After their narrow victory over bottom-placed Southampton in their last Premier League outing, West Ham headed into their clash with Champions League-chasing Newcastle brimming with optimism.
However, the game descended into madness and the Hammers shipped five goals to slip to an embarrassing and demoralising defeat at the London Stadium.
It was a display littered with individual errors and mirrored a side that simply didn’t defend as a unit. Club captain Declan Rice cut a dejected figure at the end and bemoaned his team’s abject performance.
“Really tough one to take. Five goals that at any level you can’t concede – not good enough. I don’t think we’ve conceded five worse goals as a team since I’ve played for West Ham.”
A key villain of this humbling evening was goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who produced one of his worst showings of the season.
How did Fabianski perform against Newcastle?
The 37-year-old had been injured for over a month after fracturing his cheekbone during the East London outfit’s drubbing of Nottingham Forest. He returned to the starting lineup at the weekend and kept a clean sheet versus the Saints and was rightly selected to face the Magpies.
But the former Arsenal backup had an absolute nightmare, throwing his status as the first-choice between the sticks into contention.
The 57-cap international registered the lowest rating of any West Ham player at an appalling 4.8, as per Sofascore. Furthermore, he only made two saves and conceded five goals in a result that has chucked under-pressure manager David Moyes back into the spotlight.
The Irons headed into half-time with the score only at 2-1, but less than five minutes into the second period, the Pole and centre-back Nayef Aguerd was caught dawdling with the ball in possession before Jacob Murphy pounced and squared the ball to Callum Wilson to decimate any remaining Hammers belief.
The £65k-per-week dud was then solely at fault for the fourth goal after he comically flapped at Bruno Guimarães’ lofted pass to give an open goal to Alexander Isak, who coolly converted. Meanwhile, journalist Josh Bunting described it as a “dreadful goal to concede” and the keeper being “caught in no man’s land.”
The former Swansea City ace was also a travesty with the ball at his feet, only managing 39% pass accuracy and completing just 26% of his long balls to hinder the Irons’ ability to play out from the back, undoubtedly being one of many to let the manager and club down on Wednesday night.
This damning result has placed huge significance on West Ham’s next league game against Fulham on Saturday and after this performance, Fabianski would be extremely fortunate to retain his starting spot with Alphonse Areola waiting in the wings.