23.08.2014… Aston Villa (a)…

aston villaAston Villa 0 Newcastle United 0

Villa Park… Saturday August 23rd… 12.45pm

Attendance: 30,267 (really)

Ticket: £41 – Doug Ellis Stand Lower / Programme: £3*

My first Newcastle game of the season and a nice easy trip, about an hour on the train including a ten minute stop over in the architectural masterpiece that is New Street Station…

Match reports aren’t really my thing, every national newspaper will have one that’s far better written than this scrawl, so edited highlights…

First half… Villa missed a couple of chances through N’Zogbia (header / free kick, neither of which tested Krul). We had a couple too, a tame shot from Riviere (straight at Guzan) and a bit of a sitter at the far post for Cabella (missed the target)…

Second half… More chances for us, Riviere (half chance skied from a tight angle), Williamson ( far post from a corner), Janmaat with  a couple (left footed shot from the edge of the box / header pushed over) and De Jong late on (good save from Guzan). Krul didn’t have to make a save, Williamson was sent off (second yellow card) in injury time…

23.08.2014: Villa v Newcastle...

Villa v Newcastle: Second Half Action…

The Rest…

First off, I used to like Villa. My granddad had followed them when he worked in the Midlands and I always felt they were a similar club to ourselves. However, since May 2009 my opinion has changed, although I can’t think why. It’s been done to death, I know, so I’ll move on. But it may cloud my judgement….

Positives… We created chances but we desperately need someone to put them away. Defensively we looked sound, Krul didn’t have a save to make all afternoon… As usual, Villa were poor.

Negatives… Worryingly, a lot of what transpired was reminiscent of the post-transfer window phase of last season. A lot of sideways and backwards passing in midfield followed by long balls to no one, and we still present absolutely no threat from corners.

Cabella looks tricky but worryingly low on end product, and he needs to cut down on the step overs and the play acting. Riviere seems to lack pace, although he was up front on his own, chasing long balls, which didn’t help (I’m sure Cisse would empathise). Janmaat looked the best of the new arrivals although not quite on the pace just yet, caught in possession on more than one occasion but had a couple of good chances. Didn’t notice Colback so I’m assuming he must have just done his job, saw less than 20 minutes  of Perez and De Jong…

The attendance was shocking,  30,267 for your first home game of the season with 2,800 visiting fans in attendance, from a club that alleges to be big, really? There were large gaps in the corners of the Holte End and the North Stand, whilst the upper tier of the Trinity Road Stand was a sea of empty seats. On the subject of the stadium, it’s about time someone at Villa invested in a high pressure hose, the exterior of the North Stand is absolutely filthy…

23.08.2014: Villa v Newcastle...

Villa v Newcastle: On the Right, A Filthy Stand…

Our fans… Noisy throughout but we need a better songbook. I know I’m getting old but some of our chants are woeful,  ‘Insert Name of Town / City ‘s a S**thole, I Want to Go Home’ for example; and is it really so difficult to learn the words to ‘Blaydon Races’? One other thing, ‘Always Take Cabella With You’ is very poor, it should be humanely destroyed before it’s allowed to spread…

As for the Villa fans… To be fair, they deserve a massive pat on the back for their applause in the 17th minute and the banner in the Holte End, some things are more important than football. But Villa Park is becoming more and more like a poorly attended library with each season that passes. 7k less than last season, quiet throughout and still obsessed with the fact they pulled the trigger in 2009 (although to be fair, we are too). ‘What’s It Like?’ (in the Championship) they asked after a ‘Down with the Mackems’ chant; fair point i guess, but (* dislike of Villa Alert) perhaps some of them could ask their dads what the Third Division was like, we’ve never been in that…

In summary, sunshine, showers, poor game, small crowd, two points dropped.  In all probability, if we’d had a centre forward, we would have won. Will we pay the going rate for a decent centre forward before the window closes (£20M), of course not. Will we bring someone in on loan, more than likely…

Then again, I’m a miserable old b*st*rd, so I could be wrong…

 * Programme nerd alert… Villa are running retro covers on each issue of the programme this season with a different year’s design being represented at each game (to celebrate their 140th anniversary). Something Newcastle may want to consider? I know we’re not supposed to buy them as it’s more money for MA (and the content is generally 100% toss) but old habits….

Aston Villa; Guzan, Cissokho (Baker 82), Hutton, Senderos (YC), Vlaar, Delph, Westwood, Richardson (Bent 76), Agbonlahor, Weimann (YC), N’Zogbia (YC) (Sanchez 62 (YC)) Not Used; Bacuna, Cole, Given, Grealish

Goals; None

Newcastle United; Krul, Janmaat, Williamson (RC 90), Coloccini, Dummett, Anita, Colback (De Jong 70), Sissoko, Cabella, Gouffran, Riviere (Perez 77 (Taylor, S 90+2)) Not Used; Elliot, Haidara, Obertan, Abeid

Goals; None

As usual, More pictures on flickr…

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