Relief For Benitez As Newcastle Thrash West Ham
To the backdrop of unrest and discord, finally there was joy and togetherness. This is what Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez can achieve when everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Just 24 hours on from the manager calling into question his long-term commitment – he is upset at broken promises from owner, Mike Ashley – his players produced a short-term reminder of why he agreed to manage this football club in the first place.
Their first points of the season were achieved thanks to goals from Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic, during what was an uplifting afternoon for the home masses, who fear Benitez’s days on Tyneside could be numbered, amid an ongoing civil war with Ashley.
Should West Ham dispense with the services of Slaven Bilic – this defeat leaves his side bottom and pointless – then it could well be Benitez they target, but the Spaniard was left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling towards him from the Toon Army. They were chanting his name from the off and it appeared to inspire those on the pitch.
Everything Newcastle weren’t against Huddersfield last weekend – energetic, aggressive and inventive – they were yesterday. Midfielder Isaac Hayden was first to threaten and he volleyed narrowly over from 20 yards.
West Ham, in fairness, matched their hosts for effort during those early exchanges and, at the other end, Aaron Cresswell went close with a volley of his own, but Newcastle were always the more likely scorers and so it proved.
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