Kevin Nolan (37 mins)
Barclays Premier League
, Nov 11, 2012
Ground: St James Park , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 51,855
Santon primed for duo's return Davide Santon and his defensive colleagues have been put on red alert as Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan head back to Newcastle.
The pair, who proved so destructive in black and white shirts as the Magpies fought their way back into the Barclays Premier League, are now back in harness at West Ham, who visit St James' Park on Sunday.
They will need no introduction to the current crop of Newcastle players, and full-back Santon knows stopping them could prove the key to the home side's chances of extending their five-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
The 21-year-old Italian said: "West Ham will be a difficult game. They have some good players.
"They have Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, so we have to be careful.
"It is very important for us to win the game. We are only playing for a win.
"We have to stop them. We know they are coming here to score. However, we know we have a great defence here. We have a great team and we can stop them." Carroll and Nolan both left the club in controversial circumstances, the former in exchange for a staggering #35million from Liverpool and the latter after his hopes of securing a new long-term deal were dashed.
But while midfielder Nolan has gone from strength to strength at Upton Park, where he arrived in June last year, Carroll has joined him by a circuitous route.
The 23-year-old found himself surplus to requirements at Anfield in the wake of new manager Brendan Rodgers' appointment and, having been linked with a move back to Newcastle, eventually joined the Hammers on loan for the season in August.
But while both played key roles during their time on Tyneside, Alan Pardew's men have gone from strength to strength since their respective departures and finished fifth in the league last season to earn a return to European football.
Indeed, they very nearly gatecrashed the top four and the race for Champions League qualification, and that remains an ambition.
Santon said: "Last year, we had a really big chance to get there.
"We finished fifth in the end, but we have a very good team and have a good chance of getting there.
"We just have to get back into the winning mentality every game.
"We are in a great position to move forward." Pardew will be without key men Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote through suspension, while full-back Danny Simpson remains a doubt with a shoulder problem.
Mike Williamson, who was withdrawn early from the 2-2 draw at the Jan Breydel Stadion, will start alongside Steven Taylor, who replaced him, in central defence, while Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba are likely to return.
Midfielder Mohamed Diame is hoping he can use his knowledge on Newcastle's key men to help the Hammers.
Diame, 25, has impressed since moving to Upton Park in the summer from Wigan as Sam Allardyce's side have defied the odds to sit ninth in the table.
"After the game against Wigan, I think we needed to have this reaction against Manchester City. We did it, so now we have to maintain that and take the three points from Newcastle," he told the club's official website.
"There are a lot of fans there and it is a big stadium. I have some friends there, both Senegalese and Frenchmen, so it's going to be a good game.
"I know Demba and Papiss very well and I also know that they have scored a lot of goals. We have to make sure we don't give them a lot of chances to score.
"They are different players, but they both work every day in front of the goal and are strikers who know how to score, so we have to try to restrict their chances." Midfielder Diame has also spent time playing alongside Magpies' play-maker Hatem Ben Arfa.
"I was in Clairefontaine with him so I know he is a very good player," he said.
"He has had a lot of injuries, but he is a very good player so we have to be careful about him as well." Diame pinpointed the performance against Manchester City in the goalless draw at Upton Park last weekend as a yard-stick for the challenge ahead on Tyneside.
"We are just going to go there and try to replicate the game we played against Manchester City," he said.
Newcastle vs West Ham
Last modified 17:18 11/11/12
Nolan haunts Newcastle Former skipper Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his old club as West Ham condemned Newcastle to a first defeat in six games with a 1-0 success.
Nolan's 39th-minute strike, so typical of the goals he once scored for the Magpies, was enough to edge a tight encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half but had to survive a stern examination after the break.
Newcastle were once again far from their best, but did create more than enough chances to get something out of the game and would have done but for some poor finishing and the resilience of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Opposite number Tim Krul prevented Andy Carroll from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with the visitors threatening on the counter-attack.
But ultimately it was Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Newcastle after just eight months at the helm, who was smiling as his successor Alan Pardew was left to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.
There were too many familiar faces for comfort as the two sides took to the pitch, with Nolan and Carroll key members of the Newcastle side which fought its way back from relegation back into the top flight.
But it was perhaps the Magpies who had the greater cause for concern as they went into the game without suspended duo Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote, two of the men they rely most on in a scrap.
And that is exactly what it turned out to be as the Hammers launched a series of direct balls towards Carroll and then looked to pick up the pieces.
There was little to choose between the sides and even less to recommend the game for much of the opening period, with both teams struggling to find a telling final ball.
Matt Jarvis fired high and wide at one end and Papiss Cisse was similarly wasteful at the other during the opening skirmishes, and although Frenchman Ben Arfa lit up St James' Park with a series of enterprising runs which left claret and blue shirts trailing in his wake, neither goalkeeper was called upon to make a save until 25 minutes had elapsed.
Even then, Jaaskelainen had little difficulty in collecting Yohan Cabaye's dipping long-range effort and the game looked to be heading into the break in stalemate until an explosive final few minutes.
The visitors forced their way ahead with six minutes of the half left to play when full-back Davide Santon could only head Mark Noble's left-wing cross out to full-back Joey O'Brien, who looked to have dragged his right-foot shot harmlessly across the face of goal.
However, as he had done so many times at the Gallowgate End while wearing a black and white shirt, Nolan turned up in exactly the right place to divert it past Krul.
The 30-year-old really should have doubled the lead within two minutes when he was played in by midfielder Mohamed Diame, but guided his left-foot shot wide of the post.
Newcastle finally responded to mount a sustained assault on the West Ham goal as time ran down and Shane Ferguson was desperately unfortunate to see his goalbound shot hit George McCartney on the back and drop safe.
Ben Arfa saw an injury-time effort deflected into the side-netting and Jaaskelainen got down well to parry Cabaye's well-struck effort as the Hammers survived until the whistle.
The Finn came to his side's rescue once again within two minutes of the restart when he somehow managed to claw Ba's header away after O'Brien's attempted clearance had dropped nicely for him.
Jaaskelainen fielded another long-range effort from Cabaye four minutes later, but was grateful to see Ba's effort from similar range fly past his far post seconds later.
The home side might have fallen further behind had substitute Gary O'Neil made more of the free header with which he was presented from Nolan's 59th-minute cross.
Ben Arfa left McCartney for dead five minutes later, only to drift his cross over Ba's head as he dived in, and the Senegal international and Cabaye both forced saves from Jaaskelainen in quick succession.
Half-time substitute Shola Ameobi headed just wide from Cabaye's 69th-minute corner and Jaaskelainen pulled off a fine stop to keep out Ben Arfa's drive two minutes later.
Krul blocked bravely to deny Carroll a first goal for his latest club as the Londoners staged a breakaway with Nolan providing a tailor-made final ball.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|5||Danny Simpson(sub 78)|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa|
|18||Jonas Gutierrez(sub 23)|
|9||Papiss Cisse(sub 45)|
|8||Vurnon Anita(sub 23)|
|23||Shola Ameobi(sub 45)|
|25||Gabriel Obertan(sub 78)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|3||George McCartney(sub 65)|
|15||Yossi Benayoun(sub 51)|
|7||Matthew Jarvis(sub 33)|
|11||Modibo Maiga(sub 33)|
|20||Guy Demel(sub 65)|
|32||Gary O'Neil(sub 51)|