Newcastle United had been on such a good run going into yesterday’s clash against West Ham at St James Park. The Magpies, though, failed to make it four wins in a row and were beaten comfortably by The Hammers, losing 3-0. However, it could have gone very differently had Rafa Benitez made different changes, and the fans were slating him for his choice of subs.
Ritchie OFF, Atsu ON. Why? #NUFC
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) December 1, 2018
Just minutes into the second half of the game Benitez opted to bring off Matt Ritchie and introduce Christian Atsu, a decision that went down horrendously with the supporters. Granted the Scottish winger was booked in the first 45-minutes for persistent fouling on his full-back, Aaron Cresswell. However, to hook him for Atsu was an awful decision as far as The Geordies were concerned, as the brainless Ghanian winger offered very little.
It didn’t help that Benitez also took 77 minutes to decide that Ayoze Perez needed replacing. The Spanish second-striker usually is one of his side’s brightest sparks, however, he was absolutely woeful against The Hammers and spent the majority of the game missing chances and looking dejected as he found himself letting his teammates down and letting Manuel Pellegrini’s side off of the hook.
You can read the Geordies’ thoughts on Rafa’s in-game changes here:
There is never a reason for atsu
— David Clark (@0fe605be2043466) December 1, 2018
And Perez stays in the field
— Henrique Netto (@henriquenettoo) December 1, 2018
The other subs were strange though.
— graham scott (@nufcscott1968) December 1, 2018
Ritchie isn’t very good; neither is Atsu, however.
— The Exiled Geordies (@NUFC_Podcast) December 1, 2018
Atsu not the same player compared to his championship season.
— Kang (@chaser_kang) 1 December 2018
— Gordon Morrison (@GDIMorrison) December 1, 2018
— David Jones (@davyj1975) 1 December 2018
Game over then.
— Tab_of_the_Toon (@Tabius_Maximus) December 1, 2018
The Geordies were fuming yesterday when they saw Rafa looking to bring on Atsu and they’ll be hoping they don’t see the Ghanaian winger brought on next time.