The Hammers started the game with a number of first-team players out injured, and they were always going to struggle against an Everton side starting to find form.
A reversion to a 3-5-2 lost much of the mobility in the central areas, and Allardyce will be grateful that the returns of Stewart Downing and Cheikhou Kouyate should allow him to return to his 4-4-2 diamond that has worked so well in the opening stages of the campaign. Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia are both still out of action, and Winston Reid will miss the game at the Boleyn Ground with a suspension, but the Irons are slowly on the road to possessing a fully match-fit first-team squad.
Considering the circumstances, the 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park should not be too down-heartening, although they have to recover against a Newcastle side who have won their last six Premier League games. Both teams are looking to move into the top four, and a victory could be key in knocking a high-flying rival further down the table.
Whilst a return to Allarcye’s favoured formation should create an improved performance almost naturally, the former Magpies boss is keen for his side to learn some key lessons from the Everton defeat.
Speaking to the official West Ham website, Allardyce was asked what needs to be improved from the game on Merseyside.
“[We need to] make sure we're more clinical in front of goal,” the Englishman answered. “We also need to be careful that when we're in the ascendency not to leave the back door open.
“It was that lapse of concentration that cost us which led to them scoring the second goal which they didn't deserve at the time.”
With both first-choice strikers out, the Hammers were remarkably wasteful in front of goal. Both Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole put in solid performances, but they hit the target with just one of six total shots between them. Mauro Zarate scored the Hammers' only goal of the game, and even he only registered a lone strike on target. It will be down to Allardyce’s attacking players to heed the coach’s advice should they be keen on defeating the in-form Magpies on Saturday.