Newcastle debutants Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both scored as the Magpies made a winning start to the new Premier League season against a completely uninspiring West Ham.
Wilson, a £20m summer signing from Bournemouth, was a threat throughout as the Magpies won their opening game for the first time since 2012. And let’s be honest, Steve Bruce’s side were well worth their victory despite us twice hitting the crossbar.
Wilson prodded in Hendrick’s flick-on to open the scoring, while the Republic of Ireland midfielder, who joined on a free transfer, sealed victory with a late effort into the top-left corner. While Pablo Fornals and Angelo Ogbonna both hit crossbar but too often our attacks lacked the cutting edge to trouble a resolute Newcastle defence.
And it ensured our miserable recent starts to Premier League campaigns continued, as we became the first club to lose their opening match for the fifth consecutive season.
We were bottom of the Premier League after the opening round of fixtures in each of the past three seasons. And despite this performance not being as humbling as our heavy defeats against both Manchester clubs and Liverpool, it did highlight the need for manager David Moyes to bring in some reinforcements.
While we have been able to complete the permanent signing of Tomas Soucek, the Czech international has not exactly provided any fresh impetus, having spent the second half of last term on loan with us.
Young winger Grady Diangana was controversially sold and three of our most expensive players, including record signing Sebastien Haller, started as substitutes.
While Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Haller were all brought off the bench, there was little suggestion that we were going to mount a comeback.
“I think you are always trying to improve the squad but that wasn’t the reason we lost tonight. We have to analyse that. We had a good pre-season, we were feeling good after finishing the season well so we were disappointed with tonight. We need to get better with the players we have and they can be better, undoubtedly.”West Ham boss David Moyes speaking to BBC MOTD: