Picture courtesy of www.nufcblog.co.uk
I have to admit to being somewhat bored with trying to drum up some optimism lately, but I’m going to give it another try.
Let’s keep things simple. Newcastle have won their last two games, against Tottenham away and Liverpool at home (by two goals, no less). God knows where they got them from, as I think they’re a poor side, but they got them and it puts us in an even worse situation.
Whereas we can’t beg a win, full stop.
So where’s the optimism here?
Ok, I lied. I don’t have any.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we have the most gutless bunch of non-fighting wimps that I’ve ever seen grace the hallowed turf at Villa park.
That said, I believe Newcastle have won those last two games by sitting back and hitting on the counter.
Probably good tactics against more successful sides that are expected to beat the likes of Newcastle and want to go at the opposition.
The very same tactics have worked for us against Liverpool and on the odd occasion, Spurs too.
So how is Garde going to approach this one?
Will he also try to attack Newcastle, knowing that we need wins and draws are not good enough?
I seriously doubt it, myself.
If Newcastle are that dangerous on the break, we’re only going to see a repeat of the disgrace that was Arsenal’s second goal last week.
The thought of any team, let alone Arsenal, surging forward against our non-existent midfield and clueless defence on the counter, is a frightening one.
Hence, I don’t believe Garde has any option other than to try to sit deep and scrape a draw.
The trouble is, I don’t believe that will work either, because of our awful defence, who are opened up even easier than a very accommodating woman I knew in my younger days (don’t ask).
If Newcastle get the goal, it’ll be all over, because the manager is too slow to switch the tactics when we go a goal down, in my opinion.
It’s no good trying the same stuff, when we’re a goal down, when we need wins to have any hope of survival.
If we do indeed go a goal down early on, we need to try plan B straight away, as things obviously aren’t working unless the opposition have scored totally against the run of play (which hasn’t been the case in a good while).
And plan B means we take the game to them, big time.
Normally, I’d say it’s a daft tactic, as if you outright attack an away team which is winning, you’re inviting more counters.
But my opinion says you might as well lose by 2,3 or 4 goals when you’re in our position.
We need wins and simply need to go for them.
Goal difference doesn’t matter, it’s as simple as that.
Squad news is that Newcastle have Cheick Tiote available and no other problems.
As for the Villa, Micah Richards looks to be unavailable after his knee injury, which I thought didn’t look that bad.
And Gary Gardner has also done his knee. No surprise there and surely he’s sadly finished at the Villa?
The result then and I don’t know what to think.
Part of me says it’s a funny old game, which has been proven by some of the results we’ve seen so far this season, which suggests that anyone can beat anyone, at any time.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re turning any corners anytime soon without an injection of some grit and fight, even if they’re not particularly talented.
I’ll go for a 2-0 loss.
But I’m praying for a win.