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Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players

3 months ago

We asked Dale Thompson to give us his match ratings after Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0.

Steve Bruce making four changes to his team but yet again clueless tactics and zero goal threat.

The NUFC Head Coach making it ten games without a win and only one goal in the last thirteen hours of football.

As for how the Newcastle United side as individuals performed, Dale Thompson gives us his NUFC player ratings and comments.

Darlow – 5

As usual, made a series of saves to keep the score down.

Not so usual, was badly at fault for the opening goal.

The ball looped in the air as Schar tried to prevent the cross and for some inexplicable reason, Darlow launched himself at Watkins with his body and arms by his side, instead of arms in the air to block the header or claim the ball.

I find it difficult to see Watkins would have scored if Darlow had challenged normally, this at the worst possible time as well, as plenty are wondering whether Dubravka should come back into the team.

Manquillo – 5 

Back in the team and committed as ever, however, like the rest of the side is incapable of crossing the ball with any degree of quality.

Found it tough as well with the sheer amount of Villa attacking Newcastle had to deal with.

Schar – 5

The fault on that first goal is shared between Shelvey and Darlow, as Schar was facing his goal when trying to cut out that very tricky low cross and was unlucky to see the ball loop in the air. Some small blame yes but minimal compared to the other two teammates.

Did ok defensively and showed a lot of composure on the ball compared to most around him, looking to play the ball to a teammate rather than just getting rid. On that basis will never be a Steve Bruce favourite!

Lascelles – 3

Painful to watch at times.

So slow and a major worry whenever he was left one on one with one of the opposition.

Not exactly showing much by way of leadership these days either, may be regretting the fact he became so vocal claiming what a great manager Bruce supposedly is.

Hayden – 6

Did alright.

Defended pretty well and tried to help Newcastle retain possession under pressure.

Yet another ridiculous Steve Bruce set-up, Newcastle desperate for Hayden to be in midfield to combat the Villa quality, instead Bruce retreating and forcing the midfielder into a back five, thus ensuring Villa reached the edge of Newcastle’s box so easily and regularly.

Lewis – 5 

He definitely has some ability but is finding life tough under this clueless Head Coach.

A young player who needs help and guidance from the manager / head coach and his teammates, but is getting precious little from either.

Almiron – 6

Yet again put those around him to shame with his workrate, pace, intent and closing down the opposition.

Sadly, this is impossible to do by yourself, it needs a team effort. Others just not up to the job and / or else just can’t be bothered.

Shelvey – 2

The worst of the worst when it comes to not putting in the effort.

It was comical on the first goal as we could all see the Villa players clearly signposting what they were going to do. All Shelvey had to do was the bare minimum and track his man but even after just ten minutes on the pitch he can’t be bothered to do that. The Villa player left with all the time in the world to cross low and ultimately set up the crucial opening goal.

A total liability for the team and in this situation especially, you need at least everybody trying 100%. Shelvey’s attempts to close down the opposition would be funny, if it wasn’t so serious.

Hendrick – 2

As soon as you saw this duo named on the teamsheet in central midfield, the writing was on the wall.

Some Newcastle fans now referring to him as the ‘ghost’, presumably because they have heard of his existence but not very often that he can ever be seen.

When he is spotted, Hendrick will be going backwards, guaranteed. A shocking signing.

Wilson – 5

Like every single other game, gets pretty much zero service.

Especially with Carroll in the team, Wilson is forced to do even more tracking back.

Is still giving his all but surely he must be thinking what on earth is going on here with the tactics and set-up of the team.

The only other one, as well as Almiron, of the midfield and attack to put proper effort into pressing the opposition.

Carroll – 4

Only on the pitch surely for one reason and that is to stand in the box and try to get his head on crosses.

With cabbage head playing Carroll but leaving all four wingers on the bench, made his selection even more ridiculous than normal.

I would never ever choose Carroll to start as he is so immobile he’s a total liability, as a desperate late sub is the only reason he should be on the pitch.


Saint-Maximin – 5

Ran around a bit but clearly nowhere near fit and should never have been risked, especially with the game already gone.

Earlier in the season he had lost his spark apart from on rare occasions, no spark this time but we just have to hope he finds it again soon, hopefully before Steve Bruce gets him injured again.

Fraser – 5

Like ASM, brought a little bit more mobility late on, but by then Villa had the points won and happy to make some subs of their own and coast the game out.

I’m not convinced he’s committed to the Newcastle cause and you have to worry about his character after the way he trated Bournemouth.

Gayle – 4

Looks about as happy as your average Newcastle fan at the minute.

For whatever reason Steve Bruce refuses to give the striker any kind of a chance, when surely a partnership with Wilson must be worth a start, rather than the lumbering Carroll getting into the team.

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

(Steve Bruce seeing the positives after 10 in a row “I have seen enough to be encouraged” – Read HERE)

(Pathetic, gutless, doomed – Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 Match Report – Read HERE)

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


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