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Aston Villa Sack Roberto Di Matteo

9:35 am, Monday, October 3rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 127 Comments

Aston Villa have just sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo after the relegated club made a poor start to the season and were beaten 2-0 at Preston on Saturday after they managed to get a last minute equalizer against us the previous weekend.

There were rumors over the weekend that Chinese owner Dr. Tony Xia would take that action and certainly the new owner seems to be very impatient since Roberto was in the job just over 17 weeks.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.


Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez at Villa Park just over a week ago

An Aston Villa club statement read as follows:

“Aston Villa Football Club has today parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo.”

“The club decided to act following a run of disappointing results which has the left the team occupying 19th position in the Championship.”

“The club would like to place on record its appreciation to Roberto for all his efforts in helping rebuild the squad and wish him well for the future.”

“Steve Clarke will take over as caretaker manager during the search for a new manager. “There will be no further comment from the club.” Newcastle drew 1-1 with Villa at Villa Park nine days ago.

Steve Clark was assistant manager to Ruud Gullit at Newcastle back in 1998 and was formerly the manager of West Brom.

Villa were in an awful mess this summer so they haven’t given their new manager Roberto much time to fix things at Villa Park have they?

This leaves Rafa Benitez as the only Champions League winning manager in the Championship.

But Rafa has also won the Europa League twice – once with Valencia and once with Liverpool – after he famously won the European top prize with Liverpool in 2005 against AC Milan in that classic when they were 3-0 down at half time.

That was Rafa’s first season with Liverpool and his teams never give up, as we found out last Wednesday night.

So will Villa now try to sign Sam Allardyce or will it be Geordie Steve Bruce?

Both are available and both have experience getting teams promoted from the Championship.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News

127 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cyprus // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Last repost:
    On your interesting previous article, we aren’t the come back kings yet, hope we become that but you can’t use a game to justify a new culture.
    We broke the PL record by coming back from 4-0 down, that wasn’t followed up on other occasions.
    In any case, such results are freak results, albeit confidence is needed to pull them off and not give up, but 9 out of 10 they don’t happen too often.

    On the City game you use as an example, it’s our typical good half bad half characteristic (as is good game bad game). We are improving on that, but it still happens. In that particular game, it’s hard to justify 6 conceded, but let me give it a shot to defend the indefensible ? Really, we were 2 up, a perfectly good goal was disallowed. That’s not my opinion, video showed it. So we would’ve maybe gone into the break at 2 up, a different prospect. Also, top players like Aguero and DeBruyne were absolutely on fire. Everything they tried (see wonder goals), worked. That doesn’t happen every day.

    Rafa is instilling a winning mentality and we’ll need that. But he’ll be the first to admit we still need work. The odd collapse is lurking, see Wolves

  • 2 lesh // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Jeez, Ed’s buses are coming at some speed – his keyboard must be ready for replacement soon!

  • 3 cyprus // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    On this, yes, expected. The Villa project still in disarray.

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Three reports Cyprus??

  • 5 lochinvar // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Sunderland captain John O’Shea says the club are not in crisis despite their latest draw against West Brom. The Black Cats have not won a Premier League game since May. (Telegraph)

    Perhaps Moyes is then man for Villa then, and the Mackens can sign MacLaren as he lives not too far away and it’s an easy commute

  • 6 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Quite right. Unless they’ve got a duff squad, which they haven’t, then 12 games is plenty. This idea that managers need time is a monumental furphy. De Matteo was backed with the money and the brief to take them straight back up, and in reality was more likely to take them down.

  • 7 WorJordi // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    I reckon our country cousins will regret their big fly past after we were relegated
    Goes round comes round eh?
    They are going to struggle this season and unless Moyes comes up with a miracle they could be passing us as we go up
    Lets hope so

  • 8 cyprus // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Sorry, didn’t understand mate

  • 9 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Are you the poster formerly known as just Jimmysmith

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    When there are so few posters on, I’d say that every post on every thread gets read, there isn’t any need to repost a comment three times.

  • 11 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    hahaha, yes of course. You’re allowed a nickname and username I discovered. “Jimmy Smith” the name, “Jimmy…….Jimmy……..Jimmysmith,” the immortal Gallowgate End terrace chant.

  • 12 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Jail- Are you leaving?

  • 13 BandB // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    There are comments sections all over the internet.
    The people who leave comments on them are just people who leave comments on the internet.
    I don’t know another one anywhere where people claim to read because they are a huge fan of another person who comments in the same place, and that they eagerly read get their daily digest of news and opinion from that sage person who comments on a comments section.
    It just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t even happen on this comment section. Except in a couple of remarkably unlikely instances.

  • 14 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Saying that the Man City result wasn’t a one off, McCardew’s teams took more 5+ hidings between them than all of our PL managers combined.

  • 15 clinath@ed // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    BandB @ 13…..that made my eyes hurt

  • 16 Ibizatoon // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    BandB…I get it all the time tbf.

    In fact, I’m fairly certain all comment sections on the internet are only there in case I feel the need to pass comment so the masses can soak it up.

    It’s a lot of responsibility.

  • 17 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    I wonder if that’s why Benitez got rid of Krul, a 5+ hiding should live with you forever but Krul was so used to them it was the norm.

  • 18 Mister Tuff // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Ian Toon – you need to stop your blog mischief – like you tried to start again earlier this morning.
    Someone just happened to mention to you an old post about me – well what a coincidence. Yer right Buster.
    You just made that up didn’t you -as a means to introduce more of your mischief.
    You and your cronies are spoiling the blog – give it a rest man.

  • 19 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:59 AM


    Quite right. The nearest I can get to some poster reading a blog just for one player’s contribution though is a recent comment by an infrequent poster “Old git 1” but he only refers to Jib being one of his favourites so perhaps doesn’t count.

    Have to say that whilst Jib isn’t one of my favourites or my goto for info on here I thought Okdgit1 wasn’t unreasonable in his remarks otherwise. Perhaps he is just part of the multiples but I suspect he is just someone that gets his fix for NUFC on here and gets irritated at the slanging matches that some indulge themselves in instead of posting views on other than other posters most of the time.

  • 20 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    Yedlin has the chance to partake in a piece of sporting history on Friday in Havana.

  • 21 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    I feel for all the posters who regularly frequented the blog for their daily fix of news from yours truly. They must be devastated since I’ve been on hiatus. How ever will they survive, it would explain Ian’s infrequent blog presence, admittedly not as infrequent as the populus would like…

  • 22 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    I sometimes wonder if Ed has time to read the reactions on his threads why he doesn’t seek to halt all the squabbling that passes for comment. Perhaps he has enough on his plate and a post is just a score on a system that enables him to provide this vehicle for us ALL to enjoy.

  • 23 lochinvar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Talking of chants……some names fit terrace chants perfectly… childhood days at Carlisle legendary no 9 was Hugh McIlmoyle

    ” Hughie Hughie McIlmoyle ( pause) Hughie.. McIlmoyle ” ( repeat as required )

    nearly in the same mould but just as good !

    ” Rafa Rafa..Ben-itez ( pause ) Rafa…Benitez “

  • 24 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Am I your favourite poster 😀

  • 25 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    It is the 70th anniversary this Wednesday the 5th October of Len Shackleton’s debut for NUFC.

    We beat Newport County 13 – 0 that day
    Shack scored 6 goals including the fastest hattrick in history (155 seconds).

    He cost the club princely sum of £13,000 !

  • 26 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:13 AM


    There are too many to mention but you are one I read and digest unlike some others 🙂

  • 27 Spoof // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:14 AM


    Apart from Jib who is your favourite poster !!!!!!!!!

  • 28 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Shack, bloody Mackem.

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    It’s a toss up between welshgeordie9 and Ian Toon.

  • 30 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    I prefer to contemplate the narrative rather than digest the pithy observarions. Other than that, no comment.

  • 31 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Rafa can be forgiven for having a chuckle to himself after this weekend.

    After 7 games Zidane’s Madrid are on the same points as they were under Benitez last season.

  • 32 BandB // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    It’s remarkable how rarely people take the time to say they’ve logged in especially to thank Ed for his daily toil of at least a dozen articles a day.
    Why? Because the internet doesn’t generally work that way.
    Normally if you want a devoted admirer on the internet you have to make them up.

  • 33 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Actually, I take that back. An undeserving and vicious slur. He just took exception to the Newcastle Utd of his day being a modern day workhouse.

  • 34 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    it’s hard to pass by Ian Toons posts without appreciating the gift to journalism they are. And of course the insight into the enlightened sphere he occupies. Perhaps my favourite poster of all time.

  • 35 Belfast // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Inside information from me as per usual.

    Belfast // Sep 26, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    I don’t think he’s a very good manager

    I think it’s a toss up between him and Nigel Pearson another overrated manager for the first sacking.

  • 36 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Apart from last night which was a bit of a cack fest, but hey ho can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs.

  • 37 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    My favourites are those who give considered opinions on matches they have attended (especially as streams aren’t as easy to come by) , insights into Rafa’s choices and why others may not figure in line up, references to matches gone by (and music!) Even though I don’t always fully subscribe to their viewpoint. There are of course other posts which catch the eye and either make you smile or consider more deeply.

    Ones I don’t like are those who display a limited vocabulary and punctuate even a few words post with expletives that are unnecessary on a Blog intended for all generations to read. Obviously those who mainly post to provoke or denigrate others instead of concentrating on giving their unique views on all things NUFC are also an irritation.

    As we are in an International break again I suppose there are more squabbles to come but I will read as usual and hope for better – if an infrequent poster can have the temerity to harbour such a wish for my amusement 🙂

  • 38 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Belfast that’s why Ian Toon fawns over you. And rightly so.

  • 39 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Anyway that’s me done provoking and denigrating for a while.

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Your scoop on Armstrong to Ipswich was a bit of a non starter mind. You would have had the cleanest hoop in Ireland if that had of come off.

  • 41 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Thauvin scored for Marseilles in a 1-1 draw away to Angers–analyse-et-notes–166169.html

  • 42 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:34 AM


    Nah you don’t even come close to the big boys and girls

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Which one was that again?

  • 44 Belfast // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    I should really be on twatter I’m wasted on here. A major talent unfulfilled.

    Picture the scenes #rightagain #IamBelfast

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    You’d be guaranteed four followers as well!

  • 46 Belfast // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Ah ya see Jail these deals change all the time in football. Armstrong to Ipswich was 90% done but he wanted to be closer to his mammy so Barnsley won the race.

  • 47 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Sting turned 65 yesterday (now a pensioner)
    That makes me feel REALLY old !

  • 48 Belfast // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Di Matteo getting the boot is actually bad news because they’ll get someone better in who’ll do a better job. I reckon they’ll go for Steve Bruce myself. He won’t be a popular choice mind but a far better chance of getting promoted so they’ll stomach it.

  • 49 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    I read the other day a bit of frustration among some posters that Benitez seems at times to like rotation for the sake of it over and above the dictate of form. I suppose at first glance it’s understandable when a player has been blinder and is promptly ‘dropped ‘ for the following game. I think rafa is working to the model as the whole squad being his potential first 11, not that he’s still making his mind up what his best team is, but gradually working towards the inevitable season end attrition of players which will leave him no choice at some point but to play one player week after week in a position because he is the last man standing. If he happens to be what many consider the second choice, at least he won’t be coming in cold after sitting out the best part of the Season on the bench waiting for an opportunity. Psychologically everyone in the squad knows they are involved as part of the “first team” and that if they last the course they may be top pick. it’s a winning and inclusive mentality that scores over the “play on merit” idea, and it’s ideally suited for the job at hand, not to mention repairing what has been disastrous morale for who knows how many seasons.

  • 50 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Aye Sting is re-releasing some old Police hits to celebrate his bus pass

    Don’t Stand,
    Don’t Stand
    Don’t Stand
    Too long I’ve just had my knee done and it’s a bit swollen…

  • 51 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    When you look at his list of honours and awards it’s very difficult to argue that the policy doesn’t work.

  • 52 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:48 AM


    Possibly right about Bruce but as an ex-Brummie manager he won’t get an easy ride to start with (think I am right about Brummie spell but stand to be corrected by those who luv it)

    Of course owner may not be looking at Brits but look wider afield which could be another mistake. Quite happy for that to happen and keep them away from promotion 🙂

  • 53 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Belfast I think Villas problems are more deep rooted than manager-fixable ones.

  • 54 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Hobbling on the moon.

  • 55 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Every wheeze you take.

  • 56 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:53 AM


    I only bring this up as others have this morning and feel I’ve every right to question.

    Can you show me where Oldgit wasn’t being unreasonable? A fool, self indulgent, childlike and (obviously) a mackem to boot.

    Yes, I can see how that’s being reasonable.

    The conversation or ridicule of field Marshall Von jizz for yet another gaff had nothing at all to do with him (obviously we’re on the internet so anyone can join in) but he was never mentioned. Not once. Yet “stuck his nose in” after telling WW he shouldn’t “stick his nose in” all for jizz.

    October 2, 2016
    Average contents, can you wind your neck in, you contribute nothing but abuse and have petty arguments.
    Are you so deprived of attention that you have to resort to insulting behaviour on EDs blog. You sir are a fool, self indulgent and I suspect is a mackam.

    Jib is a favorite poster of mine as a few others, you are however are not. Too childlike.

  • 57 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Tsunki @49

    Good post – said something similar few weeks back 🙂 but still struggle to enjoy the ramifications in terms of enjoyable performances.

    Am a little concerned at lack of rotation at striker and perseverance with Diame which I read as being lack of realistic choices at moment. Need alternatives to improve soon or in Jan

  • 58 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    It must be an awful feeling to secretly want the team to lose so that you can leave a told you I was right all along type post, and there are a few of them around.

  • 59 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:55 AM


    Are you saying he has you wrong? Ok you aren’t a Mackem – best I can do sorry.

  • 60 Belfast // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Yes he does have a Birmingham past that’s why he won’t be a popular choice. I think with the players they have they should be doing much better. Bruce would certainly do a much better job imo

  • 61 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Don’t stand so close to me
    (I’ve pissed me pants again )

  • 62 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Jail – Yep. What I’m saying though is that in the Prem, La Liga, Serie A etc, it may be seen to have limitations where you really do have to try and keep a best 11 out there all the time to be in with title chances. Rotation only really occurs in the less important matches, but the players selected for those know they aren’t ‘ getting their chance’ at all. They’re just padding a team out.

    Here in the championship, the budget for a capable and all-round good squad which has many permutations of a good team possible really can work. The summer sales of ‘top’ players and replacing the chaff with a solid workable squad with good work ethic and professional attitude I think has created an inclusive environment where everyone feels involved and responsible. I think this works especially well in this league and with the job at hand. If we do get promoted, I will be very interested to see how Rafa continues this model, if he can.

  • 63 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:57 AM


    The Blog has never been far away from that scenario just different circumstances now 🙂

  • 64 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Jail @58 well you won’t hear me banging that drum 😉

  • 65 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Driven to tears
    (by this bloody arthritis)

  • 66 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    This is worth a play on Sting’s birthday

  • 67 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Wheels of Gold.

    Catchy tune that

  • 68 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    If there wasn’t rotation there’d be no Rafa bingo.

  • 69 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Do you mean wheels of old.

  • 70 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:04 PM


    Have never wanted Bruce here but I agree good appointment for promotion prospects just not sure he has the credentials to do more than keep them lower table if they go up.

    Faced with choices as we are/were with players – buy for now or future and do you even have a choice.

    Chopping and Changing managers as Villa and Mackems have done is never a recipe for consolidation nevermind progression. Like the Mackems though I couldn’t really care just have an academic interest in their troubles 🙂

  • 71 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Local Hero – nuff said. I love that tune on matchday, it really stirs the crowd. Made all the better because he’s not singing on it!

  • 72 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM


    Unless we have a serious bout of injuries (God forbid!) Firebug probably already has that won with a record score of 3 (I think?)

  • 73 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    “You’ll remember me
    When the west wind moves
    Er.. when the er….
    You’ll remember….er….er…”

  • 74 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM


    If people don’t like my comments then they don’t have to read them. I’ve always said that nor does it bother me.

    People could say the same to me regarding the shite jizz posts but and it’s a big but, I’m a NUFC fan and can’t abide by a shitstirring little guttersnipe with mackem tendencies who’s sole intention is to cause unrest with his mates.

    Why should he get an easy ride after all the tripe, racist, homophobic and disgusting comments he’s left for all too see. Please don’t say that you’ve never seen them (anyone)

    I need my mouth washing out occasionally I’ll agree and do use swear words. Mainly to jizz and his cohorts. I’m not a racist or homophobe though.

    Call that what you want but I say it as I see it and I just can’t stand bullshitters.

    It’s that simple for me.

  • 75 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    I always think I can pick a better team than the manager, no matter who it is. Gayle up top on his own, again. Sigh! Diame in the hole, again. Groan! Dummet left back, again. Low muttering! I’m starting to think Rafa’s being deliberately obtuse in this regard, to keep us keen.

  • 76 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:08 PM


  • 77 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:08 PM


    I’m not arsed if anyone doesn’t read that last post or this 🙂

  • 78 ScoopSouthAfrica // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    JIB @ 25
    Seeing you brought up the Clown Prince it reminded me of a story I once heard that he did not get on with Trevor Ford when he was at Sunderland. Trevor always complained he was putting the crosses to far ahead of him to reach. Shack supposedly said do you want the ball to have the lace facing you or facing away when you head it……..
    Hearsay or reality.

  • 79 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:11 PM


    I am sure you know that is one of Knopflers and not Sumner’s – The Borg (is it?) will be after you 🙂

  • 80 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Nobody spot the deliberate mistake? 🙂

  • 81 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Well done magscar! Wondered how long I’d be waiting… 🙂

  • 82 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Steve Bruce was SBR’s choice to take over before he was disgustingly sacked, I think he’d have done alright before he tainted himself for life down the road.

  • 83 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    I was just waiting for someone to tie dire straits and Sting together in some way. Then push them into the Tyne ha ha no stop that it’s not nice…

  • 84 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Oh wait. I do care. I’m self indulgent.


    Hasn’t the cardboard soaked it up yet? If it hasn’t just drink it, it’ll probably taste of white lighting anyway.

  • 85 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    There would have been more outsize shops at the metro to this day if Brucie had been our gaffer that’s for sure.

  • 86 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    There is a Jacamo though so you never know…

  • 87 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Magscar, I was waiting to see what level of abuse I got before deciding to post. 🙂 I had Di Matteo to be the first major head to roll a couple of weeks ago. Had to happen at Villa, with them being such a huge club and struggling. Can’t see where they’ll get a more high profile manager from, but then, neither could I care. Let them crash and burn – we won’t be the only club smiling! 🙂

  • 88 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:19 PM


    It is this simple for me

    Would you consider your language and frequency of it at all times of day (not just in drink) by you or others as reasonable in front of your young son if not remember we aren’t all old fogies on here.

    If you do then I genuinely feel sorry for the lad -although his (and your charitable efforts are to be encouraged).

    Not being a prude just fed up with the venom and inappropriateness of your language on here a lot of the time. You don’t care what I think I appreciate but just taking a leaf from Mister Tuff’s book and saying what I think is right.

  • 89 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Magscar @57 – yes it’s as I thought it would pan out at the beginning of the Season, when the initial hysteria was in full swing, everyone thinking we would bulldoze the league. It was an entirely fresh squad, no implementation had been made with this system, plenty of kinks and duffers to sort out. I’m actually pleased that at this stage we are, kicking and screaming, being dragged by our toes up the table. I think we will become a better TV spectacle in the last half of the Season though.

  • 90 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Tsunki, did you not see the waiting… post after it? Nor the deliberate mistake post? Wakey wakey! 🙂

  • 91 expatmag // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    JIB @ 47

    Sting is here in Melbourne at present. He was the star pre game entertai ment before our AFL grand final last saturday. He wasnt too bad considering he just stepped off a long haul flight from New York

  • 92 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:25 PM


    Yet you mention jizz’s language or use of sexism, homophobic or racist comments not once but decide to pull me up and bring my son into it for saying fcuk or spunktrumpet.

    Can you not see the hypocrisy in that.

    I very rarely drink if ever either. It’s just the way I am. I have no excuse but at least I’m a straight shooter unlike some.

  • 93 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Yeah I noticed it Bobby I thought Jib was going to do a Google on it.

  • 94 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:26 PM


    Yeah but we would all rather a QPR than a Rotherham but the reality is the latter and Bristol City type are the ones that will achieve promotion .

    It’s the Home performances against what will become a common enough set up by opposition sides good or bad that worry me a little but Rafa will get it right most of the time.

  • 95 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:27 PM


    You are right you have no excuse. Two wrongs never made a right either.

  • 96 Jail for Ashley // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Someone posted that they were enjoying West Hams demise the other week, personally I’m not but would gladly see Villa drop down another division.
    I read that Spurs were going to knock down the stadium and build a proper dedicated football stadium on the land, it might end up costing West Ham a lot more than the cost of a new stadium, the atmosphere is supposed to be graveyard like now, what’s it going to be like with only 20K in there.

  • 97 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Average- In reading back for the postings I mentioned earlier this morning, I noticed a number of random posts from you frequently in tandem with said reprobate. Having read oldgits postings allied to the aforementioned it’s clear to me that you fancy your chances as the blogs embittered nutter but you’ve got a hard act to follow. Just grow up and drop the puerile abuse.

    As oldgit said you’re too old for an angry young man role. Just try and think of something to post on football and not a running commentary of your perception of my lifestyle. You know it makes sense- mind in your case – you probably don’t but ……!!

  • 98 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    I think the home performances are an anomaly. I think over the coming months we will see that as growing pains.

  • 99 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Tsunki @89, that’s pretty much what I’ve been saying for weeks mate. All players capable of stepping in any time, because they’ve done it before. Two teams, not just one, capable of promotion and the interlink when and where required. When other clubs are struggling with injury and fatigue, we’ll be putting out a strong team. It’s how he works and he won’t change it because a few people on here don-t like it.

  • 100 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    Ian – Good grief you never miss an opportunity. Keep the home fires burning eh?

  • 101 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    I never said I do it because he does if that’s what your getting at with the two wrongs.

    Yes, it’s just me who swears on here.

    I await your disgust and telling off when someone else does.

    I imagine I’ll be waiting a long time though eh?

    As I said, hypocrisy reigns supreme when it boils down to certain posters (who aren’t favourites of course)

  • 102 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    Jail, agree mate, west ham are a proper club at heart with loyal fans, whereas villa are… well, villa. A club with delusions of granduer and fickle part time supporters. Their crowds say it all.
    There are big problems at west ham though. More trouble with boro on saturday, that’s every home game this season. I dread to think what’ll happen when Chelsea go there in the cup, with double the allocation. I predict a riot!

  • 103 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:38 PM


    My comments re your son are relevant as I would like to encourage my Grandson to come on here but I don’t feel it is appropriate quite a lot of the time. Shame as I am sure Ed never set it up to be the Hate filled arena it becomes at times. By far the majority on here have the commonsense and good manners in the real world not to stoop to the levels of what passes for blogging.

    In this wonderful new football landscape that we are all enjoying (or should be!) there are still old battles regularly being fought.

    It is difficult to gauge what may be the level of the silent majority who visit here but rarely if ever post but they clearly do exist. It is not a welcoming place for new posters from first hand experience and observation but I have made point several times to no avail before and it is a cliche often ridiculed by the sarcastic and clever posters on here when looking for fresh meat. Shame again.

  • 104 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Average may be swinging Mjolnir now lol but there’s plenty of provocation to be had. Just look back at the posts last night in context and there was less footy and more sly digs going on. I especially liked the Reverend getting dischuffed at not being acknowledged for his merciful and gracious donations. How Horrid! A lack of recognition for such benevolence! Where is my fully deserved praise!!!!!

  • 105 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Hello Ian

    I wondered how long it’d be before you slithered out of your cesspit.

    Are you the only one making an appearance today or are your favourite posters who you wait around for likely to pop on for a jolly?

    Stick to what you know. Naff all.

  • 106 BandB // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:40 PM


    Are you looking for fair dealing in this conversation?

    You may as well ask Sooty to stick a big sharp knife into Sweep’s belly.

    It’s never going to happen.

  • 107 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Anyway. As Ian says, and does, let’s stick to footy talk eh?

  • 108 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Tsunki- Think what you like Buster. You would never behave like that referencing family etc. You don’t know the half of it- I am clear on that much and for all your bravado you would behave in exactly the same decent way.

  • 109 Spoof // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:42 PM


    I don’t particularly like the rotation policy, however I think you may be slightly missing the point, although I don’t particularly like it I can see the benefits of it, keeping players on their toes and hopefully later in the season where fatigue sets in with so many over played players at others clubs we will still be fit and raring to go, so yes I can see why he does it, but I’m not sure if it’s for the best as I can see the fluidity of the team struggling to cope with the constant changes, for me rotation and not Wolves beat us, we really were disjointed and we looked like a team who didn’t know one another, the two points lost against Villa was certainly not due to rotation as we were fluent and we should have beat them, that was solely down to the players having an off day.

    But the point which I feel that you could be missing, and I say this solely on your well used point that all we have to do is look at his record as it speaks for itself, hard to debate against that one but debate I will, in my opinion Rafa is a very good manager and I am delighted that he is here with us, yes I know that he rotates and I don’t like the rotation but even so I am still pleased that he is with us as he is still good but in my opinion I honestly feel that he would be even better if at times he would go 3/4 games with an unchanged team.

    Just because I am sceptical about the rotation doesn’t mean that I don’t rate him or wish he wasn’t here, my view that he would be an even better manager if he changed his rotation policy cannot be proved nor can it be disproved, for me what makes Rafa such a good manager is due to him being an absolutely fantastic tactician, for me that is what makes him so good and it’s certainly not the rotation policy.

    So when it comes to one or two of us who doubt the rotation policy could we stop using his record as a comeback because that isn’t really the point, the point is some of us believe that as good as he is, he would be better if he abandoned the rotation policy, but like I say, that cannot be proved or disproved, but I did feel that it was necessary to make that point clear, not liking a certain aspect of a manager doesn’t mean that we don’t like, rate or want him.

  • 110 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    ..dont forget Sooty has to say “I unseam’d him from nave to chaps” before dancing on his disembowelled socky body.

  • 111 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    You must be referring to my post on the Villa sacking before it was announced.

  • 112 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Spoof – the thing is with the rotation policy is that like anything worthwhile perfecting, getting to that state where you can actually do it well requires training and practice. I think it already scores on the morale front which I think is a good 60% of the battle, but I think the players as the season wears on will fall into a mindset where they know a squad-wide system and things will click. I think it’s fairly remarkable given how ‘unsettled’ the system can appear to be that we are still getting results even though atm they seem to be ground out at times. it’s worth persevering with if only for the moment things aint actually broke

  • 113 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    I don’t know how the dance would go, having no feet an’ all

  • 114 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    There’s a wise old saying that goes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Rafa’s system works perfectly well. Why would he even consider changing it? Nobody has to like it, but the reality is he’s not going to change a system that’s brought him so much success. The wolves game was because players couldn’t trap the ball, or pass it ten yards without giving it away. The team played badly. We won’t win every game, that’s just football, but we’re third now and only three points off top spot. He’s also made changes in all the games we’ve won…

  • 115 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    I’m not sure rotation is quite the word. Anita, Lascelles, Dummett, Shelvey, Diame, Ritchie, Gouffran and Gayle appear to be regulars. Sels and Mbemba also favoured, but now apparently dropped for Clark and Darlow. The rotation seems in actual fact limited to between Colback and Hayden.

  • 116 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:57 PM


    Agree with that.

    I do tone down in real life, like around the wife’s Nan (dangerzone that one) my kids and other children.

    My issue is you’ve not told anyone else bar me. You mention old battles and I remember ours well.

    Perhaps that’s why.


    I know.

  • 117 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Oct 3, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Let’s not forget that Rafa hasn’t had an overly long time with this full squad – a matter of months and considering that we’ve got basically 16/17 players who could all legitimately be calling out for a starting spot, a bit of rotation is to be expected.

    I think when we’re in the latter stages of the season, and the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton and Norwich are running out of steam and we have a squad of fresh first team players running rings round our opponents we’ll be glad of this early season rotation.

    11 games in and we’re 3 points off the top, it’s not a bad start and as far as I’m concerned it can only get better.

  • 118 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Must be something in the air today. Swansea sack their manager too.

  • 119 Average_Contents // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    “I see that Villa are said to be looking for a new manager”

    Your claiming a scoop on “are said”.

    That was mentioned before our game with them. He had two games to save his job.

    If you’d of got the scoop wouldn’t the wording of been “villa are looking for a new manager”

    As I said, stick to what you know. Naff

  • 120 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Bobby bee- If we had secured a top flight Striker we could probably kill off games sooner. I accept the view that it takes time for a team to gel and with rotation probably longer – I reckon more than 11games anyway. We should be equipped for covering injuries and suspensions in the second half of season.

  • 121 Spoof // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    That’s the debate for me though Bobby, yes Rafa is a good manager, I’m going to do a Jail here, look at his record !!!!!, but is Rafa good because of his rotation policy, lets face it there are many successful managers who use the play them again and don’t change a winning team method so to say it’s the selection policy which works cannot be proven as other methods which are vastly different to Rafa’s also work.

    As I said earlier, I think the rotation policy is stopping him from being even better than what he already is, for me he is an incredible tactician and that is what is making him so good.

    This is one of those debates which only Rafa can sort out, and for him to do that he would have to abandon the policy and then see if he is better for it or not, and as you say he will not do that just because one or two know nothings like me want him too, so we will all just have to accept the policy and see where it takes us, we will get promoted bye the way, and we will win the league as well, and next season in the PL we will do well there as well, I don’t doubt that at all as he is good, but I still feel that he could be a bit better if he stuck to even just having an unchanged spine in the side.

  • 122 Tsunki // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Not sure about rotation, Jimmy? By my quick scanning I make it 24 out of 27 squad members have made a first team appearance so far this season, and only 7 have made less than 5. That looks pretty rotatey to me. 🙂

  • 123 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:09 PM


    I remember my battles with BandB and Tuff but struggle to recall more than an odd skirmish with you – sorry.

    I rarely engage with you actually as you rarely post much of relevance to NUFC or what you do is of the obvious or rhetorical kind that I have no particular slant on.

    You are by no means alone in that so please don’t take offence as there are many others i rarely engage with just a few are Welshie,. Jib, Ian Toon .


    The old evenhanded approach eh? You are a card. take lessons from you and Tuff Ha ha

  • 124 toontaff2 // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Unlike some, I am like an elephant – never forgetting, or missing the chance of revenge!!!!
    I love seeing those awful Villains in the mire – there were some pleasant old school, older Villa fans in the pub before the game saying they would miss us in the PL. Then a gang of thugs came in and kicked off causing the bar to shut, we were not able to pay for it- shame!
    Throughout the game they taunted us.
    Then the nasty yamyams pelted us with rocks in the coach park, with their useless coppers doing nothing.
    I hope they get relegated again – my next most hated club to the scum!

  • 125 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    How many starts?

  • 126 Bobbybee // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:12 PM

    Ian, I agree on the striker issue. Hard to ctiticise a striker who just scored a hattrick, but six chances per goal isn’t prolific in any league. As long as we can keep creating lots of chances, he’ll get his share of goals without doubt. Hopefully, also, as he keeps scoring, his confidence will increase and goals will come easier. I’m happy with our current situation and strongly believe we will go up as champions.

  • 127 bettyswallocks // Oct 3, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    There seem to be quite a few clubs where the owners like to be involved in all aspects of running things including team selection. Managers are getting sacked as a matter of course now after a run of defeats despite past achievements.
    I think we should embrace the long overdue appointment of Rafa as a manager that has enough respect from our owner to be entrusted with the running of the club with no interference.
    Rafa has always favoured the rotation policy and will continue to do so when we are back in the PL. We will have to learn to accept it as I’m sure he won’t be swayed.

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