‘Uncomfortable’ Anthony Gordon keeps Everton connection in Newcastle United debut v West Ham – moments missed
Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at St James’s Park on Saturday evening – here are some moments missed from the match.
West Ham ‘win the toss’
Newcastle shot towards the Gallowgate End in the first half which historically isn’t the side’s preferred choice. But it worked well for them against Southampton Tuesday night with Sean Longstaff's early double and it seemed to benefit the side once again as they raced out of the blocks.
Inside the opening minute, Joe Willock thought he'd given Newcastle the lead only for VAR to rule the goal out as the ball had gone out of play before Miguel Almiron – making his 150th appearance for the club – pulled it back to his team-mate. But less than a minute after the restart, The Magpies had the ball in the net again as Longstaff threaded a pass through which was expertly finished by Callum Wilson for his seventh goal of the season and first since October.
It was a crazy start to the game but one that quickly got the crowd involved from the off.
West Ham equalised through Lucas Paqueta following a corner in the first half before the away side shot towards the Gallowgate in the second. Shooting ‘down the hill’ towards the iconic St James’s Park stand in the second half has favoured Newcastle many times over the years but West Ham were unable to make the slight psychological advantage count as they failed to test Nick Pope in the second half. The Newcastle goalkeeper has conceded just twice at the Gallowgate End this season.
We wonder if West Ham’s decision to shoot the way they did was influenced by former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan, who is now part of David Moyes’ coaching staff.
Callum Wilson’s record v West Ham
Wilson had gone 12 games for club and country without a goal. While he had still made meaningful contributions and grabbed a few assists, scoring goals is his trade and he was on his longest barren run since joining the club in 2020.
But seeing West Ham on the fixture list will have almost certainly piqued the striker’s interest given his remarkable record against The Hammers. And, of course, it took the Magpies No. 9 just three minutes to find the net and end his wait for a goal.
It was Wilson's 10th Premier League goal in 12 matches against West Ham and he has scored in all three matches he has started for Newcastle against the East London club. He has not scored more than six goals against any other Premier League side.
A Joe Willock collector’s item
On the stroke of half-time, Willock chopped down Paqueta 30-yards from the Newcastle goal. The 23-year-old was quickly shown a yellow card by referee Peter Bankes in what was the first booking of the game.
Fortunately for Newcastle, Vladimir Coufal’s free-kick was headed over by Nayef Aguerd as the sides went in 1-1 at the break.
But there was something interesting about the yellow card itself as it was actually Willock’s first booking for Newcastle in his 73rd appearance for the club. That made him the final player in The Magpies’ starting line-up on Saturday evening to pick up a booking this season.
However, Sven Botman is still yet to be shown a yellow in the Premier League since signing for the club, with his only booking this season coming against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup last month.
Anthony Gordon ‘injury’ scare & Everton shin-pads
Don’t be scared by the headline, Anthony Gordon is fine following his lively debut from the bench. The 21-year-old quickly got the crowd back in the game for the closing stages with some positive passing and movement.
But the former Everton man retained some connection with his former club by wearing his personalised blue and white shin-pads, which included a picture of him playing for The Toffees, for his Newcastle debut. Hopefully he’ll be wearing black and white Newcastle shin-pads in the near future!
And after about 10 minutes of intense running and forward-thinking play, Gordon looked slightly uncomfortable as he held his hamstring before playing on.
Gordon’s struggles did not go unnoticed by club captain Jamaal Lascelles warming up on the touchline as he appeared to shout over to the Newcastle No. 8 and check he was okay. Fortunately, he managed to get through the remainder of the game without any further ill-effects.
Bruno Guimaraes’ absence is felt for Newcastle
A player missed rather than a moment missed was Bruno Guimaraes, who has formed a crucial part of Newcastle’s midfield this season. The Brazilian was in attendance at St James’s Park but was unable to play following his straight red card against Southampton on Tuesday night.
Despite a fine start to the match, Newcastle’s lack of creativity from midfield was evident for the majority of the game prior to Gordon's second-half introduction.
Even head coach Eddie Howe admitted his side missed Guimaraes’ creativity in the match as he said: "Undoubtedly, he's that difference-maker with an eye for a pass. He has creative flair we possibly missed today."
It was the fourth Premier League game the 25-year-old has missed so far this season and Newcastle have failed to win all of them.
Howe and his side will have to find a way to play and win without the Brazilian in the upcoming matches against Bournemouth and Liverpool prior to his return for the Carabao Cup final at the end of the month.