Now the dust has settled from Monday night’s dismal display, we’ve been speaking to an Aston Villa fan who attended his side’s 2-0 win earlier this week.
Not only was he highly unimpressed by Joelinton and Almiron – claiming the latter was practically invisible all night – he was left baffled by Bruce’s approach, believing it was too negative for a side that could’ve hurt an out of form Villa side.
He believed Dubravka, Saint-Maximin and Willems were the picks of a bad bunch, but makes some very valid points about a Newcastle side that really did look woeful from back to front.
Here’s what he’s had to say during our post-match chat:
“There wasn’t many NUFC players who covered themselves in glory – perhaps only Dubravka, Willems and Saint-Maximin didn’t disgrace themselves – but Joelinton and Almiron were the two standout poor performances for me.
“I’m not the most observant of chaps but I actually didn’t notice Almiron was on the pitch until someone said after – he was completely invisible. Joelinton also offered nothing and gave Mings and Konsa the easiest game they’ll have in their careers.
“I wasn’t surprised to see Bruce set up so negatively, triggering my own PTSD of how he used to field the team when he was villa manager. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw not a single Newcastle player in our half. You guys have a decent side and more than enough quality to try and take the game to us – if you’re parking the bus against 17th in the table, you know you’ve got problems!
“I’ve always liked Dubravka and he impressed me with some good saves – two point blank ones against Konsa and Wesley – although they were poor finishes – and a good save against Mcginn.
“I said pre match I liked Willems and Saint Maximin and those two at least tried to make something happen down that left side. Unluckily for them Guilbert had his best game in a Villa shirt and kept them quiet!”
He makes some valid points and observations here. After we hurt an out of sorts West Ham side in our previous away game by committing bodies forward and going at them from the off, why did we sit in and let a struggling Villa side the early settler they needed?
Ok, this approach worked perfectly at Spurs earlier this season, but we shouldn’t be setting up so negatively in a game against what was an out of form newly promoted side.
As for Almiron, it really does say it all that he didn’t realise he was playing, while his comments about Joelinton suggested he looked more like a £4m to those sat in the Holte End – not a £40m one!