West Ham v. NUFC: Back On Track?


That was much better.

Newcastle bounced back from an early one goal deficit and took control of their match against West Ham. While West Ham did score the first goal, they lost their confidence, accuracy, and drive once Kevin Nolan scored the equalizer for Newcastle. West Ham began to miss their shots. And they couldn't clear their lines. That failure led to an awesome game-winning header by Andy Carroll. The goal was set up by a gorgeous, almost slow-motion, bending volley from Joey Barton, who was outstanding in this game. Excellent supporting work was also provided by Shola Ameobi, Jose Enrique, and Jonas Gutierrez, who seemed to be everywhere at times. These guys moved the ball forward and airborne, which created chances and two very crucial goals.

What a great game. What a huge milestone: 11 points in the standings. Newcastle's points target for the season is one third complete.

So what can we expect next? Who will play in Wednesday night's fourth round League Cup match against Arsenal? Will Nile Ranger get the call as a striker, or will manager Chris Hughton play Peter Lovenkrands up front? Will Shola Ameobi start in place of Kevin Nolan?  Will Tiote and Coloccini get to start at all?  It will be interesting to see how Chris Hughton approaches Wednesday's game, given that the enormous Tyne-Wear derby is on Sunday afternoon, where Newcastle will need at least a draw to keep their momentum intact.

But the quest for silverware in the League Cup has led Newcastle to a 1-in-14 chance of winning it all. Eliminating Arsenal would nearly double the odds. Do they go for victory on Wednesday? This should be both interesting and highly entertaining as the Lads try to improve their play and fitness on the increasingly chilly pitches of England.