So it was English football 1945 – 2004 and two strikers and four midfielders. Happy new season.

Football was back and I don’t know how pissed you were but the return of the Premier League was a welcome distraction in the Hurst household.

Big Steve gave Big Andy the big opportunity to play alongside worCallumWilson9(13) as Jeff Hendrick who left Burnley because he was sick of being played on the right, started on the right. Jamaal Lewis started and looked like the first proper left back at United since Frank Hudspeth (ask your Dad to ask his Grandad).

First half was mostly United getting in the right places and doing mostly the right things. That included Andy Carroll possibly getting sent off after three seconds. That’s our Andy. Isaac Hayden celebrated six more years and a pay rise with a  daft yellow which basically secured his second half substitution. Love the bloke me but an early yellow and he’s toast as an effective player.

Credit to West Ham for kicking the shit out of Allan Saint Max and getting away with it. Thomas Gravenson got a move to Real Madrid out of doing that.

Second half and it was still mostly United. Strong in defence, positive in attack. What had they done with Bruce’s United? After 55 minutes (ish) Manquillo did great by jinking doon the right and his deflected cross was deftly flicked on by Hendricks and swatted in by CallumWilson9(13). Get in. Deserved. Thoroughly deserved.

The next 30 passed without incident as Darlow was untroubled and the lads at the back dominated aerially. Hendrick had one smashed at his arm which has me demanding a public inquiry into VAR if kit given for us, but is definitely not a pen.

Eyebrows raised when Joelinton was brought on ahead of Ritchie or Almiron for a knackered, battered ASM. Not quite sure what the Brazilian is supposed to bring to the side out there on the left wing, and with West Ham hoying men forward it seemed perfect for one of the fast lads to exploit.

Andy Carroll was dropping deeper and deeper and winning the odd key header. Almiron replaced the goal scoring debutant and within minutes he was involved in United wrapping up all three points as Jeffrey Hendrick smashed home a beauty from the edge of the box. Two nil. Three points.

A word for David Moyes who in 2016 set sunlun on their journey to their home draw with Bristol Rovers today in the Pontins league North North East West. Here is again, making his way into the hearts and minds of Newcastle fans.

The day belonged to the Mags though. I’d say this was a world away from last season. Even when we won we were mostly bad.  Not today. Today we looked faster, stronger and simply better than them. They were poor but still might not go down. That stands us in good stead.

There was a balance about us. A confidence as well despite a few of these lads not having played much since last season, or at all together.

With everything this support has been through these last six months, this was a lovely reminder that Newcastle United can not be the gut wrenching force for negativity it has been for so much of the last decade and more.

Three lovely opening day, deserved points. Get in.

Alex Hurst