Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 0 – Magpies Completely Impotent

Newcastle looked very impotent today at Villa Park and once Aston Villa scored their goal after 24 minutes the question was always going to be who was going to score for Newcastle, and nobody did – and nobody really looked like scoring either, against a very ordinary Aston Villa side.

One blow before the game was that Shola Ameobi was again out injured, and he’s been injury prone in all his 11 years at the club, but why manager Pardew brought in Steven Taylor in place of Kevin Nolan we have no idea but the formation just didn’t work and Coloccini looked oh so slow in midfield.

We hope Alan Pardew doesn’t do too much thinking before games because the obvious side today was to play Ryan Taylor on the right wing, and have the skilled Joey Barton in the middle of the park – and Steven Taylor should have been on the bench.

It was as bad a bit of strategy as our last away loss at Stoke when Pardew played three at the back – and it reminds us of what Brian Clough used to say about tactics:

“Players lose you games, not tactics. There’s so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.”

That about sums up the game for Newcastle today, and we think Alan Pardew thought far too much about the tactics of the game, rather than putting players in their natural positions and inspiring them to play at their very best – after all that’s all Bobby Robson ever did.

Aston Villa made a strong start to this game, obviously in the hopes of getting an early goal to settle the nerves, and it was important that Newcastle defended well.

It seemed like a large enthusiastic crowd was at Villa Park this afternoon, and a large section of Newcastle fans were there and making themselves heard at one end of the stadium.

Newcastle had an early chance with Nile Ranger, who took a shot at goal when he was moving in from the left, but it was straight at American goalkeeper Bred Friedel.

It’s a pity the youngster hadn’t seen Peter Lovenkrands, who was in an unmarked position to his right, and if Ranger could have crossed it into Peter’s path, and it was a much easier chance.

And again the 19 year-old, who had started the game very lively, and won a couple of headers from long balls down-field, had another opportunity and chose to shoot again, although Peter Lovenkrands was again all on his lonesome in the inside right position.

No doubt Pardew will point these things out to the youngster, and it’s only lack of experience, and of course the Londoner would be very keen to score his first Premier League goal.

After the first 15 minutes or so, when Villa had looked on top, Newcastle started to come more into the game and were playing some decent football, as they probed the rather nervous looking Aston Villa defense, for openings.

But then after 24 minutes, following a foul by captain Joey Barton out on the Newcastle right wing, Aston Villa got the all important first goal, when center-back Collins scored his first goal since January, with a nice header from the incoming cross.

It was a good goal for Aston Villa, and it was an excellent cross in from Ashley Young, but you have to wonder about the lack of marking on the set piece from the Newcastle defense, but the header gave goalkeeper Harper no chance at all.

After the goal it was clear how much that had calmed down the Aston Villa side, who had taken only a single point from their last 3 games, and had only one win in their last 7 games before today’s game.

Darren Bent had a wonderful chance to put Aston Villa two up when a cross from former Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing was headed over from just six yards out by the former Sunderland striker.

The play was fairy even as half time arrived, but just before the half time whistle Darren Bent had the ball in the back of the net, but he was judged to be offside – although after looking at more of the TV replays he seemed level and it should have been allowed.

Aston Villa had the vital goal and led 1-0 at the break, with Newcastle seeming to lack drive and creativity in central midfield with Guthrie and Coloccini, with the Argentine looking too slow.

On 49 minutes Joey Barton gave the ball away in central midfield and Villa produced a quick attack down the left wing, and a good shot from Agbonlahor forced a good save to his left from goalkeeper Steve Harper to keep the score at 1-0.

Newcastle were showing no threat at all up front, and after 60 minute Steven Taylor was a little lucky to get away with not giving away a penalty, when he clumsily tackled Darren Bent, but the referee waved play on.

On 63 minutes Alan Pardew made a change and brought on Ryan Taylor for Steven Taylor and put Ryan out on the right wing, and moved Joey Barton to the center of midfield with Danny Guthrie, who would revert to his defensive midfield position.

That’s the side we had expected Pardew to start with this afternoon, and the experiment with Coloccini and Guthrie in midfield just didn’t work, and let’s hope Pardew admits that in his interviews after the game.

Shefki Kuqi was brought on far too late after 83 minutes, as Nile Ranger just got lost in the second half, and why Pardew waited so long to bring on Shefki we have no idea.

Newcastle did try to press a nervous Aston Villa side towards the end of the game, and Ryan Taylor had a chance in injury some with a free-kick,  but he put the ball just over the bar.

But it was just not to be and Newcastle handed Villa only their second win in the last 8 games, and a chance to stay up.

But team selection today has to be a big question mark, and we think the lads would have done a lot better starting Ryan Taylor, especially as he is a goal threat and Newcastle looked like the wouldn’t score if they played all night.

That was Newcastle’s fourth successive defeat at Villa Park too, so it’s never been a happy hunting ground for the Magpies.

For this game Newcastle were without Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote, James Perch, Ben Arfa, Dan Gosling, Alan Smith, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi and Stephen Ireland – 9 players – for reasons of injury and suspension, and the Newcastle team just wasn’t good enough to get anything out of this game. That’s the sorry truth today.

Newcastle will have Tiote and Stephen Ireland available for the next game a week on Tuesday night, against Manchester United at St. James’ Park, but this display shows why Newcastle need strengthening big time in the summer.

This was the third loss in the last four games, and each team Newcastle lost to – Everton, Stoke and Aston Villa – were below Newcastle in the league – and that’s not good – and this was another disappointing display today.

But we need some fire power up front, and Alan Pardew was right to be nervous about losing Andy Carroll in January, because with Best now out for the seaosn and Ameobi so injury prone all the time, who is going to score the goals for this side?

I’ll look for my boots – now where exactly did I put them 30 years ago?


Aston Villa: (4-4-2): Brad Friedel; Kyle Walker, Richard Dunne, Luke Young; Ashley Young, Jean Makoun, Stiliyan Petrov (c), Stewart Downing; Darren Bent, Gabby Agbonlahor
Subs: Andy Marshall, Ciaran Clark, Carlos Cuellar, Nigel Reo-Coker, Robert Pires, Marc Albrighton, Emile Heskey

Newcastle (4-4-2): Steve Harper; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez; Nile Ranger, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Tim Krul, James Tavernier, Ryan Taylor, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Donaldson, Michael Richardson, Shefki Kuqi

56 comments so far

  • Frank The London Mag

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #1

    Was a gutless performance all round. Personal shocker awards have to be dished out to Simpson and Barton who were both horrendous.

    If nothing else, this match dispels the myth that has been circulating on these blogs that S. Taylor is better than Williamson. Williamson looked a class above S. Taylor in every department.

    Ranger could not handle any of the long balls that were shot forward from deep (He only managed one header against Collins all game) and the midfield did not channel their creativity up until the last 5 minutes of play.

    Totally gutless performance. Never thought I’d say it but we would have been much better equipped had Kuqi started. Missed Ameobi, Nolan and Tiote greatly.

    The “villains” as they like to call themselves will think that they played well. Nonsense, NUFC just didn’t turn up at all.

    Except for the fans that is – who outsung Villa throughout.

    Chin up lads, HWTL.

  • peterktoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #2

    Have some of you noticed that José isn’t playing for the team but for him self. I mean that he is showboating with the ball all the time so other clubs will notices him

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #3

    today we deserved our defeat since we never attacked

  • Brutooon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #4

    we are that poor when Luke Young the OLD, RIGHT FOOTED Left Back is playing like a left winger all the time.

    Ranger is not Carroll. We play long passes to him where he always lose the header and Aston Villa attack us thousands of time

  • baro

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #5







    For Man U game…. Ranger is obviously better used as a impact sub instead of full 90 min given from the start. I’m glad we get to see no more of Guthrie as Cheik Tiote is back from suspension, and Stephen Ireland defo in for his Newcastle debut. Enrique is defo gone in the summer in my opinion, look as his lazyness today? He is just thinking about Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic in Milan. Ferguson is going to be a star one day. He will only get better if we give him more chances. Lovenkrands is just too weak! Has some good games out of 6-7 appearances. Kuqi is a FREEKIN TRAIN! Give him a shot next game. Simpson is good but when he defends running backwards like a headless chicken is just not necessary. I’ve seen Tavernier in preseason and he was awesome! He has experience now since he was on loan at Gateshead for a while.

  • Frank The London Mag

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #6

    peterk, I think what you have to realise is José, whether he was playing for himself or the team, did fantastic.

    I’m conceded to letting him go this summer but only for over 15m.

  • Brutooon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Guthrie last game for us definitely. passing is backwards. cant control the ball…he SUPPOSE to be like xabi alonso – distribute the ball throughout the whole pitch.

    And his cross to lovenkrands, is the first best passing he made this season. (only good pass)

  • shpetmeister

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #8

    Completley deserved defeat today, barton just was so not the best midfielder in England today! He was made as a joke all night !

    Only pos thing today was Kuqi!

    What a poor display sheizen sheizen!

  • xXl NUFC lXx

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #9

    Enrique and liverpool are in agreement. He will play for Liverpool next season : ‘( source viasat fotboll

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #10

    Never ever start Steven Taylor again. He’s so bad and so was Guthrie and Ryan Taylor today. Ranger cannot stay focused for 90 mins.

  • korn8

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #11

    Absolutely gutless. Reminds me a lot about the match against Fulham at Craven Cottage, but then it was about not wanting it enough. Today it was about us not playing football.

    Yeah, about José Enrique, check this out lads:

    If he wants to go: p*ss off then. I`m sick and tired with mercenaries just chasing money and glory. Wanted to think better of Enrique though, didn`t he say he loved this club so much that he wanted to stay here for the rest of his career? B*llocks, absolutely a load of b*llocks…

  • qtoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #12

    Ranger was playing an unfamiliar role which showed his weakness. Normally he is playing off the shoulder of Ameobi who provides the flick ons and holds up the ball. But today he was trying to provide for Mcloven.. and failed

  • fergie

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #13

    @Frank the London Mag –

    Spot on. Agree with everything you say although I would agree with others that Enrique was fannying about too much today. Needs to keep it simple.

    Apparently he’s off to Liverpool:

  • CT

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #14

    Anyone still think Ranger should lead the line and Collo can play centre midfield needs Specsavers?
    Tiote/Nolan/Best and Shola were missed BIGSTYLE !
    As well as keeping Barton/Nolan and hopefully Jose and with Benny and Gos coming back and Tiote staying we need 2x top strikers, creative midfielder, commanding centre back to play alongside Collo and when all fit we could be top 8 at least. LET`s HOPE the money if available is spent wisely.
    Smith/Perch/Raylor/Lovens all got to go.

  • TravelledToon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #15

    Should of had 5 in midfield today


  • terencelim

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #16

    I can imagine if Steven Taylor is a Brazilian then all his supporters will just keep quiet or want him to leave. And Joey Barton is definitely another overrated and inconsistent player. He got some interesting background and story but that doesn’t make him a winning player on the pitch.

    I feel sorry for Pardew though as that is the best he could do.

    This is the kind of result you can only expect when a cheap local owner trying to save more pounds into his pocket by employing a cheap local manager.

  • korn8

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #17

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Should done this, should done that. With 9 players either suspended or injured and a thin squad it`s not easy being Alan Pardew. Give the man a break and let`s judge AP, MA and DL after the summer…

  • CheickTiote

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #18

    Simpson is useless. I agree Enrique will be out that door this summer, recently you can just tell from his body language that he doesn’t really care anymore, he’s just playing for himself. 15M for him, thankyou very much. Then I would expect Newcastle to spend a min of 50£ this summer, I wouldnt see why not, infact I would expect Ashely to spend a little more since all the money we’ll be getting from new kit, TV revenue etc etc. Unless that w4nker pockets it himself.

  • terencelim

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #19

    And never blame a good player to leave or call him glory hunter bla bla bla when the owner doesn’t even show a bit of ambition to be a strong team.

    Their career life is short so I don’t blame them to leave and play for a club which shows more ambition and willingness to compete.

  • colwell

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #20

    Baro- thats the team I would start with.

    Simpson is terrible why have a RB at all all he does in run away from the ball.

    Ranger is`nt a target man so I`m not going to pass judgement until he is played in his actual role

  • fergie

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #21

    Thoughts on the match:

    S. Taylor – sh*te. Should have sold him or even let him leave for free this summer. Now we’re lumbered with him on £50k a week for another 5 years.

    Barton – Why is his delivery either excellent or woeful? Would love him to just put some average balls into the box occasionally.

    Simpson – Not good enough if we are to progress next year and push for Europe.

    Team – Not too worried about out impotence up front – we were playing our 3rd and 4th choice strikers and missed Nolan too. Come the summer we should get at least one good striker in. Biggest worry today was the casual nature of our play – The amount of times we surrendered possession under no pressure via under/overhitting simple 5/10 yard passes was ridiculous. I’ve seen better ball retention in a castrated choir boy. We need a CB, RB, RW and 2 strikers in the summer. Sell S Taylor, Campbell, Perch, Smith, R. Taylor & Lovenpants.

  • olivant

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #22

    Deserved defeat today. We forgave AV for relegating us, and decided to help them stay up. Did not understand the tactics with Collo in midfield, and RTaylor out. ??? STaylor does not look as strong as he has done in the past. Must remember tough, that our goal is to stay in the EPL this season. I would take 17´spot right now if possible. We do not have the team to aim any higher right now. Must use the up coming transfer window to widen the squad, and then build from that. HWTL

  • Andy

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #23

    Think everyone is making knee jerk assessments of this game. We had more possesion than Villa 52-48. This game was always going to be a tough one with 4 key players missing all down the spine of the team (Nolan, Tiote, Best, Shola) and we are playing against 4 recent England squad members. I agree we didn’t play that well but it wasn’t terrible. Thought Guthrie was probably our best player, did everything simple and kept the ball most of the time. Also think captaincy went to Joey’s head, he was average today.

  • Edd Case

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #24

    I turned it off at half time.
    I knew the game was up for that starting 11.

    I just prayer we stay up so we can re-shape.

  • Preqwal

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #25

    We all wondered who would actually be capable of scoring today. The answer was clearly no-one. Simpson was continually raped by Ashley young. Our passing was far too sloppy and they were easily breaking up our attacks and then countering. Ranger is too young and inexperienced. We could’ve been threatening from the start if he could learn how to pass instead of going for glory! And Barton certainly proved that he should be given an England call up. NOT! I wouldn’t have minded too much about the loss, but Villa weren’t that good today!

  • Marty-Toon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #26

    Tavernier instead of Danny?
    I mean i seen Danny boy play crap today as did we all but Tav played for gateshead!
    Not really the level below the PL is it?
    He is a tidy player though i`ll give ye that but puttin him in at the start of a PL game,no way.
    Agree with ED on the poor choice of team today.
    AP hasn`t done his homework at all,keep the players in their best positions-SIMPLES

  • dougski

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #27

    Alot of you need to think like a real football fan and not thinking like shit fans and been so pessimistic. Apart from top 4 who can do without best, ameobi, arfa, gosling, smith, ireland, tiote and nolan? tiote nolan arfa and best and ameobi would all be playing so complaining about our bench and stuff what do you want us to do? you think pardew wanted tiote and nolan to get cards? you think he wanted best to be injured for season? you think he expected aemobi to break his cheek? you think he wanted ameobi out today? smith and gosling out for seaosn? you think he wanted all this not a chance in hell these things happen but we arent top 4 you cant have a massive bench but even so we have decent squad depth but when you have 8 players out not even manu without rooney berba nani valencia carrick scholes anderson park would be winning too many games would they!

    just give them a break will you they tried and tried but sometimes you cant help it with so many injuries its not lack of depth its too many injuries. we defended well but had too many players out only need one win and we stay up which will come agaonst birmingham when we have our full team back together again with tiote nolan ameobi and irlena dall playing. you watch its not that bad at all considering the circumstances cheer up guys aston villa had their full team out and if we had ours we would have killed them FACT!

  • connor_nufc

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #28

    Its not about how much.possesion we had its about wat we do with the ball wen we have it and today we were simply disgraceful with.our passong and attacking play

  • boater

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #29

    I thought we looked good up until they scored. Ranger!?!?!? Ok please. He has some qualities .. none of them include playing football unfortunately. S Taylor is a ticking time bomb of a player,, Williamson so much better. Guti was decent today.

    Key players were missing – although I hadn’t expected barton, enrique to be included in the list.

    Don’t want to leave it until the last game and with Manure, l’pool, chelsea still to play before that- where will those precious few more points come from? Bit worried still.

  • davybtoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #30

    that performance was as bad as the one 2year ago all it done was the amount of work that needs done over the summer we need to ship out 6/7players n bring in 10/12,
    harper- will be replaced by forster in the summer
    simpson- was shocking today
    jose – on that performance id snap ya hands off for 15mill
    willo- probably best of a bad bunch today
    colo – good once he went bk to cb

    jonas – shockin fergie shud got on
    barton – terrible today
    guthrie- shud never play for nufc again
    rtaylor n lovenkrands see guthrie
    ranger – needs a season loan
    kuqi- done more in 10mins then the other 2 all game

    am sick of seeing players play who i already know arnt good enough donaldson, richardson n ferguson shud hav all got on

  • NufcNicko

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #31

    Gutted about the performance and for the fans that went today. Reminded me of that season, gutless and uninterested. I think the feelgood factor has gone and we aren’t a close knit group anymore.

    Ranger today made Shola look like a great player. I seriously think our players have become disillusioned at the situation at the club. It’s evident after Joses and Barton’s comments that their is a belief we aren’t ambitious under Ashley.

    If Jose doesn’t want to be here then good riddance, I’d rather a young passionate player in Ferguson keep his place in the team than witness a performance like that from a fans favourite. Another kick in the teeth, we build these players up, chant their names and pretty much worship them yet we never seem to be able to keep them. Barton even said his stay at the toon depends on wether Nolan signs and how ambitious the club will be in the summer

  • korn8

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #32

    Good post, dougski!

  • t00ntime

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #33

    @terencelim your one of those dickheads no one likes. Barton has had a great season and now he has one bad match and your saying he is overrated and he is not a winner on the pitch …

    well i am afraid when he and only he was suspended we played much worse than we did today :O

    this season has been a bad season for injuries and suspensions and seen so were 9th thats not bad. But we rely on barton tiote and nolan if one or two go missing, then the rest of the team doesnt turn up.

    so were almost safe just get the points from blackpool. And then push on in the summer buy a new LB and new strikers and midfielders so that were not independent.



    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #34

    Jose going to liverpool article…funny I read a article saying the same but it was to milan…don’t believe it till summer and he signs contracts.

    A lot of doom and gloom on here after todays efforts…which wasent great but was no where near how bad we have played in some games this season.

    Ranger was on his first start and is 19 cut the kid some slack he has to learn at some point and wasent prepared to start fully. And danny simpson was up against ashley young…a lot more experienced have been battered by him.

    Collo was in a position he shouldn’t of been in which was our real downfall imo. Raylor came on too late to change it up.

    At the end of the day we are 9th aren’t we? Relax the anger people

  • davybtoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #35

    its simple we lack real creativity n pace in the team thats what needs added in the summer

  • branunited

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #36

    respecting their opinion, the least culpable today is ALAN PARDEW, he introduced the best team he could be presented today.
    the problem was that creativity dit not exist, barton did everything except play.
    rather than blame, we care about improving, we have too many injuries, nolan suspended, today there was better team that start, watch alternates, maybe ryan taylor .
    ashley should sign, too many players beacause the team is short.

  • qtoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #37

    Wonder how Ferguson would’ve done down the left wing, with Jonas moving out on the right.

    You could tell Barton wanted to play in the middle today, leaving Simpson alone to get schooled by Ashley Young all day.

    There was no attacking mentality from midfield today unfortunately, and we play best when we are attacking. Not the end of the world, and not the most awful result considering how thin the squad is due to suspension and injury!

  • davybtoon

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #38

    on that performance can anyone really say they would care if barton n jose left bcoz i wouldnt, to say the feel good factor is gone is a joke we wer jus terrible simple, we lack pace n creativity the likes of which gervinho n players like that would bring

  • boater

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #39

    dougski- So why did we exit the january transfer window actually DOWN on squad numbers? No one brought in apart from a loanee who has yet to play.

    Xisco, Routledge, Kadar, Carroll left and NONE were replaced. Other clubs around us strengthened – and we managed to significantly reduce an already thin squad…

    the owner left the team to
    just struggle on.,, meanwhile keeping his finger’s crossed we’d just hobble over the finishing line.

    Injuries and suspensions you’re talking about happen to every club – we could and should have predicted that and not have been left with a bench that looked like a list of competition winners today.

  • Billy1985

    Apr 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #40

    terrible……………..he should of put barton in cm and had ryan taylor on right wing from the start but kuqi should of came on at least half time if not started because villa’s defence would of crap their selves with rangers pace but thats all he had today if that. s taylor better than williamson many arguements on this 1 and i am right williamson anyday taylor is a bull in a china shop. pl could have had two if ranger looked up in the 1st half. we should be safe but its still going to be a battle for sure.


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