont want to take anything away from Newcastle who did play well but I dont think we could have picked a better opponent to face at the minute than the Hammers.

I dont know if some of their new signings just need a bit of time to gel but from what I saw on Saturday I would have to say Slaven Bilic is on borrowed time.

At the end of the day though you have to beat what is in front of you and in this instance we did that but there is certainly a lot still to do both on the training pitch and hopefully in the transfer market because irrespective of the result I think it is clear there is a lack of real quality in our side.

Hard work can take you a long way and Matt Ritchie worked his socks off on Saturday in what was probably a man of the match performance and he wasnt the only one with the likes of Merino, Clark, Joselu and Mbemba to highlight a few all putting in good displays but I do think we lack a real touch of imagination and class to go with all of that.

To be fair I dont think anyone had a bad game and it was good to see Merino impress after a tough debut at Huddersfield where he took a bit of stick for the goal we conceded etc.

He certainly looks like a very good footballer with a good passing range on him and I think he will get better once he gets used to the speed the game is played. One thing that also struck me is he is a pretty tall guy so he was pretty useful winning headers in the middle of the park which he looked willing to do even though I bet he has never headed the ball so much in his life!

So the pressure is released for the time being and we are up and running - lets hope by the time the next game comes around some good business has been done prior to the window closing as sadly the reality is we wont be playing West Ham at home every week unfortunately.

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