if this game was a month ago, it would of been a cracker. Both managers had managed their opposition. 2 key players in claret and blue were both once Tyneside legends, and both teams were looking for points and playing well.
This game however saw WHU safe and in the top half and unless there is some major shock results, a draw would suit Newcastle (Wigan beating WBA away, anyone ? :)).
Sam picked his probable best team with the improving O’Neill anchoring the middle instead of Noble, and RVT on the right hand side instead of Joe Cole.
The first half was instantly forgettable, except for on 20 mins, Cisse stripped Collins easily to pass the ball past Jussi, and towards the empty net. Mr Winston Reid arrives on the scene to clear right of the line, but watching it again today on the telly would suggest it might be a good case for goal line technology. The games stumbles towards half time with Gutierrez faking injury and really bonding with the home support.
The game livened up a little in the second half, but no one really troubled either goalkeeper. Carroll, although industrious all game , sent a couple of headers past the post, and Jussi got all caught up coming off his line to leave the goal unattended again but the oncoming shot / cross went past the far post for a goal kick. Matt Jarvis got a few good crosses in late on, and Carroll and Nolan forced a great double save from Elliot to keep the honours even.
Which is how they ended up. A point for West Ham which could be a few quid, but a point for the Geordies leaves them just above the drop zone, and Wigan have a game in hand. Chunky Pardew (dont ask) doesn’t seem phased, but if I was a Newcastle fan , the lack of urgency would bother me.
Nice of Sam to only makes subs where they were needed, and keep Diame and Gary O’Neill on the pitch for 90 minutes.
So for his goal line clearance and general all round good play, todays MOTM goes to Winston Reid.