Aston Villa fans appear to have accepted their fate a fair while ago.
However, who do they think/hope will join them?
Ever since that fractious relegation day back in 2009 at Villa Park, there has been friction between the two groups of supporters – the bizarre over the top celebrations by the home fans leading to equal amounts of bemusement and anger from the Newcastle supporters who were there.
When Newcastle fans were still under the impression that this season would eventually pull up out of the nosedive, the thought of visiting Villa Park on yet another final away match of the season looked a suitably enticing one – to revel in the humbling of those who took so much pleasure…
So is Rafa Benitez seen by Aston Villa fans as a game-changer for Newcastle, despite less than two months of the season left – and who would they like to see go down?
We searched out the reaction of the Aston Villa fans, via one of their top message boards Villa Talk:
‘I tell you honestly, I would love it if Rafa takes them down, love it.’
‘Benitez plays a very solid way that takes a good time to install into a team, just don’t see him having a long time to get it working this season especially with awful centre-halves like Lascelles, Taylor and Coloccini and a right back who just doesn’t bother defending.’
‘He’s not the in top 5 managers in the world like the scousers so like to believe, but this is still a massive coup for them. Will hopefully make us sending them down on the last home game even better.’
‘To be honest, I think I’d rather see them stay up, because they will probably be a more difficult competitor in the championship than Norwich/Sunderland would be.’
‘At least if they do go down, they won’t have the last laugh at Villa Park.’
‘Hope they don’t go down with us with Rafa still in charge. Not good for us, he is a better manager than we have had for a long time.’
‘Big name manager, I also think he’s a good manager. Great appointment for the Geordies.’
‘Ashley funded players in the summer, more in January and now spent big on a good manager…and the Newcastle fans hate him.’
‘They have every right to hate him.
He’s spent that much on the squad because of the parlous state it was in prior to this season. Another way of phrasing your comment would be to say the squad was so bad they’ve spent £80m on it and still only got one defender who is actually of sufficient quality for the league he plays in.
It was that bad because he hadn’t invested for years. You simply can’t stand still in football; we should know just as well.’
‘Not sure about him (Benitez) really. Obviously he should have the respect of the players and give them a boost, 50:50 whether them or sunderland go down I think.’
‘If they (Newcastle) get relegated I think they’ll be back up soon enough, unlike us.’
‘I’m stunned they’ve managed to appoint Rafa. Fair play to them.’
‘Everyone saying Newcastle will come straight up, but did you hear Mike Ashley’s quotes that Newcastle have no money left? I think we will be in a better position to buy players than them if that’s the case. Also Sports Direct are in big financial trouble.’
‘He isn’t the manager he was, Inter, Napoli and Real he failed and did OK at Chelsea.’
‘We’re the biggest joke in this league, not Newcastle. And we have more in common with them than we’d care to admit.’
‘Is it any coincidence that the two teams buying players from the French league are both the bottom two teams?’
‘Rafa Benitez, the most boring, stubborn defensive minded manager at the club that love their goalscorers. Yes, good luck with that. Will be gone by Christmas.’
‘They’re top of the injury table with 11 and their main (read : only …) striker is one of them. Without Cisse, they rely on Wijnaldum and he’s not really prolific. Sunderland are muck, but they can pull a victory out of Defoe’s a*se when they need to.’
‘52k is great when things are going well, but I imagine the pressure with that level of support when things are not going well is huge. The Geordies for the most part have always been well supported.’
‘It’s similar to us really, many of the crowd will remember the mid 90s when Newcastle were a relevant force and really should’ve won the league and were regularly in the top 4, even 15 years ago under Sir Bobby they were that standard and had a really good team….Given, Woodgate, Solano, Robert, Gary Speed, Bellamy, Shearer so it’s a bit hard to understand nowadays the shi*e they’re watching fighting relegation every season so patience will be very thin.’
‘Spat on and hounded out Sir Bobby for finishing 5th. **** the lot of them.’
‘Hounded out big sam when they were top half because they demanded better then got relegated. Did exactly the same with Pardew. Deluded idiots.’
‘I just don’t get how they’re in a position to attract someone like Rafa.’