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Match Reports

Pathetic, gutless, doomed – Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 Match Report

12 months ago

Before this potentially pivotal away trip (thought I’d start with a nice fronted adverbial for any parents doing homeschooling), it was difficult to feel like a good outcome existed, never mind any optimism for it becoming a reality.

Steve Bruce has gone into full on implosion mode.

To really convey how badly he’s lost the plot, you’d have to imagine the plot was in his back pocket and fell into the pot after he’d had a sh.te and was accidentally flushed out to sea, and Brucie’s only hope of recovering the plot is if he was to be walking along a beach when the plot happens to wash up on the shore.

The odds of this are slightly increased of course, by the fact that Steve is likely regularly venturing to the seaside to scream at the waves to get back, while telling them that he’s done every bit as well as Rafa before defending out another defeat to a member of last season’s Championship.

Villa, of course, were a member of the season before last’s Championship, so almost certainly the type of club we can’t hope to compete with given such pedigree. Like I say, I couldn’t foresee a decent outcome here.

If we sh.thoused a win, it would be rammed down the collective throat as reason to never doubt wor Steve, and to stop the fickle focus on the last nine horrible performances, because this is the one that counts.

Defeat would increase the disastrous spectre of another relegation and no doubt just turn up the volume of ‘experts’ like Mark Hughes filling the echo chamber with shouts of “What do they expect? More than a quarter of possession? To not lose constantly? This isn’t 1996 any more, Geordies.”

The formation wasn’t as initially off-putting as recent surrenders, with a positive inclusion of Almiron behind the front two. Manquillo starting and ASM on the bench were both very welcome returns, but it seems everything is tinged with alarm at the minute, as the thought of either being rushed back and imminently re-injured was at the forefront of the mind.

Anyway, after the editor of The Mag kindly asked me to endure the Brentford and Sheffield United debacles in recent weeks, I couldn’t resist the invitation to switch the Masked Singer off at 8pm and tune into this miserable upsetting cludge.

Almiron had an early shot that sums Bruce’s Newcastle entirely. If anyone has been in a position where they’re playing a game of FIFA against someone far better, you may find that suddenly you get an unexpected sight of goal and because it’s such a rarity you have to get a shot off before things go horribly wrong. Almiron’s bobbly little scuff was embarrassingly easy for Martinez to gather.

There’s always a slim hope that United can sh.thouse a win if the defence are outstanding and the opposition misfire. This went wrong after 12 minutes as Schar made a complete hash of Targett’s cross, ballooning the ball up into the air for Watkins to head in. Its a certainty that Watkins would have been given offside by the VAR from the original cross, but Schar’s intervention rendered that redundant. Darlow had no chance but his decision not to raise his hands was weird to say the least.

After half an hour Watkins had the ball in the net again, streaking onto a through ball and burying a shot past Darlow, but this time the offside flag did save us. Watkins looks like a very decent player, and the mind boggles at how destroyed he may have been had he came up here, to stand about on his own up front getting cold 70% of the time.

We almost made it to half time without chucking the game away. However, when a Villa corner was only half-cleared, Grealish recovered the ball and squared it into a box with about seven Newcastle players, all of whom watched carefully as Bertrand Traore belted it in off the bar. Any point in a second half?

After another half hour of nothing, it angered me massively to see Saint-Maximin thrown on. Surely Bruce was aware we can’t recover from 2-0 down and to risk our most likely match winner on a lost cause after injury and illness issues shows the Bruce attitude: he’s out for himself, and protecting his own reputation. B.llocks to the club that foolishly employed him (ask Sheffield Wednesday about this sort of thing).

Never mind protecting ASM and hoping he recovers fully for the run in, Bruce needed help here and now to save his own skin, so get on there Alan, score twice and try not to rip your hamstring off the bone. Maybe if the manager’s siege mentality extended to the whole club and not just his own skin, there might be a bit of a potential to drive forward.

Allan did not score twice. Newcastle did not score once. Instead the winless run reached double figures and our 100% loss rate for 2021 persisted. Andy Carrol’s late consolation against Leicester remains our only goal in eight games in all competitions but none of this is worthy of hysteria. We really need someone in a prominent position in the media to tell us this is all OK and Rafa never did any better, so stop thinking you should win the Champions League and back Brucie. It’s only because he used to manage Sunderland anyway.

While the usual w.nkers bleat on about high expectations, I’m just going to drown it out. This is binary. Newcastle have better players than at least three of the teams at the bottom of the league and should stay up comfortably. If organised properly we will stay up, if nothing changes we are accelerating towards relegation.

My message to the fat parasite who has systematically destroyed this club over the past 14 years is simple.

Last year you had to give away 10,000 tickets. With the sh.tshow that has been served up and the fact people have been used to not going, this will increase drastically whenever this is all over and the people will not be there to support your cash cow back to the Premier League. If you value your precious money, or maintain any inkling of offloading this “asset” to the Saudis, you need to sack this clueless, self-serving cabbage tomorrow and get someone with half a clue in before Leeds head up the A1.

My message to the media at large is: off and let us die in peace, we don’t need someone weeing on our head and telling us it’s raining.

Pathetic, gutless, doomed.

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

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

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf


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