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Three things learned about Newcastle after loss v West Ham

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OPINION

Newcastle United slumped to a 3-0 defeat courtesy of West Ham on Saturday and their winning streak came to a grinding halt as a result.

Javier Hernandez struck twice with Felipe Anderson getting the third for the Hammers and it was generally a bad day at the office for Rafa Benitez and his side.

However if you were going to eek out one positive from Saturday’s outing, at least the Spanish manager would have learnt a lot by his side and their clear weakness.

Nothing But Newcastle has rounded up three things learned about Newcastle after their loss to the Hammers.

Perez struggled beyond belief

Ayoze Perez literally was awful beyond belief on Saturday as he couldn’t take any one of the several opportunities to score that fell his way. It was frustrating to watch chance after chance fall to the Spanish¬†attacker’s feet as you knew he wasn’t going to score as you couldn’t back him after watching the first opportunity not go in. Given Rafa Benitez lack of options with the position of No.10, it’s unclear whether he can really bench Perez after that display. The 25-year-old at least got in the right areas, but that’s not any use to his team if his shooting is going to be as bad as it was against West Ham.

Atsu at least stood out

Christian Atsu is not a player who screams Premier League quality, as he shown on multiple occasions that he struggles to play in England’s top-division to an acceptable level. However what can not be questioned is his attitude. The 26-year-old was subbed on by Benitez in the second half and by all accounts stood out for the right reasons. Why he didn’t get the assist or goal that would have seen his name sung around St James Park, at least he looked somewhat of a threat on the ball. Given that Atsu hasn’t had many starts this season, maybe it’s time he got a few on the bounce to see if he can finally do some good in the Premier League. After all it’s not like Benitez is drowning in top-quality wingers and Atsu certainly staked his claim with the attitude he showed in his cameo appearance.

Ritchie suspended

Matt Ritchie is now suspended for one game, as confirmed by the club’s Twitter account, after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. While the winger shone against Burnley, let’s ignore that one miss, he struggled against the Hammers on Saturday. With this is mind, the Scottish international should probably be sweating over whether he’ll instantly get his place back in the starting line-up when available again. Ritchie may not have a tremendous amount of competition¬†for a place, if a player steps up and defies the odds in his absence, then Benitez won’t instantly drop them.

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