Aston Villa have been on an alarming run of form in the Championship and in their eight league games this year they have lost seven and drawn one – that’s one point from the last 24 and that’s alarming in anybody’s language.
Maybe one of the reasons for that is that Steve Bruce is blooding his new signings from January immediately as he tries to get a decent team together this season that can challenge for promotion next season.
But the Geordie manager has to ensure the unthinkable doesn’t happen and Villa are relegated again.
That’s very unlikely but would also be a tragedy for the famous Aston Villa club who won the European Cup back in 1982.
Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce before the game
Things are not great in Villa land at the moment as you may expect and the reports of last night’s game were not positive.
But Villa looked a good side in that first half and Newcastle couldn’t get going at all and we were second best before Yohan Gouffran scored a scrappy but very important goal just before the interval.
And then the pantomime villain and future Hollywood motion picture star Henri Lansbury scored an own goal to add to his and to Villa’s embarrassment.
After that Newcastle played the game out, but not before Karl Darlow made a terrific save to keep the clean sheet and it was good to see Karl’s confidence has not been affected by his blunder at Norwich City.
Here’s portions of the report in the Birmingham Mail last night after the game:
“This was a fixture billed so exciting that it was re-arranged for live screening.”
“A game between two Championship heavyweights who were tipped to both challenge for promotion this season.”
“But there was only ever going to be one winner once the deadlock was broken.”
Newcastle, who were not at their best, returned to the top of the table while Villa continue to nervously look over their shoulders as just six points separate them from dropping into the bottom three.”
“It’s now 12 years and counting since Villa won at this venue and there’s a good chance they won’t be lining up against them in the league next term.”
“Had it not been for a number of decent saves from Sam Johnstone, the scoreline could have been even more damning.”
“It’s now nine games without a win for Bruce’s men and they’re struggling to show signs of turning it around.”
And to make it worse, striker Scott Hogan was stretchered off with a nasty-looking ankle injury late in the game.
When things are bad they always seem to get that little bit worse – we found that out over the last two seasons.
Here’s the full report of last night’s game in the Birmingham Mail from journalist Gregg Evans.
It was a terrific win for Newcastle after a slow and poor start and now we need Huddersfield playing at home to Reading to draw their game tonight so we can gain 2 points on both clubs.
Nothing like being greedy.