These Were Newcastle’s Four Best Players Against Villa


One of the good things that emerged from the game on Tuesday night was the form of both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jack Colback who haven’t been at their best of late, but both players had good games against Aston Villa.

And both are in the top four of our Man of the Match poll for the game.

Henri Lansbury scoring that own goal
He looks in pain as karma comes back to bite him


Our best player on Tuesday night was Matt Ritchie and it’s good to see the former Bournemouth player full of confidence and running.

That’s important with Dwight Gayle again worryingly out of action for a number of games, after he had to leave the field after only 33 minutes with a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

Matt didn’t score but he was in the thick of things and it’s a great time for Matt to come into his best form and hopefully keep scoring goals for us over the next few weeks while Dwight is out.

Matt has 12 goals so far this season, eight behind top scorer Gayle.

Aleksandar Mitrovic finished second in the voting and the 22 year-old Serbian looked full of running and he’s coming into form after getting more playing time.

He led the line well and of he’s still a huge favorite with Newcastle fans and he looked a lot more confident on Tuesday night.

With that confidence Mitro can still be a big hero for us this season as we approach a crunch time of the season in the next few weeks.

Jonjo Shelvey plays well in almost every game for us these days and he was good again against Villa.

You could see his pent-up emotion after his nemesis Henri Lansbury kindly scored an own goal after 59 minutes to put us 2-0 up – Jonjo went bonkers in front of the Newcastle fans.

The former Liverpool playmaker is just one of the many players who have improved this season under the great coaching and guidance of Rafa Benitez.

Jack Colback just edges out the impressive DeAndre Yedlin for 4th place in the voting and the local lad played well especially in the second half and he ran his socks off for the cause.

His passing looked a lot better in the game and he had a great shot in the second half that was well saved by the Aston Villa goalkeeper.

With Isaac Hayden out for four weeks after ankle surgery, it’s important Jack shows his best form as we push and push for a win in every game.

It was a professional performance by the lads after a poor first half – but these are the types if wins we have to grind out in most of our remaining games if we are to make it back to the Premier League.

It doesn’t have to be pretty to be really effective.

That was a huge win for us on Tuesday night – there’s no doubt about that.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Aston Villa

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62 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Feb 22, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #1

    Perhaps Benitez has decided to up Colbacks remit from sound – deadener to being a little more forward push. He was a different player second half, the run for goal and shot, although creditable would probably have been better finished if his forward team mates had helped him out positionally instead of standing about watching it. Perhaps they were caught by surprise 🙂

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  • marshy

    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #2

    A very poor match, especially first half. very difficult to find a `man of the match` on this performance.

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  • martoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    Ed, I’m pretty sure I was at the match on Monday night and not Tuesday unless my player name memory loss is getting worse 😀

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #4

    Dominic Solanke’s old tam-mates at Vitesse Arnhem seem fairly sure he’s coming to us from Chelsea in the Summer.

    You can see the appeal to Rafa

    He’s very similar to Fernando Torres in his pomp.

    Tall , slim , happy to play on either wing or main central striker role plus a few games at AM.

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  • martoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #5

    Jib – Isn’t he the youngster who wanted something like £50k per week – not the best attitude?

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #6

    Martoon
    Yup he seems to know his worth.

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #7

    Sky seems to have gone into meltdown over the possibility of Rooney going to China.

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  • Mag52

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #8

    Fernando Torres still scoring for Atletico Madrid in the European Cup.
    Great player.

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  • catchy in norway

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #9

    we had a lot of good performances on tuesday, i took mitro because of the stick he had been getting.

    well lads, we only need to 7 out of the last 14 to go up.

    totally achievable

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #10

    Gayle out for a month
    We could easily miss out on automatic if mitro does not rise to the opportunity

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  • catchy in norway

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #11

    it was monday:/

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #12

    I don’t think 7 wins will be good enough it is looking like 93 points for auto as in 2013 /14
    So 8 wins assuming at least a draw with Huddersfield and Brighton
    All those nuggets who wanted Huddersfield to beat Brighton a few weeks ago are now very quite!!!!

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #13

    Catchy…So far we have a 68.75% win rate this season, so that does seem more than reasonable.

    Does anyone have access to those stats for games Gayle hasn’t featured? I can’t be bothered to check all fixtures and do the math.

    As everyone knows, the 3 away games after Bristol could be massively important. Do well in those and the rest should just be a formality.

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  • Tim the toon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #14

    Don’t think 90 points will be enough; can see Brighton and Huddersfield getting past 90 points. It’s going to come down to who’s squad can go the distance

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #15

    Looking at current form (last 6 games), which I understand doesn’t guarantee anything…

    NUFC to finish with 101 pts
    Brighton to finish with 93 pts
    Huddersfield to finish with 105

    That presumes that Huddersfield continue to win each game. At the same time, it also presumes we wont lose another game.

    Still way too early to call, all we do know is that it is still within our hands.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #16

    I don’t think we have lost a game where Gayle has been injured other than cup,but games have been scrappy and missed chances by the bucket load
    So hopefully the others have an opportunity to shine

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  • curmon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #17

    Ou rnext three away games will be critical to gaining an automatic promotion place. After these games our remaining fixtures are not too bad, But both Brighton & Huddersfield do not have any really difficult games either.

    We should be in a much better (or worse) position after Brighton, Huddersfield, Reading, all away.

    We need a definite improvement on Monday ‘s first half to get anything out of these games.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #18

    Ibiza
    I agree with your stats
    I guess the real question is we simply must not lose to Huddersfield or Brighton . These two games are likely to define the eventual outcome
    I hope fat Ashley is now realising that Rafa knew what was around the corner

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #19

    Curmon & Yorky….Definitely 2 key games, however, I should say, even if we lost both, winning / auto promotion would still be possible.

    I’d certainly not enjoy the ride though.

    I agree with an improvement in the 1st half from Monday. If we play like that against any of those 3 away games we will likely be punished, something Villa seem capable of doing to teams…thankfully.

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #20

    I’m not quiet Yorkymag nor a nugget.

    H/field are 5 points behind with a gd of +8 (ours is +37)

    You call me a nugget if you want .

    I’ll call you a windy coward.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #21

    In The last 6 seasons 93 points is the most a team has needed to go up automatic ,let’s hope it is true this season ,I think it could be too much for us to get above 100 this time

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #22

    Jib
    It would be much easier you just said you called it wrong

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  • Tim the toon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #23

    Don’t think we’ve conceded an away goal in the League since Blackburn on 2 Jan; we need to be that solid at the back until the end of the season, to get automatic promotion

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #24

    Ronald Fiddler (also known as Jamal al-Harith) was a Jihadi from Manchester.

    The UK government gave him £1m compensation for the US jailing him in Guantanamo.

    He blew himself up yesterday with a suicide belt in Mosul fighting for IS.

    Wierd world we live in.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #25

    At home I have doubts about how Rafa can set a team up to play against teams that we should be comfortably beating BUT I have no worries when it comes to playing away from home against our nearest rivals!

    Can see us suffocating Brighton , Reading and Huddersfield and collecting 2 wins and a draw out of those games!

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #26

    Yorky…I’m not much a fan of win percentages (I know I used them before) as it doesn’t take into account draws, which clearly are a defining line (1 point separates Brighton and us).

    To date this season we have a 73% points return (69 points of a possible 96). To reach 100 points (31 more, from a possible 42) we would need to have a 71% points return.

    It’ll be close, but if we can maintain our seasons form, we will be fine.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #27

    Lee
    I hope you are right
    I think Huddersfield will beat us and we wil draw at Brighton
    But let’s hope I am wrong
    Could not get an away ticket for Huddersfield but I have one in home section ,it will be hard to keep quite

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #28

    @yorky

    I have watched Huddersfield and I think they will be the hardest test although Rafa knows how to play against these type of teams would be better if Gayle was fit for them mind you

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #29

    Ibiza
    Yes and just under 60 % to get to 93
    So I guess the conclusion is it’s closer than we would all like but we are still in a strong place
    And on a positive realistically it’s now a 3 horse race

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #30

    Jeffery
    What has that got to do with NUFC?

    yorky
    Why do u think Huddersfield will beat us?

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #31

    If Brighton had beaten H/field on 2nd Feb
    They’d be on 71 points and we’d be on 69.
    It’s not a case of how it was called.
    It’s a case of being top of the league .

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #32

    Jib
    You still don’t get it
    The prize is the same 1st or 2nd

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  • Tim the toon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #33

    Huddersfield and Reading will see the games against us as “must win”, which will work to our advantage

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  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #34

    Jib…As you know, it depends on how you look at it.

    The season objective us to be promoted, nothing about actually winning it (although I’m sure both club and fans would prefer and are aiming for the win).

    Using your scenario, if Brighton had beaten Huddersfield, yes, we would be 2 points behind them, sat in 2nd place, but Huddersfield would be on 61 points, 8 behind us.

    It’s a point made on the idea of automatic promotion, not finishing as champions.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #35

    Wwsbrd
    I think they are as their name suggests terriers in midfield !!!and press so hi they will disrupt our build up from the back making it very difficult for the centre backs
    This was exactly how they beat us at sjp
    They also have some quality stickers and never give up ,just have a look at their late goal stats it’s pretty amazing

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #36

    WWSBRD
    What has that got to do with NUFC?
    Clearly nothing
    Like the odd RIP posted on occasion and other stuff.
    Don’t beat yourself up about it.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 22, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #37

    yorky
    All true (they are a decent champ team i admit) but we don’t concede many goals and we score a lot, our away form is great and we are better than them, I don’t see a reason to think they will win

    Plus their goal difference says it all compared to our

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  • Jib

    Feb 22, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #38

    Ibiza and Yorkymag
    I’m probably showing my age

    We have to win
    We have to win
    We have to win

    but as you say – no shame in going up 2nd

    Your pragmatic approach probably has more merit.

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  • yorkymag

    Feb 22, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #39

    Let’s hope you are right
    It will be a massive game that’s for sure

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 22, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #40

    Jeffery
    U are an nonsense creature aren’t u

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