From the Terraces - Joe Difford

Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday's defeat to Newcastle United
Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday’s defeat against Newcastle…
After eight magnificent games unbeaten, Slaven Bilic's West Ham slumped to a defeat at St James' Park, against a Newcastle side who were desperate for a win.
A slow start allowed Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum to score two much needed goals and West Ham, who were playing their second away game in four days, the other being at the opposite end of the country, slumped to a defeat.
With the absence of the injured Andy Carroll, Dimitri Payet was forced out wide, where he struggled to make an impact, having to track back too much rather than start counter attacks.
It was a chilly afternoon in the north of England, and Slaven's men looked frozen solid for the first two goals, although Jonjo Shelvey's instant impact in a black and white shirt cannot be overlooked.
The pass for the second in particular was perfect, flying over the head of Aaron Cresswell, allowing the cross to come in for Wijnaldum to poke home with ease.
Shelvey was pulling all the strings in the opening 45, but was rather lucky to remain on the field after clashing with Enner Valencia off the ball.
West Ham were on a rare attack, when the Ecuadorian striker dropped to the floor, replays suggesting that the England midfielder had raised his elbow to Valencia's face off the ball, but the officials missed the incident.
Regardless, the first half was a disappointing performance, but Bilic's midpoint team talk much have worked wonders.
The visitors flew out of the tunnel for the second half, with Nikica Jelavic coming on and immediately making an impact, netting his second goal of the season.
It was a real poacher's effort from the man who has struggled for game time since arriving from Hull City, but this sort of clinical performance could be key with Carroll and Diafra Sakho out injured for the coming weeks.
Adrian denied Aleksandar Mitrovic on three occasions, with the Spanish shot-stopper the best player in claret and blue on the pitch (not literally, of course).
We could have snatched a point at the death, with Rob Elliot's knee denying Cheikhou Kouyate's header in the 90th minute.
It might have been a frustrating and lacklustre loss, but you can't go unbeaten forever, and after eight games without a loss, Saturday's result doesn't spell the end of the season.
Newcastle have finally climbed out of the relegation zone, whilst West Ham sit sixth, just outside the Champions League places.
Next up is the visit of Manchester City, who are on terrific form now that Sergio Aguero is back in action, the Argentine scoring a brace at the weekend.
But Victor Moses is also expected to return  and of course he scored the opening goal in our 2-1 win at the Etihad earlier in the season.
Saturday's loss against Newcastle certainly wasn't ideal, but our magnificent away record is still intact, and we have a good enough squad to pick ourselves up and cause yet another upset against City this weekend.
35 points in 22 games is a great return for a side with a new manager and many new signings, and if we continue as we have started in 2016, we could have a wonderful start to life in the Olympic Stadium.
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