Just when you thought things were starting to come together, up steps Jonjo Shelvey to score with a shocker of a free-kick, and we are beaten at home by a Newcastle team who haven’t been able to buy a win.

It wasn’t a game we deserved to lose, although both sides wasted decent chances, and it was a cruel way for us to get beat in the end. Meslier will look back on and know that 999 times out of 1000 he will routinely smother the ball, but this was that one occasion when he made a rare mistake.

You can’t blame the goalkeeper for the result, especially when he’s kept us in so many games over the past few years. It always amazes me when I hear about Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips attracting the interest of some of the real top clubs, yet there’s never any mention of Meslier.

For my money he’s one of the best keepers in the Premier League. Yes, there are better, but not many. And remember he’s just 21. That’s what makes it all the more amazing. He has many, many years ahead of him in the game, but by and large plays like a seasoned pro.

Going back to Newcastle, the win will have given them a lift. They’ve still got some way to go to catch us though, and I’m not convinced their January business will help them short term. Players take time to bed in and understand the play, and time isn’t on Newcastle’s side.

Everton have dropped into the mire from nowhere and they have fallen like a stone. The appointment of Frank Lampard is an interesting one, and he had an immediate impact last weekend when they thumped Brentford in the FA Cup. In the league, Brentford are just a point ahead of us, and I fully expect us to pass them at some point.

We’ve got two tough away trips coming up now with Villa on Wednesday and Everton on Saturday. The short break will have done the squad good although from what I hear they have been working as hard as ever at Thorp Arch. Marcelo only knows one way.

Worryingly, Patrick Bamford seems to be no nearer a return – congrats to Pat on becoming a father this week by the way – and we are still without Kalvin and Coops for the next couple of games but none of them played at West Ham when we showed clearly there’s plenty of life in this team yet.

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