Joe Kinnear has now put together successive home wins for a team that was on its knees when he took over just over 5 weeks ago.
Joe Kinnear – too hoarse to be interviewed after the game
Joe’s record at Newcastle is 8 points from 5 games, with 2 wins 2 draws, and a single defeat, although that was against our old foe Sunderland, a mere 10 days ago.
It was interesting and even amusing that Joe was not available to be interviewed after the game, because he was too hoarse and couldn’t speak too well, and after a second viewing of the game we could clearly see why.
He was often shouting at the referee and the players throughout the game, but his tactics were spot on last night, and apart from a couple of Villa chances in the first half that fell to Agbonlahor and Young, the lads were very solid at the back.
Agbonlahor missed the proverbial sitter from just 7 yards out when he somehow tried to put a right wing ball into the net with his left foot – and well – missed. And Young was suddenly clean through and blasted the ball powerfully, and we were looking for the ball bulging the back of the net, but the great Shay Given somehow got it the way of the powerful shot, it looked like with his chest, and the ball ballooned over the bar.
Another magnificent save by the Irishman on this, his 450th appearance for the team, and let’s not underestimate the importance of his save, as the first goal was always going to be important in this close game. Shay is back to his very best this season, after all his injury concerns of the past two years.
But once Newcastle scored they took control of the game, and may have even had more goals had Butt’s powerful shot not hit the post, and Beye hit a ball in injury time that had Friedel blocking the powerful shot, but the ball rolled into the middle of the goal, and we wondered why a Newcastle player wasn’t there to tap the ball home.
Kinnear would have to be pleased with this, his first clean sheet, against a side as good as Aston Villa, who had scored 19 goals in their first 10 league games, before being blanked by Newcastle last night, and they were coming off a 3 game winning streak.
And Joe had even talked before the game how he had worked the defense during the week, so they were better prepared to deal with the attacking prowess of Villa, and they dealt with the threat very well under the circumstances.
Oba Martins scored two excellent goals, a good individual effort after 60 minutes and then a wonderful goal made by Jonas when he darted in from the left, past Reo-Coker as though he wasn’t there, looked up and Oba was there to stab home his pinpoint low cross into the net, after 82 minutes.
St. James Park exploded for the second time on the night.
It was also good to see our Argentine pair of Coloccini and Jonas embracing after the match, as these two have made a huge difference to the team this season – our two new Argentine Geordies. If new Argentine boss Diego Maradona did attend the match, he would have been impressed by both of his national players last night, and will no doubt hear of the great play by Jonas Gutierrez.
A great win by the lads last night and generally good performances all around – job very well done indeed. Oh, and we’re now in 14th place in the league and have Fulham away, and Wigan at home up next – another 6 points maybe?