We’ve always thought Roberto Di Matteo was a very good manager from the time he was the young 39 year-old manager of West Brom, when we were both pushing for promotion in the 2009-2010 and both achieved the two automatic promotion spots with Newcastle finally coming out on top with 102 points.
It seems as if it will not that easy this time around, but that first half performance – even the first 70 minutes – saw Newcastle play some good stuff but we missed far too many of our chances.
The game should have been won at half time – but it wasn’t.
The two top managers on the sidelines on Saturday
Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez
In his summary of the game on the Aston Villa web-site Roberto rightly praised Villa for their comeback over the final 20 minutes of the game – and he also praised Newcastle who he believes are very good.
This is some of what Roberto had to say after the game:
“I think certainly the second half was very good. We really put them under pressure, especially the last half an hour.”
“We created a lot of good opportunities and got ourselves into very good positions but just missed that man at the end of a cross or pass or pull-back. We controlled the second half much, much better. “
“We were more positive with the ball. We showed that we can turn a game around, even though we didn`t win it. We had plenty of chances to win it.”
‘Our challenge is to turn the draws into wins. We have drawn games and that`s what the table reflects. This is our challenge. We have got close a few times.”
“It was great to see the spirit from the team today – coming back from one-down to earn a draw against a very good Newcastle team that is defensively very solid.”
“We managed to create some good chances, equalized and tried to go on and win the game as well.’
There is a growing rivalry between Aston Villa and Newcastle United as we both find ourselves in the Championship – where neither club should be.
Our decline has been similar – we have had poor owners and the clubs have been ineptly and incompetently managed over the last several years – and both finally paid for that and took the drop last season.
How do Sunderland keep surviving?
Both clubs have hired top class managers, so we’ll just have to see how we fare from now on, but with just 16 points form our first 9 games we had hoped to have more points on the board by now – but yes – the season has only just begun in the big scheme of things.
We still have 37 games to play – just less than a full Premier League season.
Next up are Norwich at home on Wednesday and they’ve won five league games in a row – so they are due a defeat.
Howay the Lads!!