Newcastle – Villa:

Here we go again then and it’s another game on a stupid Monday night in front of the Sky cameras.
Seeing how we’ve gone around fourteen live games without a single win, that’s a bad omen in itself, but all runs have to come to an end don’t they?

As much as I try to retain any optimism (as much as some others think I don’t), I think this particular match couldn’t have come at a worse time. More so when you consider we’ve played “lesser” teams at home and lost.
We’ve played Brighton away, so this is probably the toughest fixture we have left this season…

I’m sorry. As much as I try to look on the bright side and recall that Blues and Wolves have turned Newcastle over on their own turf, combined with the fact that the Barcodes have the second worst record for individual errors (after us), so I think I’m clutching at straws.

The truth is I don’t think we’ve got a hope in hell of taking anything away tonight, as much as it might leave me open to abuse.
Let’s face it, we’ve won two away games all season haven’t we?
So why should we expect to get anything from this one, in front of a big crowd that are constantly being wound up by Mick Quinn and a media trying to create a rivalry that really isn’t there?

I was supposed to be doing a Q&A with a Newcastle blog, mainly to see what their thoughts were on that latter point, but sadly I’ve just been too busy and it didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure they’d have agreed there isn’t really a problem between the two sets of fans, but I digress.

So what’s been going on recently then?
Bruce says he had a message from Xia saying his job’s safe.
Xia has got the hump over some site saying he’s gambling with the Villa re; parachute money.
Players have been coming out and saying it’s not been good enough and we’ll be better.
And we’re already being linked with players for the summer.

None of it’s of any consequence and all that matters is we start putting points on the board.

So what do we know about the game?

Both our new full backs, Taylor and Bree are doubtful, but the good news is Mile Jedinak might be back after a groin injury. And how we could do with him being fit. It’s been no co-incidence that we’ve looked worse at the back without him, in my opinion.
There have been calls for Sam Johnstone to be dropped and while I’m not sure what it would do for his confidence, so it might be better to get him out of the spotlight. Frankly, he’s been poor for us, hasn’t he?

Bruce has talked about putting Kodjia back on the left, as he thinks he’ll be more dangerous there and that’s something I think the manager will definitely do.
Will Grealish get the spot in the hole? Possibly, but I’d be tempted to save him for later as he sums up the team, in not being a 90 minute player.
Otherwise, the rest of the team pretty much picks itself and whatever eleven starts, it probably won’t be far off what we think is our best eleven on paper.

As for Newcastle, they might have Dwight Gayle back. Great and that’s all we need.

I can actually see us getting a goal tonight, as Newcastle won’t feel any need to sit back against us, which might see us get opportunities, but we’re struggling to convert chances.

Newcastle, on the other hand will also create and with our defence conceding from pretty much any mistake, it doesn’t bode well.

I’m going to go for a 3-1 loss then and it’s more about the performance, I feel.

The last time we beat Newcastle away was the infamous punch up game which we won 3-0 and I attended.
How I’d love to see a similar result tonight.


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  1. brian bainbridge
    brian bainbridge February 21, 2017 at 12:18 am . Reply

    Where the fuck do we go from here im more clueless than Bruce.
    watched the Sutton Arsenal game at work and Sutton gave them a good game ,fuck me who is their manager,we will have him.

    1. bws
      bws February 21, 2017 at 12:32 am . Reply

      Give the Villa some soul
      If I may be quite so bold
      Where is go from here?
      is down to the first I fear?

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath February 21, 2017 at 3:39 am . Reply

        la la love plus one lol

        1. bws
          bws February 21, 2017 at 12:03 pm . Reply

          Then I call
          Ring, ring, ring, ring
          La la Bruce is gone

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath February 21, 2017 at 3:41 am . Reply

      Small teams with little or no quality facing a prem team will always give everything. Remember they played Arsenal reserves and still well beat that’s why I can’t be arsed with FA cup

  2. nath
    nath February 21, 2017 at 7:00 am . Reply

    monday night football involving villa . perfect way to ruin the rest of the week

    my first thoughts … rushed as well.. pressing as a team we did well for the first 20 minutes. we competed with a team top of the league until the goal went in.

    but we again worked hard containing the opposition and gave um two goals without them having to play for them. its a recipe for another relegation. all the experts saying our team isn’t a team its individuals. just as i have been saying. every sentence had this when referring to villa.

    the short corner is example of this nobody was alive to that danger and the cross was so easy to deliver. then two injuries to our strikers a really bad night of football. just cant wait for us to be live again on the box

    how long will this take / making a team from scratch during a league campaign ??? with results needed. changing 19 players they said lots of times. they need hours on the training pitch but the games just keep on coming. 3 more in a week they said with derby up next at home.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 21, 2017 at 7:15 am . Reply

    I’m completely at a loss, as you’ve just said Nath first 20 minutes looked ok, sorry but now it’s over for me with Bruce, no excuses now he’s had his day, keep this up and we are down again, looking at his face tells me he’s lost the plot, as for Calderwood words fail me.

  4. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 21, 2017 at 9:25 am . Reply

    Our two strikers for next two / three games are likely to be either Adomah / Grealish or Green / Murphy. Not overly encouraging.

    Spare a thought for Hutton – again he put a shift in and at time looked as good as any on the pitch – make of that what you will. The irony being he was the only player in the starting 11 that played in the Prem last season.

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 21, 2017 at 9:31 am . Reply

    One other observation – when Hogan was injured and it was clear it was serious – how many Villa players went to support him? Any at all? There is something fundamentally broken at Villa and I’m not sure anyone knows how to fix it.

    1. Dave67
      Dave67 February 21, 2017 at 11:11 am . Reply

      I think Hutton was the only player that went to him.

    2. nath
      nath February 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm . Reply

      excellent point hitch

      where is the team spirit, the togetherness. All for one and one for all. hogan was clearly in pain, about 5 mins before they carried him off and only hutton came over to him.

  6. Dan
    Dan February 21, 2017 at 9:38 am . Reply

    I actually get those who are saying Bruce out. But I also get those that say we can’t keep chopping and changing. Yes, you’re right I’ve got splinters in my backside! ‘Fortune favours the brave…or out of the frying pan into the fire’ Blimey Villa you’ve really messed me up. That 2 – 0 victory over Sunderland in 1975 in front of 52000 that celebrated promotion was a long time ago but it keeps the fire in my belly roaring and keeps me coming back for more…it’s in the blood.


  7. bws
    bws February 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm . Reply

    So (as was posted earlier) where the f**k do we go from here??
    Sack Bruce? I would but then who to replace him? Rowett? Warburton?
    And they inherit this dysfunctional expensively assembled under performing squad and could Rowett impose his work ethic on them? Somehow I doubt it.
    Warburton great percentage win rate but would he have what it takes turn things round at VP? Who knows?
    The only manager that springs to mind with a proven track record of turning things around and quickly is presently employed at Cardiff and I can’t see him being tempted to Villa Park.
    I truly despair it is a though the club is cursed.

    1. #HELENIUS
      #HELENIUS February 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm . Reply

      Theres nothing wrong with the players, it’s the tactics deployed. Imagine being the top scorer and clubs best striker to get shoved on the wing because the managers got to try and justify his latest recruits price tag.

      Or a central midfielder playing on the wing when crossing and pace are your worst attributes.

      Or a striker who spends all game on the halfway mark by himself because we’re told to play ultra defensive

      Or if your the leagues standout CM’er this season and absolutely nothing is coming through you….

      These are tactics issues and Bruce has nothing left…….

      Rowett for me

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm . Reply

        Helenius – I think you will find that Kodjia actually prefers to play wide left. Even when he was playing lone cf role he continually drifted left.

        I’m ambivalent over whether we should be changing managers (again) as I believe there are much deeper problems at Villa and bringing Rowett, Warburton or even Warnock in isn’t necessarily going to solve them.

        I am surprised that there is so much criticism over how Bruce set up the team to play away at Newcastle where most fans before the game expected us to lose anyway. We played well until they scored, should have taken the lead earlier, and then our confidence just crumbled and the second goal was poor – but even then Newcastle only scored through what was a bit of a fluke.

        None of that is meant as a defence of Bruce – merely trying to articulate some objective thoughts for debate.

      2. bws
        bws February 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm . Reply

        One things for sure lose against Derby this coming Saturday and this will be for Bruce

  8. Villain1
    Villain1 February 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm . Reply

    I don’t understand those who say we can”t or shouldn’t change the manager. Stability for stabilitys sake is not a justifiable reason to keep Bruce.
    We have had one good half (brighton) since mid October under this management structure. The rest has been turgid, negative garbage by a manager who is outdated in every aspect. My fear is the board and Dr Tony have been taken in my this so called promotion record and Bruce’s media pals and therefore will refuse the change.
    We know Dr Tony has been naive so far, appointing Di Matteo because he fluked the CL and making that cringeworthy comment about us being the biggest club in China in 5 years. But he needs better advisors around him, not yes men or Bruce’s pals. I fear for us long term, I really do. At the moment there is no evidence that I can see that the club is being run better than it was under the shambolic Lerner regime. Sure we’ve splashed the cash, but who knows what the consequences will be once the parachute money runs out as from what I can see we could be stuck at this level for many, many years.

  9. Adam
    Adam February 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm . Reply

    I know we looked comfortable for 40 mins but Newcastle were just cruising and we never looked like scoring either. Thats because we dont gamble enough going forward, prime example, 2nd half 2-0 down, kodjia gets the ball out wide and puts in a cross. Who was in the box?? Just Hogan and 6 Newcastle players!! Surely we need Hourihane and Lansbury getting in there, or fucking anyone with a brain that can see you wont score unless you get players in the box..they are both attacking mids and both deployed in a defensive playmaker role. Its really winding me up how nobody from midfield pushes up and helps build the attack. Got to be down to Bruce surely?

  10. nath
    nath February 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm . Reply

    i also don’t blame the posters for wanting rid of bruce. they are pi ss ed off clearly had enough. i don’t want to change their opinions. but i still think this disaster of a season is down to changes made to the squad, which was needed. but too many changes in such a short period, isn’t so easy to bed in so many personalities, abilities into a well drilled well knitted team.

    i look at the players which are performing of late. last night hutton had a decent game and jedinak both were imposing and commanding, this iam sure will end with needles in my voodoo doll but its true. why is this. its clear the players avent gelled avent settled and bruce hasnt found th formation to suit all. finally we are definitely cursed, we all must have been really bad in previous life. .

    i agree with bws we lose to derby and bruce will be gone. i don’t agree hes the problem.but he doesn’t seem to have the solution. we are sinking fast and wigan and burton will continue to get results because they are two teams of fighters

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 February 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm . Reply

      Spot on Nath – the only point I slightly disagree with is the Bruce / Derby game scenario. I think he has the next three games to save his Villa career and less than 6 points would mean Dr T. would have to bow to fan pressure whether or not he agrees with it.

      1. nath
        nath February 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm . Reply

        correct me if iam wrong its derby bristol city and rotherham… two homes and away we should be beating the last two. but the derby game is another banana skin. one result will be the kick start our rock bottom confidence

  11. marvin
    marvin February 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm . Reply

    I hate to say it but Bruce could do with being more like Sherwood at the moment and stick to one system. Personally I don’t see Bruce having a future after the season regardless, but it would be nice to see the squad have some sort of identity before the end of the season.

  12. bws
    bws February 21, 2017 at 9:42 pm . Reply

    For those interested Keith Wyness is Paul Francs guest on the football phone in this Friday on WM (18:00 – 19:00).

    1. Dan
      Dan February 22, 2017 at 12:03 am . Reply

      That probably means they’re closing ranks and sticking with the manager if he is engaging with the media.

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