Newcastle United picked up their first point of the Premier League season with a goalless draw at home to West Ham. Neither side looked likely to win the match at any point, as both Tim Krul and Jussi Jaaskelainen had a relatively quiet afternoon in their respective goals. The closest anyone came to winning it was in injury time, when substitute Sammy Ameobi’s deflected cross hit the post and Yoan Gouffran lashed over the rebound when it looked like the deadlock would finally be broken. Sam Allardyce’s side did have the ball in the net at one point though, only for the referee’s assistant to rightly rule that Modibo Maiga was offside before beating Krul. Both sides struggled to open the other up as they toiled in the pouring rain, as the lack of quality shone through. Newcastle weren’t helped by the lack of Yohan Cabaye, who seems to have played his last game for the Magpies as Arsenal and Paris St. Germain close in on the playmaker. In the wake of Cabaye’s departure, Alan Pardew went for a 4-4-2 formation with Shola Ameobi starting up front with Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux providing the width. However, Ben Arfa struggled to create anything and a number of long range efforts didn’t seriously threaten Jaaskelainen. Like his opposite number, Krul was a spectator for most of the 90 minutes but would have been worried when Stewart Downing got on the end of a Matt Jarvis cross, only to head wide when well positioned. The former Liverpool man then turned provider as he crossed for Toon old boy Kevin Nolan, who also fluffed his lines with a headed chance. Downing was making his first start for his new club but it was his replacement that came closer to scoring, as Joe Cole smacked a long shot over the bar late on. Pardew introduced the younger Ameobi brother in an attempt to nick a winner and it almost worked when the tricky winger’s cross came back off the inside of the post and fell to Gouffran, who didn’t make the best contact as he stretched and sliced his effort over the bar. The result means Sam Allardyce makes it five games unbeaten on his returns to Tyneside, while Alan Pardew’s 100th game in charge of the Geordies ends in a stalemate.