They have been raving about the young Dutchman on Tyneside but he was easily beaten by Peter Odemwingie and uncharacteristic uncertainty at Chris Brunt's free kick allowed Gareth McAuley to strike.
If he keeps this up he might win over his many detractors on Tyneside who think he would be better off in the Championship because this was a robust display from the former Nottingham Forest center half.
The Italian looks as though he is finding his feet and looked particularly potent as an attacking force down the left wing but was replaced at half-time by Ryan Taylor.
He never normally puts a foot wrong for Newcastle and while he looked as composed as ever the Argentine was caught napping by Odemwingie for the Baggies' opener and then switched off when McAuley struck.
He is refusing to sign a new contract but he better be careful the offer is not withdrawn because there were no signs here that he is anything special.
This was the young Slovenian's first ever Premier League start and his inexperience showed even though he was only denied a first goal by a combination of crossbar and post because the Baggies dominated in the midfield trenches.
When Steven Reid went off injured, the Baggies defense should have been there for the Argentine's taking but he failed to take advantage and hardly made an impact.
The Ivorian had better hope that the Manchester United scouts weren't watching. He lacked discipline and it was his misdirected pass deep in enemy territory that allowed the Baggies to pick off their opponents through Odemwingie.
Any more of this and Newcastle will struggle to keep hold of the Senegalese striker in January because not only did he curl in a sublime free kick but he was a handful for the Baggies defenders all night.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has appealed with the Toon Army to be patient with the French winger and while he gave fans a taste of what there might be to come by winning the free kick that Ba slotted in he remains too peripheral.
He might work his socks off but the Irish international target man lacked the subtlety needed to unlock the Baggies defense,
He had no chance with Ba's two brilliant but otherwise he was a re-assuring last line of defence for the Baggies and preserved the lead with a late reflex save that denied Tiote.
The full-back's only contribution to this game came when he clattered into Jonas Gutierrez because he limped off injured in the sixth minute which puts his participation in the festive schedule into serious doubt.
Even though he got his head or a foot to most things that Newcastle hurled at the back-four, he struggled to cope with the rampant Demba Ba.
He set the ball rolling for the Baggies with the interception that paved the way for Odemwingie's opener and generally looked the part at left-back with a steady show as he rolled back the years.
His first goal in West Brom colours was the perfect reward for never giving up on anything and he saw off Leon Best with a determined defensive display.
The tenacious midfielder was a constant thorn in Newcastle's side and his battling qualities were badly missed when he went off midway through the second half.
The Baggies captain called the shots in midfield and posted a contender for pass of the season with the outside-of-the-left-foot through-ball for Odemwingie's opener before curling over the free-kick that caught out Newcastle for McAuley's goal.
The former Arsenal speed merchant hardly got into his stride and gave away the free-kick that resulted in Ba's first goal of the night.
The high-energy Austrian gave the 800 travelling Baggies fans the perfect Christmas present with the winner and also set up McAuley's goal with a towering header.
Head and shoulders above the Newcastle defence, he scored a brilliant opener and his clever movement was too much for the Toon back four.
He ran his socks off for the Baggies and ran the Newcastle defence ragged but should have scored after rounding Tim Krul but struck the crossbar.
- 35 R. Elliot
- 6 M. Williamson
He replaced Davide Santon at halftime and while he looked comfortable in defense he needed to do more as an attacking force as Newcastle chased the game.
- 13 M. Abeid
H. Ben Arfa
He has publicly been told to raise his game by boss Alan Pardew but there were only glimpses after he came on as a second-half substitute suggested the message had not fallen on deaf ears.
- 23 Shola Ameobi
- 28 Sammy Ameobi
- 13 M. Fülöp
- 25 C. Dawson
He struggled to cope with Jonas Gutierrez and the overlapping Davide Santon after coming on early for the crocked Steven Reid but
He struggled to make an impact after replacing Thomas.
Did his bit after entering the fray late on.
- 32 M. Fortuné
- 31 S. Cox