West Ham no flash in the pan as Newcastle comeback and Said Benrahma display offer cause for optimism

David Moyes has long wanted returning West Ham fans to come back to a team unrecognisable from the side which last played in front of them before the pandemic.

Yesterday’s brilliant comeback win against Newcastle suggested he has achieved his goal.

West Ham were trailing 2-1 and up against it at half-time before a second-half fight back ensured they left Tyneside with their first win on the opening weekend since 2015.

After Moyes guided West Ham to a sixth-placed finish and a record Premier League points total last season, many wondered over the summer whether he could sustain his “new West Ham”.

Their second-half display gave a definitive answer.

Driven by Declan Rice, led by Michail Antonio and inspired by Said Benrahma, the Hammers scored three goals in 13 exhilarating minutes to suggest they are not a one-season wonder.

Rice set the tone early in the second half while Antonio, despite missing a penalty, joined Paolo Di Canio as West Ham’s joint top scorer in the Premier League. Steve Bruce complained about the spot kick – from which Tomas Soucek followed up to score – but it was the Hammers who took the initiative after the break.