Newcastle United v Aston Villa match preview.

Posted on April 10th, 2011 | 68 Comments |

Napoleon awaits at Villa Park!
Napoleon awaits at Villa Park!
This weeks match sees Newcastle United facing Aston Villa at Villa Park.

In the usual pre-match interviews, Captain, Kevin Nolan, referring to the Aston Villa victory that sent Newcastle tumbling down to the Championship the season before last, said that “We haven’t got a score to settle or a point to prove as such,” though I would have thought that score was well and truly settled when a Chris Hughton and Kevin Nolan led side slaughtered the hapless Villans 6-0 in our home game earlier in the season. Of course, many Newcastle United away fans will also remember the rather disgraceful behaviour of some sections of the Aston Villa supporters as they savoured the schadenfreude of Newcastle’s relegation, but I won’t go into that in any detail here.

With much water having passed under the bridge since that glorious victory, including both sides being under different management and suffering with form that can be somewhat erratic, this game could be a hard one to predict. Having written that, Newcastle are seven places above Villa in the current Premier League table, though as most of you will no doubt know, this can be very deceptive this season with so few points separating the mid table from the bottom. In the case of Aston Villa who are teetering over the relegation abyss, and seemingly comfortable in mid table Newcastle, it is only five points.

Aston Villa’s last three ganes have been fairly poor. Although the last one was a 2-2 draw with Everton, that game was preceded by two defeats to Wolves and Bolton respectively. In the Premier League game before that however, Villa did hammer another of the “glamour” sides, Blackburn, 4-1, at their Villa Park home, just as wor lads administered a similar 4-1 thrashing to the aforementioned Wolves side at St James’s Park last week.

Villa’s dangerman could be England hitman, Darren Bent. Despite only joining the club in a £24 million move from the Mackem Tramps in January, he could overtake Ashley Young to become Aston Villa’s top scorer for the season if he scores one or more goals today. On the other hand, Aston Villa’s weak spot could be corners and headed goals, or even both together, as they have conceeded more of these (13 of each) than any other Premier League side.

Team news.

On the team news front, Newcastle United’s rather woeful injury record under Alan Pardew continues, along with a suspended trio of naughty boys in the shape of James Perch, Cheick ‘Lion King’ Tiote, and the captain himself, Kevin ‘Chicken tonight’ Nolan. Earlier in the week, manager, Alan Pardew, announced that he was handing the Captain’s armband to a man who is no stranger to shouting and pointing alot while Nolan is out of the frame, his midfield sidekick, Joey Barton.

Getting back to the injuries though, this week saw the news that in form hitman, Leon Best will join Alan Smith in being knacked for the rest of the season, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Stephen Ireland also continuing their long spells out of the game, though Ireland would have been ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement from Aston Villa anyway. Young wonderbairn, Shane Ferguson will be out with a calf strain, but in better news, first choice left back, Jose Enrique, will be looking to return after his hamstring injury, and finally, Ryan Taylor will be allowed for selection after his three gane suspension.

On the Villa side, midfielder, Ciaran Clark will also be returning fron a suspension. However, other than that, it looks pretty much “Hunky Dory” for Napoleon’s Villa squad, with the French managerial maestro having more or less a full first team squad to select from.

Match details.

Time / Venue: Sunday, 10th April, Villa Park, Birmingham. Kick off, 4PM.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Televised: Sky Sports.

Update: Official Teamsheets.

Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Sanchez Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez, Nile Ranger, Peter Lvenkrands.

Subs: Tim Krul, Michael Richardson, Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier, Shefki Kuqi, Ryan Taylor, Ryan Donaldson.

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Luke Young, Stewart Downing, Stiliyan Petrov, Jean Makoun, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent.

Subs: Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Nigel Reo-Coker, Carlos Cuellar, Andy Marshall, Emile Heskey, Robert Pires.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1086 articles on this blog.

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68 Responses

  1. If we really get at Villa this afternoon I think we’ll turn them over. It could be very similar to how the scum got outplayed and beaten by West Brom yesterday (hahahahahahahahahaaaaaa by the way).

    If we can edge ahead then Villa will be running round like headless chickens points. How sweet will it be to take all 6 points from the brummie scum today!

    HWTL-Hard fought 0-1 or 1-2 win for us today I think.

  2. No matter what happens we can get some points. Villa are almost as bad at taking the lead as they are losing it when they have it. I hope Barton has a cracker of a game!

  3. Todays game could not only banish any lingering relegation fears but also shape our team for next season . A win makes us safe and contract talks can begin with Nolan , Barton and Enrique . Getting them signed up on long term deals will determine where we go in the transfer window and how far we can push on next season . HWTL lets get that win and put the brummie’s a step nearer to relegation .

  4. Table is tight looking up as well. Liverpool have got Man City next and then Arsenal. Three points for us today and then i know we’ve got to face Man-U next, but so have both Everton and Bolton in the next two weeks. Go on sons.

  5. Villa is very good team but I still remember how Villa fan did to us 2 years ago. Hopefully this time we will pay them back. Show them we’re good enough to finish them tonight !

    For me 1 point is good enough.

  6. I’d forgotten all about our midfield engine/playmaker, Alan Smith. Just how much have we missed his tenacity and skill on the field, could his absence have caused us to miss out on Europe next season?

  7. Aye,
    at least a point would go a long way to claiming a safe spot in the league, by reaching 40 points.

  8. dont think smithy boy has been missed tbh since tiote came into the club he never had a chance to get going.i remember when he played against Cardiff in the championship he was simply epic,with his contract running out think it will be renewed at all??

  9. nufc337, Don’t you think it would be a shame if we weren’t able to re-sign (nearly put resign :) ) a player of his quality and lose him to one of the other EPL major clubs!!

  10. he certainly is a personality around the club if he was to re-sign a pay cut is a must

  11. nufc337, surely not. It has to be worthwhile keeping him on his current stipend, if not paying a bit more to ensure we keep him.

  12. A win today would put us in with an outside chance of a Euro spot. A loss would still have us glancing nervously downwards, funny old game innit.

    although I doubt if we are on the bookies lists for a relegation spot. ;)

  13. really?? after seeing his wages i think a cut down is a must and give the rest of it to jose or barton so they stay at the club ;)

  14. I sincerely hope that the Villa fans and players alike are 5h!tting themselves to the point where they freeze !.. I think we have enough out there to get us a draw thisafternoon, so long as we don,t cave in. We need to show some guts and determination. Everyone needs to stand up and be counted as two today. The future,s looking good, but only if we,re good enough for the future. Howay the Lads. 1-2.

  15. nufc337. Yeah it’s a tough call, who to keep, Smith or Enrique. Who’d be a manager. ;)

  16. Food for thought: Villa have 23 points from home gains. We have made 18 away. An away point would be a good one and three an helluva result. Go for the three lads and give the crowing bustards something to think about over the next few weeks!

  17. Newcastle (4-4-2): Steve Harper; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton (c), Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez; Nile Ranger, Peter Lovenkrands

    Colo in defensive midfield role ?

  18. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    April 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    “nufc337. Yeah it’s a tough call, who to keep, Smith or Enrique.”

    It would take me less than a picosecond to make that decision, Grumpy.

  19. Lucky let off for us. Bent looked in line, when the pass was made, with Jose who’s not doing too well on his return.

  20. man that commentator who ever he is really had my pickles boiling saying jose is Argentinian!

  21. AndyMac says:
    April 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    “Lucky let off for us. Bent looked in line, when the pass was made”

    I couldn’t quite make up my mind either way, Andy.

  22. also like to add midfield is non existent but picking from the squad today we have no midfield only barton and guti

  23. Worky, me too, I was just having a bit of a laff pre game.

    I am feeling a bit Grumpy now though, I reckon we would be leading if we still had AC or even a fit Shola. Some air power needed. Don’t know if it’s lack a full games but Ranger looks a tad off the pace of the game at the moment. A few half chances could been more with the right pass or finish. Pity Joey didn’t do better with the header.

  24. A look at the bench shows there’s not much in the way of options.

    Krul, Ryan Taylor, Ferguson, Donaldson, Tavernier, Richardson and Kuqi.

    Lovenkrands is not my favourite player, normally so ineffective, so bringing on Fergie down the left and switching Jonas to a roving free role behind Ranger might give us some punch as we’re pretty average otherwise.

  25. AndyMac says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    “A look at the bench shows there’s not much in the way of options.

    Krul, Ryan Taylor, Ferguson, Donaldson, Tavernier, Richardson and Kuqi.”

    WTF’s happened to Vuckic?

  26. Nile Ranger is not a target man. He is winning none of the balls sent to him both in the air or on the ground.

  27. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    “Don’t know if it’s lack a full games but Ranger looks a tad off the pace of the game at the moment.”

    I think he’s caused a few problems, Grumpy, however he still seems to go to pieces when it comes to the crunch. Lovenkrands was gagging for a ball off him in the first half for what could have been a good chance, but he prevaricated, then tried to shoot himself and funked it.

  28. Kuqi to the rescue ? :(

    Only good news is that we’re still 9th with games running out for the rest of them.

  29. Dominated by Villa 1-0 is misleading we were dominated.
    Pardew was weak in this game Playing Ranger as a target man when time after time after time he lost the ball be it headers or balls played on the ground. By half time he should have taken ranger off and he only did so with 5 mins to go.

    Barton piss poor so much for being the “Best” midfielder in England actions speak louder than words and on that performance I question if you are even the best midfielder on Tyne side.

    The tactics were not designed around our strengths just tactics he arbitrarily pulled out of thin air because he could. I cannot accept the result nor the manner in which we were dominated and it is something to be concerned about. Villa have been rubbish all season we beat the 6-0 at home and they a struggling badly this season and are below us.

  30. Michael12 says:
    April 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    “The tactics were not designed around our strengths just tactics he arbitrarily pulled out of thin air because he could.”

    That’s Alan Pardew though, unfortunately.

  31. Anything to do with the fact that without Shola, Leon Best and Nolan, we don’t have any strengths up front for Pardew to use?
    The number of bloggers who have gone on about giving Ranger a full game / more time as he’s our best striker, much better than useless Ameobi blah blah. I accept that he had little service today – and I also accept that he’s a good prospect who COULD make it if he puts some focus and effort in his career – but he can’t start or play main striker for us yet.
    Wonder if Ireland is fit and could play up front in Nolan-type role next game – anyone know how bad Shola’s injury is? At least Cheikh is back – even if it is Manure!!

  32. The tactics can either be designed to our strengths or to exploit a weakness of the opposition Pardew did neither.

  33. magpie6699 says:
    April 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    “and I also accept that he’s a good prospect who COULD make it if he puts some focus and effort in his career”

    He needs to sort out his stress and his confidence in front of goal, Magpie.

  34. I also would have subbed Ranger much earlier, I was thinking Ferguson but I have to say we looked a bit more threatening when Kuqi came on. He won a few in the air and was able to hold the ball a bit better, another 15 to 20 minutes from him might have got us a goal.

    Next game might be a bit easier. ;)

    At least Nile didn’t cost us £50m! :)

  35. Tiotesleftfoot says:
    April 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    “We were poor today no doubt and we NEED to invest heavily in the summer if we are going to get anywhere in the league.”

    Or Alan Pardew needs to stop rushing players back too soon from injury, only to see them getting knacked again almost immediately because they aren’t ready. As Michael12 suggests above, he also leaves alot to be desired in some of his tactical decisions. However all this was obvious before he was brought into the club.

  36. To The Chief Administrator
    Barclays Premier League
    Somewhere Swanky

    Dear Sirs

    Please will you excuse my team from “Games” this weekend as I had forgotten to buy any players in January so we are plss poor at the moment particularly when we have injuries to our best players, Leon and Shola (snigger).

    Hopefully everyone will be fit for the summer when I get them all to go on holiday to America so we can earn some money to pay some bills.

    Yours etc etc

    Mr M A Ashley

    PS If you dont hear from me in August please assume we’ve moved to the Npower League.

  37. andy mac , nice one , it’s nice that we laff even after our crap losses . a blog should be aboot good laffs , not just stats , rumour, and jibes ! keep it up …

  38. I’ve got to say the picture of HOOOLier above loooks like he’s farted then realised it’s a WET one ! or it’s another coronary ….!

  39. when you talk as much as pardew does people tend to switch off & stop listening & it looks to me like our players have flicked that switch.

    i bet this bloke talks in his sleep.


  40. Hello guys.

    I’m glad to be here with you. I’m from Brazil and I’m an enthusiast of the Premier League and a big fan of Newcastle United FC. I’ve watched the game today against Villa and what I saw was very disappointing. I was very excited about the Magpies to win this game in order to leave behind the annoying 9th place of the table. But what I saw on the pitch was a Newcastle team unable to keep its formation. Sometimes it looked like it was playing under a 4-5-1 formation and sometimes looked like some kind of 3-6-1. Dynamically mutating your pitch formation is not quite a problem when you know exactly what to do when in possession of the ball and without it. Unfortunately that was not the case with Newcastle Utd today. The team was awfully dominated not knowing what to do when in possession of the ball, losing it very quickly and opening deadly spaces in the defensive formation leaving room to Villa work under relative low pressure. Our luck was that Villa is not quite that accurate team either. If it were a top-table adversary we would be crushed. Additionally to that I did not see any kind of moves from Alan Pardew’s part to correct the malfunctioning of the team during the 90+ minutes of the game. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Pardew said: “I think we just missed the core of our team today, [we missed] some big players, and probably for Villa it was a good call because of the players missing.” Hummmm…That’s NOT quite true. First of all, this statement sounds like it was quite a surprise to Pardew that the main lineup players were not at his disposal for the match. The truth is that was an expected and predicted scenario. You cannot claim that is the main and only cause of you being completely lost as a coach and lose the game. Second of all, if you are in charge of the team hiring and training it is expected that you pick players to compose your squad (lineups and reserves) as equivalent as possible. This will protect you and your team from roller-coaster oscillations when the original/ideal lineup players are not all there for some reason in some given games. This is called SEASON PLANNING. But, OK, let us say this asking too much. Either way if even you have an Unbalance of individual talents (meaning that you could NOT hire the equivalent players you desired) you as a coach is supposed to “fill-in-the-blanks” with your TACTIC training (formation and functioning) during the week. This way you can try to put the best individual values you can under the best Tactic formation you can come up with and train, train, train and train. This is called GAME PLANNING. Finally, losing is part of any game (Football included). So it is OK to lose after giving the adversary a hard time (like Rocky against Apollo in the first movie, remember?). But appearing completely lost and getting your ass kicked in the end (even a defeat by 1 single goal) is definitely NOT good.

    Regards guys.

  41. jorgeefv says:
    April 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    jorgeefv, I agree. One of the main facets of good leadership in any field is long term planning, something our last manager was good at but the current one isn’t. I would also add that Alan Pardew’s management of injuries is very poor. He rushes players back too soon, only to see them get injured again because he is pushing them too hard too soon. If he says that injuries were a problem today, he’d be right, but he has brought much of it on himself, and even admitted it in the case of Stephen Ireland. I recived alot of criticism in the past for my questioning of Pardew’s methods in my ‘blogs though, which were apparent long before he was appointed as Newcastle United manager, so I’ll shut up now! ;-)

  42. worky could not agree more , chrissie hughton is a tactician , with clear coaching skills , pardew even from his hammers days , i have hammers fans mates , who say he is docile and one dimensional, when we need mid match decisions , he can’t figure what to do ?

  43. Jorgeefv @ 53, I agree with your scrutiny of Pardwho? Unfortunatly it is all true aswell, which is not a good thing for NUFC.
    Of course Pardwho? hasn’t had the full season or the luxury of filling in a blank team sheet at the start of the season with HIS players. And lets face it we have some really poor quality players in the current squad. Certainly not premiership quality IMHO.
    You are right, a decent team would have destroyed us today. Villa are shite but we were worse. It looked like the players expected defeat b4 the game kicked off and certainly not up for it. For that I blame Pardwho? entirely. He certainly never had the lads motivated, and as for a game plan??? we just looked hopeless and clueless. A reflection of the manager.
    Cant say I’m looking forward to another humping from manure next tuesday, but they always finish the season strongly, so its not looking good.
    Ah well keep the faith.

  44. Hello, workyticket

    I think Alan Pardew is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve being reading about all this Mike Ashley drama. The owner of Sports Direct seems to have severe difficulties on how to conduct his ownership of Newcastle Utd. I’ve read he stated “I bought Newcastle Utd as a fan…I have no idea on how to run a football club…I don’t want to use the club to make money…I’m losing money… etc, etc”. Simply put, the Captain of the boat is LOST! No wonder the coach is also lost on the pitch. We have a saying here that states “The main culprit is not the wrong-doer. But the one who hired him instead.” For me it is crystal clear that Newcastle Utd MUST hire players, lineups and reserves as well + hire a coach who knows Season , Game and Training Planning and not just “rolls with the flows” trying to improvise as the game develops. But in order to “click” on this the man at the top of the mountain (Mike Ashley) must have some understanding of what he is dealing with. If I were Mike Ashley I would try to understand how to combine/converge the businesses I have at hand, Sports Direct and Newcastle Utd., so they can help reinforce each other. Something like this:
    1 – Promote Sports Direct retail brand through promotions, propaganda and events associated to Newcastle Utd. image, or in other words, the current team, Stadium, former legendary players, etc, bringing more credibility and clients (meaning more revenues and profit) to Sports Direct. In return Sports Direct would reinvest a part of the profits in the Club.
    2 – Use the Sports Direct sales channels (internet included) to promote the brand of Newcastle Utd. throughout UK and abroad. Did you know that Newcastle Utd. has a lot of fans in South America and USA? We in South America could easily buy Newcastle Utd. licensed products through Sports Direct and/or Newcastle Utd. websites, bringing more money to the Club.
    3 – Organize excursions of Newcastle Utd. to places like Brazil, USA and China to make more money for the Club.
    Well, there are simply A LOT of ways to make a retail business like Sports Direct and a well-known and established Club like Newcastle Utd. to reinforce each other and triumph.
    Mike has all the pieces of the puzzle at the table. He needs just to add some imagination on it.


  45. jorgeefv,
    welcome mate,
    NUFC are off to tour USA in the summer, as a warm up for the new season.
    We should definitely go to South America too though.

  46. Thank you, CLiNT FLiCK. Thank you and all the guys here for the good quality chat about NUFC!

    (By the way: is there any chance a trust of supporters could buy the club back?)

  47. if anyone who hates the referee today could summaries him better then watch this ;)

  48. Welcome jorgeefv it is good to know that NUFC has support from you. We welcome you to the forum and hope you enjoy and contribute to the debate which is all and always will be in good spirit.

    Once again Welcome.

  49. Thanks, Michael12.

    From my part I’ll always do as much as I can to contribute with the debates about NUFC the best way possible.

    Thanks a lot.

  50. jorgeefv @ 57

    I’m afraid you have it all wrong.

    Sports Direct is not owned by Mike Ashley. It is a public listed company. Newcastle United is a private company owned solely by Mike Ashley.

    There are almost certainly rules and regulations preventing money being loaned / used by a public limited company to subsidize a private company that is owned by one of the directors of the public company.

  51. But Jorge is right when he states that the man at the top is LOST.
    The best thing Ashley could do is get rid of owl heed and replace him with someone who at least understands the game of football.
    As for sports direct, well the least said the better. There is enough of that branding around SJP, the last thing we want to see is it plastered all over the shirt aswell. NO NO NO.

  52. jorgeefv says:
    April 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm
    Hello, workyticket

    “No wonder the coach is also lost on the pitch. We have a saying here that states “The main culprit is not the wrong-doer. But the one who hired him instead.” For me it is crystal clear that Newcastle Utd MUST hire players, lineups and reserves as well + hire a coach who knows Season , Game and Training Planning and not just “rolls with the flows” trying to improvise as the game develops. But in order to “click” on this the man at the top of the mountain (Mike Ashley) must have some understanding of what he is dealing with.”

    Hi jorgeefv,

    Well, I agree with the first bit I’ve quoted above, ie that it is Mike Ashley who is at fault for sacking a long term thinker, someone who planned a season before the first ball was kicked, replacing him with a mediocre one who merely reacts to circumstance. However, I would argue that while a club could always do with more, better players, Newcastle United already do have some very good ones. However, as I argued above, injuries have been handled very poorly by the current manager, with players being rushed back too soon, getting injured again and being out of the game for longer than they need to be.

    As for the other points, Newcastle United has been used fairly extensively as a vehicle to promote Sports Direct, though as to whether it is being done in the right way is a matter for debate.

    For a club that has not been amongst the very top Premiership clubs for some time now, and hasn’t won a major trophy since football games were broadcast in black and white, Newcastle United does indeed have a fairly large world following. After speaking with Newcastle United fans as far afield as India, Vietnam, Cambodia and more, my own theory is that the club appeals to those who like, or can identify with the “underdog”, and are fans of a good “soap opera” too. Being an unpredictable soap opera that is always full of surpises is something that Newcastle United certainly excels at!

  53. Hi Guys

    Well the Sports Direct | Newcastle Utd. business hypothetical example I gave was just this: an example. Well for the money transferring in between Public Listed Companies and Private Held Companies there innumerous solutions. The most basic is to create a contract (a Marketing Contract, that I’m sure already exists) in between the two Companies where the Public Listed Company (Sports Direct) is “buying” something from the Private held Company (Newcastle Utd.). The best way for the Private Company to receive real money on this commercial relationship is to charge a Fixed Fee + Variable Performance Fee (attached to the financial results of the “Promotion” that is being conducted – that is the very basis to pay top actors nowadays: they have a bite at the results of the ticket selling at the cinemas).As I stated I’m sure that a contract has been done already. But the question is if the basis of this contract is also good for the Club under a financial perspective and not just for the companies the Club is promoting. Well, unfortunately our planet is based upon having money or not. And to recover the aura of Newcastle Utd having a sober administrator at the top chair is a good start. Everything down the hill to the pith will be a reflection of this.

    Regards guys.

  54. Er! Jorge You dont want to go about thinking Ashley does has any logic or ounce of sense in it.
    As for what you have just written, I dont see what point you are trying to make. (just a thick Geordie, Doh! )
    However it all makes sense to you, so if you have a couple hundred big ones lying idly around, you dont fancy buying a football club do you????

    On a more basic level, does anyone have a clue what masterstroke Pardwho? is going to pull to defeat manure next tuesday? :lol:
    I dont see us getting many more points this season, maybe 1 from Blackpoo and 3 from Brum, but thats about it.
    Still should be ok tho to fight on again next season, under the skilled guidance and tactical astuteness of our vastly experienced manager.

  55. Good point, Beardsleys Boots! I was just messing around with the possibilities.

    For the next match we have Manchester Utd. and I really hope we do better than against Villa.