Game On! Newcastle v Aston Villa

St James' Park.

St James' Park.
Game On at St James’ Park
Good afternoon all and welcome to the ‘Game On’ article for our tussle with Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

Ordinarily I’d be banging on about home advantage and how we should be making it work for us but results since the turn of the year make any notion of home advantage redundant when it comes to Newcastle United.

Four successive home league defeats (or five if you include the FA Cup loss to Cardiff, although we did at least score a goal in that one) with ever increasing differences in the scorelines (0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4) paint a worrying picture. Mitigating circumstances could include the sale of Yohan Cabaye, a failure to replace said Cabaye, and the loss of a number of first-team players, three of whom should return for this match, but in reality we’ve deserved what we’ve got from recent matches.

To find out if those three players have returned you’ll need to check the team news which I will get up as soon as I can once it is released. You can find it at the bottom of this article but whilst you’re waiting why not cast your eye over the match preview and familiarise yourself with some history, some facts and some injury news?

The game is being shown on Sky Sports here in the UK and has also been chosen for broadcast by a host of overseas channels so picking up a stream shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you do find a good stream then please share it by leaving a link in the ‘comments’ section below.

Which just about covers everything I need to mention ahead of the game. I just hope I’m left with something decent to report on come full-time. Actually, not even decent, just a win will do!

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Cheik Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran; Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse

Subs: Rob Elliott, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Luuk de Jong

Aston Villa: Brad Guzan; Leandro Bacuna, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, Ryan Bertrand; Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph, Karim El Ahmadi; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann

Subs: Jed Steer, Yacouba Sylla, Grant Holt, Ciaran Clark, Marc Albrighton, Aleksandar Tonev, Joe Bennett

421 thoughts on “Game On! Newcastle v Aston Villa

  1. Kim, fair point but sometimes you have very little say in how the ebe of the game flows. There is no rhyme or reason as to why it is hard to get a foothold in a game. Sometimes you have to defend like a bastard when things are not going well. I have played in many games that my team should have dominated but struggled to get going.. it is a hard thing to put a finger on.. if you are chock a block full of confidence it does help but it isnot the answer tto playing really well and dominating a team!


  2. Sharpy-this place needs it every now and then πŸ˜›

    Aussie@373 πŸ˜† I think Pards may have been trying out some new formations with Kim in her recent dreams… 😯


  3. Kim – you’re not wrong, but we were a team on a right slump at kick off yesterday. We looked totally void of confidence and at times rabbits in headlights in the first half.
    I think we benefit from having big players like Colo and Tiote back to keep things a bit calm and with Remy I think the players saw there was always a chance of a goal – something that has been missing the last 3 games IMO.
    The atmosphere was low in the ground yesterday and Pardew said it himself – it seemed to raise when Willo put that block in on Benteke.

    By the way – over 50k at SJP yesterday for a club in crisis and a televised game.

    I think we played some good football during our winning run earlier in the season. If we can take a win against Hull then I think confidence could well be back and we could have another mini run. If not then I think we will stutter over the line – but I don’t see us finishing any lower than 9th now like.


  4. It was always gonna be a nervy one settled by the odd goal, Thankfuly our superior quality shone through in the last 20 minutes. There will be better performances but lets not forget it was a similarly scruffy win against Fulham that finally got us going for the season. The result has to take priority when your in a slump…


  5. Newkie – I hope those Brummie fuckers do go down!!

    I think Aussie said it earlier, but Pardew say Pardew coaches the ability out of players – Benteke looks hopeless this season.


  6. CC…Exactly, when a team is so low on confidence you need to put up with a scrappy win or 2 before the confidence starts to come back. TBF I wouldn’t be too upset with scrappy 1 nowts for the rest of the season.


  7. Richie-wouldn’t put it past em, still, whatever makes them happy ey? πŸ˜€

    Sharpy-aye me too lad! They have some really tough matches coming up, hopefully our win will send them on a little spiral down. Benteke aye and Weimann and many of the other youngsters haven’t come on much either-so maybe their coaching set up is just as shite πŸ˜‰

    Lambert got the runner up manager of the season when Pards won it-clearly SAF, Wenger and all those other managers who voted are useless like!


  8. Cardiff look dead and buried – Ole was a gamble that looks to have ****ed right up. Mackay wasn’t great but before they undermined him with the whole 20 year old director of scouting he was doing decent ish and probably would have kept them up. The new Fulham coach has some time to make the “new manager syndrome” work so maybe they could turn around? Not a great squad to work with though. The other spot is the one that’s really up for grabs.


  9. Funnily enough the Villains are covering a lot of the same ground as us.

    “Not necessarily so mate, a manager with better tactics, awareness and vision may be able to get the player to pass and move and do the basics of football correctly.
    Learner a millions ain’t needed for that, as I know that that is what you are implying, we should blame learner.
    I blame learner for just leaving us as a dying pet, he is a poor custodian.
    And I blame lambert for being a sh*t manager out of his depth.

    Yeah but who hired lambert??
    What makes you think Lerner can attract a better manager?? He couldn’t get OSG but tan could!!

    A manager that plays a better style will want to buy players who are capable, those players don’t come from the back end of nowhere or league 2.

    Lambert goes and we’ll end up with another Mctit or worse. I still want to hold onto the idea that lambert can play better football as we have seen it but f*ck knows where it’s gone and the memory of it is getting harder and harder to hold onto \”

    Seem familiar?


  10. Pretty horrible performance as it has been for the last….god knows how long. Yesterdays game is typical of how we play – Poorly. We have the bones of a decent squad. Why can’t our team play football though?

    Hoddle is right. It is pitiful if this is the ‘top level’.

    I said some time ago that we need a footballing manager. Look at how some of the younger players at Everton/Southampton/Liverpool (not comaring us to liverpool).

    Anybody who thinks Pardew is a good manager/coach take a look at Everton/Southampton/Liverpool and they’re manager/players.

    After 3 years could you see there teams playing as badly as we do. Surely people agree that Pardew cannot build he team? He is doing the bare minimum.

    The Football we play is Conference, well said Glenn!!


  11. Also, the that awkward moment of Pardew coming out smiling at the Press Box in the 93rd minute as we scrape a 1-0 win over the worst team in the Form guide over the last 6 games….. He was 90secs away from his team not scoring in 7/8 games.


  12. Is anyone else seeing the beginning of the end for Pardew?

    He can’t coach a team to play well. If anyone can tell me when we last played well over a full game? Or without Cabaye or Remy scoring who scored the last goal???


  13. Seems its not only Toon fans who are totally pissed off this season, as well as Villa fans already mentioned Spurs fans are less than happy as per below……

    Steve February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Isn’t the manager responsible 4team talk get the players up 4it Sherwood ur a dick head n I hate u wiv a passion Sherwood out

    gav February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

    There should be no excuses!! We were poor, tims time is nearly over now and he can crawl out of levys arse where he has been living the last four months. Hes got no tactical knowledge apart from all out attack and the good teams will tear us apart. Tim said we didnt need any new players in january but rose, dawson, chadli need replacing with young pacey talent!! 100mill spent and no one can cross a ball! If we had that soldado would have scored more. Top four now is out of our grasp.

    Ell February 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Sherwood is tinkering with the squad as if they were a box of chocolates. Square pegs in round holes.

    Leaving Townsend and Eriksen on the bench total madness.


  14. Going from the comments posted on here over the past 12 months… we have a shit owner, a shit manager and a shit team..and yet, everyone wants us to play top football! Surely we are doing way better than what could be expected, seeing that we are so shit!


  15. Pardew starting with his bullshit,we have a nice little kitty for next year!! as some rags are saying it has nothing to do with a few thousand not renewing their season tickets yet,jabba has him well trained


  16. Big papa – yeah Glenn Hoddle has managed and had success at the very top level so he’d know – who’s he managing at the moment again?. When was the last time he managed a PL side?.

    Pardew said himself in a post match interview that technical performance was around a 6/10 – I’m sure some would score it less, but he’s acknowledging we weren’t at our best yesterday – hardly captain smug.

    How many sides in the league play well over the whole game week in week out?. Where would Liverpool be without Sturridge and Suarez?. They play attack minded football, but have conceded as many goals as we have – take their 2 best players out of their team and where would they be?

    We miss Cabaye badly and have nobody in there to fill that gap. Anita looked better further forward yesterday and I think Pardew should consider playing him there more often


  17. And Everton fans don’t seem to think they are having that good a season

    My biggest concern is the way Barkley played – he was awful when he came on and looked lost! Should he be starting games (if fit) ahead of Osman!
    We’re shite going forward and the striker options have become a joke; I’m afraid Martinez and the club have some explaining to do regarding the strikers in / out.

    Never ever looked like scoring, no points for passing side ways. The manager needs to look at our attacking options.

    We are absolutely no threat in the air, we never send a lofted whipped cross into the box anymore, everything is slid along the ground, usually at a slow pace.

    Too much passing. Not enough attacking the goal !

    Ineffective from corners too.

    Just can’t see what the gameplan is to score goals. Does RM say – “pass it around, keep hold of the ball, with a bit of luck something might open up.” ?

    I think RM’s limitations are being exposed at the moment.

    No end product. We fanny around, keep the ball, dominate possession, but can’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo. Easier on the eye than under than under Moyes, but hopeless in the last third.


  18. Man U fans want Moyes out, Spurs fans want Sherwood out, Everton fans slagging Martinez off, Us lot slagging Pards off ….. who would be a footy manager ! ( well for the amount of cash they get, I would )


  19. Aussie-has it only been 12 months? πŸ˜†

    It’s also funny how all of our players regress and yet Williamson who I would say the majority of fans despised and wanted gone from day 1 is now consistently one of the better performers πŸ˜‰


  20. What about Cabaye. Great before we got. Average when he arrived. Deteriorated with the coaching. Got sold for 4 times what we paid for him, and is now sorely missed. We know our football do us bloggers.


  21. Prem-aye that one makes me laugh. He didn’t improve it’s just that we were a shop window for him. A SHOP WINDOW FOR HIM TO JOIN A TEAM IN THE NATION HE’D PREVIOUSLY PLAYED ALL HIS LIFE FFS! And people talking as if they’d seen him play week in week out while at lille.

    Total shite.


  22. Sharpy – Yes Hoddle isn’t a manager but has managed England and Chelsea and is quite widely regarded as a top coach. If Pardew acknowledges we play poor football then why hasn’t he done something to change it over the past 3 years?
    RE It’s the way they play which has put them where they are – which is pretty much my point mate.

    Prem re Cabaye – good example / the only example. Cabaye won the league in France and was an international we got lucky with a buyout clause, everyone knows he was worth more at the time.

    He was our best player and lost him for pennies.


  23. Prem- I don’t think we improved Cabaye, but the Premier League did. It wasn’t our coaching. Do you think it was our coaching for 2 years or the upbringing in France that made him a good player??


  24. Shapry – interesting about Liverpool – I think we’d all take theyre position.

    I would say its down to Brendan Rodgers – like wise at Everton.

    When Rodgers was at Swansea he was building something that was getting better year by year, and is repeating it at Liverpool. Outscoring City the richest club in the world is no mean feet.

    He has his technically got his reserve defence out. Flanagan, Skrtel, Toure and Cissokho are/will be backup once Sakho, Agger,Johnson and Enrique are back.

    Look at Sterling – would he look as good in our team?
    A team playing attacking/technical football has improved him which is a big pat on the back to Rodgers.

    Sturridge – would he of improved like this at Chelsea, or us?

    I highly doubt it.


  25. Yesterday was a prime example of how we are as a team under Pardew.

    A really defensive 442. The full team yesterday played like the away team, sitting deep leaving 1 striker on the half way line.

    Their is no way someone like Remy will come to us especially after playing under Pardew for a year.


  26. Papa – Hoddle left Chelsea in 1996! and left the England job 1999!
    The last club he managed was Wolves – he left there 2006!.
    If he was so widely regarded as a ‘top coach’ why in all that time has NO club hired him?.
    He’s an average TV pundit who had no success as a football manager and sits there and slags other managers off. The bloke is a dick.

    “The Football we play is Conference, well said Glenn!!”

    Yet we are 8th in the best league in the world – above Southampton, and only 5 points behind Everton. Liverpool have arguably the best attacking partnership in Europe at the moment.

    Pardew can’t build a team because Ashley hasn’t backed him the way other managers are being back – how is that Pardews fault?.
    Would you say the players he has brought in are shit?
    Bare in mind that Pardew wanted to sign Remy and De Jong but the board failed him – he also wanted players like PEA, Grenier, Cabella and Bony.
    What COULD Pardews team look like HAD he been backed?

    I think Pardew has done a pretty good job with what he’s had to be fair.
    However I would concede that the level of consistency could and should be alot better than what it’s been during his time.


  27. BigPapa, maybe it was both?

    As to Liverpool I think Brendon Rogers is proving his abilities, Still to see how it works for Martinez given the loan signings he has.


  28. Papa – Liverpool are playing some great football this year – no arguement at all. I watched them against Arsenal and they ripped them apart – mind Arsenal gave up at 2-0 down.
    But that my point in my last post.

    How much different might things look if Pardew had been backed in the same way as Rodgers.
    I’m taking nothing away from Rodgers because he’s got players like Henderson and Sterling playing really well.
    But when your owner and chairman will go out and buy you a quality GK in Mingolet a CB like Sakho a MF like Courthino and a CF like Sturridge and you already have players like Gerrard and Suarez in your team, it must make you job as a manager that bit easier – surely you can accept at least that?!


  29. Good points sharpy πŸ˜‰
    I said a few weeks back, that I kind of feel sorry for Pardew really.
    Like you say, if he had been backed properly from the start, maybe everything would be looking a lot healthier.
    Constantly having the rug pulled when he gets the Lads playing well must be really gauling for him.
    The reality is, somehow even after our dreadful run since new year, we are still 8th and only 5 points behind manure.
    The relegation battles this season are going to go right down to the wire.
    Thankfully we are well out of that now.
    Pardew has his limitations, but has earned another season and deserves the financial backing of the owner for a change. 😯


  30. Liverpools defence is shit, but their strike force is glossing over the crapness at the back.
    A bit like us in the days of the entertainers. πŸ˜†


  31. Hoddle managed Chelsea in an era when they never finished in the top half of the table and got the england job because of his playing career and the FA desperately wanting Venables out. We are currently on for a higher finish than any team he ever managed.

    His lazy comments lumping the blaming on the foreigners showed how much homework he had bothered doing; Sammy, Saylor, Williamson, Shola and Dummett have all started recent matches and have played as bad if not worse…


  32. KK
    Looks like I hadn’t read that records for keeper saves only started in 06/07. I will ‘concede’ that you were right there.
    Still waiting for your Marveaux amazing defensive stats evidence though. πŸ˜† πŸ™„


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