Magpies too light in attack

Posted by Lee Ryder

Newcastle United's Yoan Gouffran reacts after a missed oppertunity.GettyImagesNewcastle's Gouffran reacts after a missed chance against West Ham.

Yoan Gouffran's stoppage-time sitter against West Ham may well have been an early contender for miss of the season -- Alan Pardew even admitted it could end up on an Own Goals and Gaffs DVD in time for Christmas -- but it should not mask just how low Newcastle United are on attacking options right now.

True, Gouffran may have been worried about being offside -- with Hammers defenders appealing frantically -- but his positioning was still questionable for a player who fancies himself as a number nine.

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It summed up a bad day at the office for Newcastle with a point in a 0-0 draw not much consolation to the scores of Geordie fans who turned up to see if their side could get off to a winning start at home.

But let's be honest how can you expect to win games in the Premier League when he can't even trouble the goalkeeper?

Alan Pardew's attacking options are pretty slim with Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran his only current choices, before you start drifting into the land of playing people out of position.

Injured on loan striker Loic Remy remains an option for the Magpies and will walk into Pardew's starting XI on this evidence.

Whether he can provide service for others remains to be seen, because just like the game at Man City on Monday night there was precious little to get excited about going forward.

The reality of the home game with West Ham though, was that neither Cisse, Ameobi nor Gouffran had West Ham quaking in their boots.
And that's a worry going forward, a big worry.

Cisse thrives from good service but once more suffered with nobody prepared to get out wide and put in any form of decent delivery into the area he feeds from in the penalty area. The striker had a face like thunder after the game and it is easy to see why.

It means that the emphasis will now be firmly on Remy in the next home game against Fulham to see if he can offer anything extra.
Given that the Opta stats after the game displayed no shots on target against West Ham, he hasn't got much work to do in order to beat the competition has he?

There was no surprise at the final whistle when some mild boos came the way of the Magpies. But let's get this right, they weren't booing because Newcastle hadn't chalked up a 5-0 win in the first game of the season. The discontent was because they'd failed to take the game to the Hammers.

The only saving grace was that West Ham also failed to bring their shooting boots on the day. Both Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan had what you would call presentable opportunities but didn't take them.

Thankfully former Magpies striker Andy Carroll was also out injured and the chance for West Ham to rub even more salt into the wounds was denied.

It was slim pickings on a miserable day for United with Yohan Cabaye believed to have refused to play for the Magpies to add to their summer woe.

When Newcastle dust themselves down they can at least reflect having taken a point from West Ham.

Should they beat Fulham -- with a big improvement required -- four points from two home games may not make the table look so bad. But Newcastle need to start at least working the goalkeeper before we can start talking about winning Premier League games again.


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