It is now time to analyse player performance from yesterday afternoon’s abysmal drubbing at St James’ Park, as we find out who the main culprits of our defeat were by taking a look at how each featuring squad member ranked out of ten in The North East.
Joe Hart: 7/10
To finish your first three games in Claret & Blue with 10 goals conceded is never ideal and yesterday was yet another afternoon to forget for The England No1.
Hart was easily rounded by Aleksandar Mitrovic for Newcastle United’s third and was caught in no man’s land for Joselu’s opener, However, the shot-stopper is yet to make any huge errors under Slaven Bilic, but is still without a clean sheet in 22 games.
Pablo Zabaleta: 8/10
A very strong Man of the Match contending performance from the Argentine, as he was a shining light in a dark defeat.
The full-back made a number of key interceptions and tackles to largely keep the home side at bay down his side. It seems to many like the veteran is improving each week, but even he was unable to prevent our defeat yesterday.
James Collins: 6/10
The veteran defender, who celebrated his 200th appearance and 34th birthday on Wednesday, endured a tough afternoon and struggled in The North East.
Gaps left in the defence were often the fault of Collins and the Welsh International was slow to react to danger several times. Nevertheless, “Ginge” deserved his chance in the absence of Reid, but will struggle to secure a regular spot this season.
Angelo Ogbonna: 6/10
A rare poor and absent performance from the Italian, who never looked comfortable against the pace of power of the Magpies attack.
However, Ogbonna received little help from his defensive partners and wasn’t directly at fault for any of the home side’s goals. Despite this, The No21 will need to improve to stay in front of Jose Fonte in the first-team pecking order.
Aaron Cresswell: 6/10
Unfortunately, yesterday was one of the few afternoons to forget for the England International in Claret & Blue.
The left-back looked very rusty in defence and saw his side infiltrated a countless amount of times by Matt Ritchie. Having outlined his negatives, Cresswell did create our best chance going forward but will want to forget yesterday in a hurry.
Declan Rice: 7/10
A potentially damaging afternoon and a real confidence blow for the 18-year-old as he was substituted at the break, after making a mistake that directly caused the hosts first-half opener.
Aside from the error, it was another mature and simply brilliant performance from the starlet. Many Hammers fans are hoping that Rice keeps his starting place and is given the second chance he deserves after his Newcastle nightmare.
Mark Noble: 6/10
A typically gutsy and busy performance from our skipper, but he was part of a very flat performance from our midfield on the whole at St James’.
The captain called for fans to stick together and stand by the gaffer after the game, but he sounds like a broken Record to many fans who are tired of lazy performances like that of his side yesterday.
Edimilson Fernandes: 7/10
A positive but largely ineffective performance from our Swiss starlet, after he rightfully kept his starting place from midweek, ahead of an out of form Pedro Obiang.
Fernandes made a number of good runs and held the ball up nicely in an unnatural position out on the wing. However, the youngster was the subject of unfair criticism at full-time and could be at risk of losing his place to the returning Cheikhou Kouyate.
Andre Ayew: 6/10
Yet another quiet and ghost like performance from the Ghanaian, rarely troubling the home side’s defence and contributing little to the game.
However, the forward can be forgiven due to his serious looking Head injury which held the game up for a full six minutes during the first period, but he soldiered on to a poor performance.
Javier Hernandez: 7/10
One would feel that it was an incredibly frustrating afternoon for our Mexican “Little Pea” as he was starved of service and looked isolated up top.
Chicharito often had to drop as deep as the halfway line to see the ball, but he did squander our best chance of the tie when he couldn’t convert the rebound of a Cresswell effort. There is no doubt that the forward will enjoy better days in a West Ham shirt.
Michail Antonio: 8/10
A terrific and trademark Man of the Match performance from our 2016/2017 Hammer of the Year, but his showing would prove but a worthless constellation to our cause.
Like Hernandez, Antonio was isolated in attack and often found himself making solo runs at Rafa Benitez’s defence, terrorizing them at times but not doing enough to trouble the scoreline. Many fans will also forget that yesterday was only his second game back from a Hamstring injury and getting 90 minutes under his belt was key.
Manuel Lanzini: 6/10
Replacing Declan Rice at half-time to make his much-anticipated return from injury, the Argentina International failed to impact and gauge the pace of the encounter.
However, “The Jewell” is only just returning to full fitness and will be expected to be back firing after the International Break.
Diafra Sakho: 7/10
Being introduced with 20 minutes of normal time remaining in place of Andre Ayew, the forward suffered from the same problems as Antonio and Chicharito.
After impressing in midweek against Cheltenham Town with a goal and an assist, many fans believed that Sakho would have been more effective if he had deservedly started the game.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 6/10
Having been presumably sent on by Bilic to sure up the back four for a late charge on the Newcastle defence, the midfielder disappointed on his second cameo return from a Knee injury.
The Senegal captain was easily beaten to a loose ball by Ayoze Perez, allowing the forward to play in Mitrovic for the hosts’ third. Aside from that mistake, Kouyate has not quite regained fitness and like many others should be back at the Races for the visit of Huddersfield Town.
So, with only a select couple of players showing up on their games in The North East, the likes of Reid, Andy Carroll, and Marko Arnautovic are all set for a welcome return after the Break.
But everyone will need to be on song when we face David Wagner’s men, as the word “must-win” just isn’t strong enough to describe our next Premier League clash.