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Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat

12 months ago

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 23 January 8pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.

Steve Bruce overseeing his latest shambles, no wins in ten now and only one goal in the last thirteen hours of football.

Jamie Smith:

“What can you say?

“The recent outbursts from Bruce show he’s more bothered about himself, the ludicrous comparisons with Rafa and a sense of pressure that is intangible given there’s nobody in the ground to give him well deserved grief.

“It’s simple really: we have better players than the bottom teams and, currently, more points.

“If the owner wants his dream of cashing in to come true, he needs to sack the manager now and get someone in who can galvanise the available parts to squeeze six more wins out of this season before the Saudis disappear forever.

“Depressing stuff at a time when there’s little to smile about.”

Billy Miller:

“Utterly predictable.

“We invested in Premier League experience this summer which seemed sensible at the time.

“However, we’ve barely seen Fraser, whilst Lewis and Hendrick would be lucky to get into my 5-a-side team. The only success story must be starting to wonder why he didn’t sign for tonight’s opponents.

“Mike, Benitez is a free agent. Get on your knees and beg him to take you back.

“Give him a six month contract, which would work for everyone.

“You, Mike, will have a manager that will keep us in the division and protect your asset.

“But you won’t have to worry about him being a long term nuisance, with all that silly talk about ambition.

“Rafa can earn some money whilst being based near his family home in Liverpool.

“He can enjoy our adulation once more but won’t have to worry about being tied into a longer term contract with a proven liar.

“If the takeover is resurrected he will be in prime position to carry on.

“Everyone wins bar Bruce. But then, Bruce has become used to not winning.”

Brian Standen:

“Struggling to say anything at all other than more total rubbish.

“No tactics, no urgency, no idea!

“Bruce simply has to go tonight.”

Ben Cooper:

“I saw Aston Villa play very well against Man City during the week and I also saw NUFC play very badly against Arsenal, so in answer to Mark Hughes, my expectation was that Villa would win easily.

“Did that expectation overrun our potential? No it did not, Villa won easily.

“With Newcastle again having changed formation to a disorganised 5-3-2, Villa cruised to a 2-0 half time lead with all the time in the world for their ball players.

“Nothing much changed in the second half, both teams seemed happy with that scoreline until the last twenty minutes when the Steves sent on Maxi, Frazer and Gayle and a now tired looking Villa looked vulnerable.

“Not vulnerable enough for NUFC to have a shot or anything like that but at least there was some possession and some forward intent to finish on.

“There isn’t much more to say about it than that.

“Just another bland performance in black and white by everyone except perhaps Hayden who always gives it his best.

“Another game where United are second best and still needing seven wins to guarantee the hallowed ground of fourth bottom.

“Maybe next week the team will play a recognisable formation, with our best players playing, maybe even our best players playing in their best positions.

“Maybe next week they will score a goal, or look like scoring one or even look like trying to score one. Maybe all of that.

“None of that happened today.”

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“Embarrassing. Pathetic. Limp.

“No better than the Sheff Utd or Arsenal game.

“I have never felt so disconnected before, it all feels so lifeless.

“Change the manager before it’s too late.”

David Punton:

“Steve Bruce talks a good game in his press conferences, and he lays a lot on the fans and the media for making it worse.

“The reality is that he’s failing to get a tune from this Newcastle team, with tonight’s sorry display at Villa Park the latest nightmare on an utterly abysmal run of form which has seen no wins from ten games.

“The club feels shattered. Broken. Something is not working with the coaching set up. A lost dressing room perhaps.

“Tonight we were back to doing it Bruce’s way.

“This involved 4-4-2 with very little width and a severe lack inspiration as Villa won this game at a canter. We are terrible right across the park. Slack at the back, no legs in midfield and shot shy up front.

“Bruce had the cheek to make that Rafa comment yesterday, but Rafa Benitez made managing Newcastle United look easy, and it’s not.

“There are rumours the club’s next move will be appoint a new first team coach (Graeme Jones at Bournemouth) to aid Bruce and the the other two Steves. That’s not going to work. A change of manager is needed and they need to not cut any corners with a replacement.

“The crisis goes on. The crisis deepens.”

Steve Hickey:

“Predictable erratic team selection, tactics, performance and result.

“Is it a case of Steve Bruce trying to get paid off or just that he’s lost the dressing room? Could just be that Rafa Benitez was right and these players can only play one way.

“It’s hard to say who is the biggest fool of all, Steve Bruce for being Mike Ashley’s fall guy or Ashley himself for persisting with Bruce.

“I’m no economist but surely it’s more cost effective to throw a couple of million at the current mess, rather than losing hundreds of millions through relegation?

“Shades of John Carver and that famous ‘cart before the horse’ speech by Mike Ashley. He’s never learnt! Ashley out, Bruce out.”

Paul Patterson:

“One shot on target?

“These players are must better than this.

“This is a shambles.

“Bruce Out!!”

Nat Seaton:

“More of the same from a team devoid of any creativity.

“At times it looks like we were just going through the motions against a team who were better than us in all areas of the game.

“Where do we go from here?”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 23 January 8pm



Aston Villa:

Watkins 13, Traore 42

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Aston Villa 59% (60%)  Newcastle 41% (40%)

Total shots were Aston Villa 14 (7) Newcastle 7 (4)

Shots on target Aston Villa 5 (3) Newcastle 1 (1)

Corners were Aston Villa 5 (2) Newcastle 4 (1)

Referee: Simon Hooper

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Schar, Lascelles, Hayden, Manquillo (Saint-Maximin 71), Hendrick, Shelvey, Almiron (Gayle 81), Lewis, Wilson, Carroll (Fraser 71)

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, M Longstaff, Joelinton, Ritchie, Krafth, Murphy


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