Mon 9 Oct 2023, 11:59 · Ash Harrison

‘Understandably’: Alan Shearer now says Newcastle looked flat against West Ham after midweek win

‘Understandably’: Alan Shearer now says Newcastle looked flat against West Ham after midweek win
The Telegraph
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Alan Shearer didn't hold back in his assessment of how Newcastle United played in the first half against West Ham on Sunday when discussing the game on Match of the Day 2.

Newcastle struggled to take advantage of their dominant possession, falling behind to a Tomas Soucek goal early on in the first half after Nick Pope was caught in no-man's land while Jamaal Lascelles sauntered back to help without any real conviction.

The goal summed up the first half perfectly. A goal which came about due to the tiredness of the Newcastle players.

Thankfully, Eddie Howe fired a rake into his players at half time and they came out much better for the second 45 minutes.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night Shearer, while critical of the performance, did offer up the excuse of the energy the side expended in the Champions League on Wednesday:

"Understandably so, I guess, because of what went on, on Wednesday evening and how the crowd were. It was a really slow start to the first half they never got going at all.

"There was no intensity, no support, no energy, no press. Everything about Newcastle's game that's impressive and that includes all of those things, it just didn't happen.

"Isak said after the game that the manager got into them at half-time and straight away you can see everyone is ten or 15 yards further up the park for Newcastle moving the ball quicker."

Eddie Howe's half time team talks must be the stuff of legend given how many times Newcastle have come out in the second half with much more intensity.

Newcastle burst into a 2-1 lead in the second half via two Alexander Isak goals in the space of around four minutes, but were ultimately undone in the 89th minute by a rasping Mohammed Kudus effort.

A point was a fair result over all a despite Newcastle's dominance, West Ham were very hard done by with some extremely poor refereeing decisions.

Newcastle go into the international break now hoping that when the Premier League returns, the likes of Joelinton, and Sven Botman will be fully fit, and perhaps even Joe Willock.