Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle – A reflection.

My man of the match yesterday.
I was unfortunate enough to be sat in the away end at Villa Park yesterday. It was a game that Newcastle were desperate to win, a win would have put us on 42 points and probably put any fears of relegation to bed for this season.

It was also a chance to redeem ourselves at the ground where we crashed out of the Premier League two years ago. Things didn’t quite go to plan and the lads walked away empty handed from the game.

As always Toonsy provided us with a match report which was pretty much bang on and reflected the afternoon perfectly. Like I have said on many occasions I take football too seriously in truth. Newcastle United are my life and when we lose a game in whatever fashion I naturally analyse and reflect on the events of the game.

Here are a few observations I made during the game, some more obvious than others I imagine. This is merely my opinion of course.

The Referee – Stuart Atwell for me yesterday was disgraceful. First and foremost he awarded Villa with a soft free kick which consequently resulted in James Collins’ goal.
He seemed to let Villa get away with murder, notably Richard Dunne taking out Joey Barton. We didn’t seem to get anything going our way. With the performance of the officials today I’m surprised that Villa had a goal ruled out for offside. Dreadful!

Jose Enrique – As Toonsy pointed out in his previous article, we had a discussion at Stoke away in which Toonsy told me he thought Jose looked distracted and elsewhere during the game. I reluctantly had to agree with that at the time. It’s well documented that the player has been linked with a summer move away from Tyneside and that he has refused to discuss a contract extension with the club until safety is ensured.

I have to say Jose didn’t look his best today by any stretch of the imagination, and he does, at times, look as if his focus is elsewhere. Rumours surfacing today that his proposed transfer to Liverpool is ‘a done deal’ suggests that maybe the Spaniard could have other things on his mind, such as how long it will be before his new house in Merseyside is burgled. I must stress this isn’t official news yet, Phil ‘big nose’ Thompson has been flapping his gob, so it could be rubbish.

Poor Performances – Nile Ranger tops the list on this category. Nile’s attitude and application has been questioned in the past and it’s something that manager, Alan Pardew often voices his concerns about.

Today Ranger was frustrating, he didn’t look up to the task and offered little in truth. I would of thought that Nile would want to take any opportunity given to him with both hands. After all he has had to listen to his manager criticise him. Yesterday could have been a great chance for the lad to go out there and show what he’s about and that didn’t happen.

Nile has a lot of potential and I think he can be great, but he didn’t shine at all on this occasion. I thought Joey was below par too, which is very out of character, maybe the Villa chants of ‘you’re just a shit Gareth Barry’ wound him up a bit.

Peter Lovenkrands – I like him but he once again proved yesterday that he isn’t top flight material.

The bench – This one is an obvious gripe and we’ve found ourselves in this position before when injury and suspension mounts up. When you look at your bench you want to see 7 men sat there that can change a game and offer positive options.

We did not have the luxury to a strong bench again yesterday. It just frustrated me and reminded me of just how much we failed in the January transfer window. Selling our best player and bringing in a crocked Steven Ireland on loan. I exclude Ben Arfa because we already had him on loan. Hardly sensible business. Our squad was already in dire need of expanding but instead we decreased it.

Mike Williamson – For me our best player on the day. That was my biggest observation maybe. I have been critical about Willo in the past but I thought he put in a solid display at the back and he won everything aerially. I was very impressed. Likewise with Coloccini. The guy I went to the game with disagreed about Colo, but I was impressed with him in midfield. He is very composed on the ball and cool as you like. Not the same can be said about fellow defender Steven Taylor who looked shocking before being replaced with other Taylor in the second half (Toonsy’s favourite player).

Aston Villa – In my opinion they looked as if they were lacking confidence and the big guns didn’t cause us too many problems on the day. It’s a shame we didn’t take advantage, because had we of wanted it more, I think they would have lay down for us. They were poor, being in the home team as well they looked like a team who are struggling in my opinion.

There we have it, just a few observations. I’m sure many will disagree with a lot of what I have said there. Don’t get me wrong, this is hardly me pushing any panic button or calling for heads. It is merely a reflection of how I saw the game. Although a lot of what I have written is negative, it’s a talking point.

Also to the guy that kicked and broke a seat behind me at the game, do you post here? It followed a ref blunder and the chap was clearly and understandably frustrated, but it was pretty funny. It’s random but for some reason it’s this fixture and the game at Man City earlier in the season that have left me most angry. Maybe it was piss poor refereeing on both occasions that have wound me up?!

What do you guys think? HWTL!

23 thoughts on “Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle – A reflection.

  1. Good summary that Mark, couldn’t agree more.

    With 9 first team players out for a promoted team we gave it everything.


  2. Agree with pretty much everything there Mark, but I do think it was a foul despite Young going down easily. And I’m glad I agree about Ranger and Barton, although I have slight doubts over Ranger’s ability to make it at the top. I thought Willo did have a good game but Harps was our best player imo

    accurate write up there tho mate


  3. Am I the only person who thought Enrique had a good game? I thought we looked toothless without 2 decent strikers. There were 11 Newcastle players either injured or suspended so I didn’t think we would do well today as once again some players had to be played out of position and our subs bench was decimated. We def need the likes of Tiote and Nolan back asap as it is hard to be without them with our limited striking abilities. I really hope all the comments about Enrique leaving are wrong, no matter how much money we would get for him we would never be able to replace his quality for less money. I find it hard to believe he will go.


  4. Not a fun game to watch last night. Too sloppy in possession, too wasteful in the midfield. Ranger is rubbish, Enrique uncharacteristically poor, Barton isn’t captain material. He really needs to calm down. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we look a better side when Nolan is playing.


  5. IMHO,is a pathetic/disgrace situation of A premier league club having so little first-team striker atm.

    I saw Nile Ranger Holding to his knees too in yesterday match. 😯

    Now we have what,Kuqi and lovenkrands available,if Ranger also injured? 😕

    Upcoming fixtures are very very difficult,i am getting worried how long does the team wanna take to ensure safety. They always seems to take the long way out,instead of the easier way.

    We face Man utd,highly impossible to get points,Blackpool fighting relegation,and then Liverpool. 🙄


  6. talking about yesterday individual players performance.

    Enrique as usual,from the time he gave the interview of other clubs,he MAY like to go,he has been crap. gave large amount of possesion back to Villa Players.

    Ranger imo is doing good,needs to make decisions quicker/decisive as who to pass the ball to. He was in fact getting crap services from other players.

    Barton is definitely not situable for set-pieces.


  7. AOD – I dunno about Barton not being suitable. I just think that without Carroll he hasn’t got a lot to aim for.


  8. Just about spot on with this Mark. Personally though I find it hard to moan about the strikers (they were poor, yes) when they had nowt created for them. If they missed chance after chance then fair enough, but they fed mainly off scraps.


  9. Jill… I think you may well be the only one 😉
    Perch would have done a better job.

    ……and hello goodbye lads and lasses more stuff and unpacking to do 😕 laters


  10. Good assessment, I’d say.

    I didn’t think Jose was as bad as everybody is making out, though. He didn’t play well, but nobody did. It was a bad day at the office all round.

    Toss up between Saylor and Ranger for the worst show.


  11. Pardew once again has clarted on with the team again to accomodate Steven Taylor, wasting Collocini in midfield was the reason we lost, during his phone in on Radio Newcastle he admitted he got it wrong at Stoke with similar tactics and i got the impresssion he wouldnt do it again. Villa had to be one of the most frustrating games i have ever watched, i cant argue wth anything MarkToon has listed and they were there for the taking but the team wasnt selected or set out right.
    Taylor has to wait for his chance at centre back, if we approach the Manu game with the same low key approach we will get hammered.


  12. Saylor was utter garbage. I remember that header where he was totally unmarked, ball was dropping on his head, and it just rolled off it and out of play.

    At least Ranger has the excuse of not getting any service, I guess.

    Enrique was poor, his worst game in a while in fact. I counted eight time he passed the ball, a simple pass as well, straight to the Villa midfield.


  13. Considering the amount of players we had missing I thought we played well enough , We didnt look like scoring until the end really , we just didnt create enough ,

    Anyone else notice how poor Jonas left foot is?

    Roll on the Manc’s!


  14. we were very poor yesterday,we have 6 games left and i think we need 6 more points,and we still have to play manu chelski and the bindippers,with west brom the brummies and blackpool left,squeeky bum time


  15. Jonas has always had a worse left foot than me, so should Jose go then we can maybe expect him to shift to the RW with someone else going out on the LW, should we not try the 4-3-2-1 formation 😉

    I think Collo was moved to try to combat Tiote’s absence rather than to accomodate Saylor, esp when you look at the bench. I think Fergi on the LW and Barton in the CM wouldve been a bit better but with Collo you would have expected a good shield for the back 4.

    I really hope Jose stays but at the end of the day if a player wants to go then let them. There will be plenty of others who want to play for us next season and I would rather have them. I cant see why Jose would choose to go to the bin dippers as they are awful and will sneak into the Uefa spot if lucky, but I have a sneaky thought that Everton could still do them to that spot.

    Ranger is young and frankly needs games. If we are left with him until the end of the season then fine keep him in for the experience I think once he gets his first he will get on just fine. Ireland must play against Manure, but I cant see anything from that game and if results go against us we are right back in it. I dont know where this 1 win to go has come from, we need at least 9 points IMHO


  16. Hitman – Not a chance mate. Three points will nail it.

    At the very worst we need 5 points, and that is if West Ham, Wolves and Wigan win ALL of their remaining games. Considering West Ham play Wigan that’s one of them kettled on that front.


  17. Good read Mark, agree on everything.

    Just shows how weak our squad is when we had players like Ricahrdson on the bench.

    If I was Pardew I’d play Ferguson from now until the end of the season left back, it’s clear for us all to see he hasn’t had his mind in the right place for months.

    I know it is pritty obvious but we missed Tiote so much yesterday, Colo did nothing wrong but he should never be played cm, Guthrie has never been good enough. Has no pace about him or strength.


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