Life as a West Ham fan has looked a lot brighter as of late as the team undergoes something of a resurgence under new manager David Moyes, they will look to continue their recent run of impressive results when they play host to a Newcastle side that are in desperate need of a win in the Premier League.
The Hammers have managed to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three and that is thanks to picking up seven points from their last nine, a run of results which includes a win over defending champions Chelsea at the beginning of December.
Last weekend they traveled to Stoke in a game that was eventually started after an hour’s delay due to a power cut, but even a lack of light could not stop the East London side from making easy work of Mark Hughes’ men as they strolled to a 3-0 win at the Bet365 Stadium.
Former Stoke player Marko Arnautovic was on the scoresheet that afternoon and his transformation under Moyes has been plain for all to see, the fact that the Austrian is also prepared to track back and also do the necessary defensive work is testament to the positive effect the former Everton and Manchester United boss is having on his players.
Not only have they picked up seven points from a possible nine but they have kept three clean sheets in the process, their defensive performances before David Moyes to where they are now are like night and day, ultimately if you don’t concede you cannot lose games and that is the ideal platform for West Ham to build on right now.
That said they cannot afford to rest on their laurels as the job is nowhere near complete, however a win against a struggling Newcastle side would certainly be a shot in the arm for them while adding more misery to that of Rafa Benitez’s side.
The Magpies have the second longest streak without a win in the Premier League at present, one that stands at nine games and that has meant that they have gradually slipped down the table to their current standing of 18th and one point behind Stoke who lie 17th.
Ultimately the table does not lie and a run of results such as this is always going to catch up with you in the end, the task now for Rafa Benitez and his players is to try and get out the drop zone by winning a first league outing in 10 attempts.
It has been four straight defeats for Newcastle and just one point from a possible 18, this is the worst current form in the Premier League (if we take the last six games in isolation) and last time out they suffered defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates
It may have only been a one nil defeat but ultimately that still does not pay out any much needed Premier League points at the end of the day. However due to the congested nature of the bottom half of the table a win could take them as high as 11th by the close of Saturday.
It would take quite the combination of results to go their way for that to happen but it does show just how tight things are at the bottom end of the division right now. If Newcastle fans have a glass half full they can point to the fact that it is easy to get out of this mess
At the same time though those fans could have a glass half empty and think to themselves how have the club got into this position in the first place. The shining light may well be that the transfer window opens in a weeks time and that might just allow Rafa Benitez to get some much needed reinforcements.
That though is not something that can assist him this afternoon and with the form West Ham are in not to mention their new resolute approach in defence I cannot see anything other than a home win, one that consigns Newcastle in the bottom three on Christmas Day.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 21, 2017