Aston Villa | The Messiah Vs King Kev
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AVFC Claret & Blues vs. Newcastle Magpies

Villa Park

9th February 2008


On Sky

The Messiah Vs King Kev

When King Kev returned to Newcastle United, both the media and the “Toon Army” went crazy over the possibilities of the glory days of free flowing, attacking and most importantly, winning football returning to St.James Park.

Oh how wrong they were, Kevin Keegan is yet to taste victory in his second stint at the club and has seen his side score just one goal. Michael Owen, recently dropped from the England starting line-up for the first time since time began, possibly for being crap, scored in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with the mighty force that is still an Alves-less Middlesbrough.

Villa meanwhile return home after a trip to London that ended in disaster. Fulham scored all three goals as the Villans fell to a 2-1 defeat, Jimmy Bullard giving Fabio Capello something to think about: “Why didn’t he stop that, it was right at him.”

Yes, I’m finally back with yet another Vital Villa Preview!

Vital Quotes:

Starting with the Aston Villa camp, manager Martin O’Neill has given his views on the crazy notion of potentially playing Bolton in Beijing, as the Premier League look to play an extra fixture overseas.

Speaking to O’Neill definitely didn’t sit on the fence by saying: 'It's a surprising and innovative idea. It'll be interesting to see how it develops and the reaction to it.'

Meanwhile the boss was also talking of the day Newcastle scuppered our plans of signing one James Milner. Milner was all set for a move to Villa Park when Freddie Sheppard recalled the player back to St.James’ despite the England Under-21 midfielder pleading with him to allow the move to go through:

'We were very disappointed to miss out on him on transfer deadline day in August 2006,' said O'Neill. 'When I came to Villa I watched a lot of DVDs from the previous season when he was on loan. I thought he did exceptionally well when he was here and he was on our doorstep ready to sign.

'It would have been great but Freddy Shepherd called him back again. He's gone on to prove his worth for Newcastle.'

Former Aston Villa striker Stan “the man” Collywobbles believes that Newcastle should be fearful of another young, English wide man in the form of Ashley Young. Young was sorely missed as an outlet against Fulham, a game that saw the ineffective Stiliyan Petrov on the right wing, with Shaun Maloney coming in, out of position in place of suspended starlet:

'Ashley came from Watford and eyebrows were raised at the fee. But Martin has taken Ashley and worked on his strengths.' Collymore told

'He will have told Ashley to play on the left - get chalk on his boots on the line - and attack players.

'Get down that wing and cut in and get shots away or go down the outside and get crosses in. He's certainly done that on a regular basis this season.'


King Kevin Keegan, supposed saviour of Newcastle United, believes the fixture is a big one for both clubs. Speaking to the official Newcastle website he told them:

'It's a big game. They have just had a setback at Fulham as they are thinking top six this season,'

'We're not in the FA Cup so we'll be going into a little bit of a break after this game and you never want to go into a break with a bad result.

'Villa are a team in form despite the setback at Fulham. They are totally committed under Martin O'Neill so we know what to expect and they will come at us.

'They should have Ashley Young back and he is an influential player and we also know they are good from set-pieces.'

Mr Keegan has also been in fantasy land, believing that he can land former Arsenal, now Barcelona striker Thierry Henry in the summer.

'I would like to fetch Thierry Henry back to England,' Keegan told Radio Newcastle. 'He's the best player I've seen in the Premiership.

'When you're pitch-side, what I've seen him do to good players has been incredible.

'Sometimes you can take advantage of a situation and get what I call lucky.'

I’ll eat your hat if you sign him Kev. Then I’ll be looking to Martin O’Neill to sign Kaka.

AVFC Claret & Blues Team News:

“England striker” Gabriel Agbonlahor looks set to miss the match as he’s failed to recover in time from the hamstring injury picked up in Villa’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham.

Whilst Curtis Davies should recover, Petrov is the latest injury worry (again) with a bruised toe that saw him miss Bulgaria’s 1-0 victory over the mighty Northern Ireland midweek.

Ashley Young returns from his suspension, Marlon Harewood may start a game after another decent cameo performance and following his impressive reserve outing, new signing Wayne Routledge may be included in the 16 at the expensive of either Craig Gardner or Isaiah Osbourne.

Player to watch: Curtis Davies

After calling himself a pub player, only to improve massively, our honest-lad made 2 crucial errors against Fulham that led to goals.

I expect a good performance from him, he should keep Michael “MEDIC!” Owen quiet.

Newcastle Magpies Team News:

Good news Villa fans, Obafemi “I’m younger than I look” Martins will miss the fixture as he has returned from the African Cup of Nations with a twisted ankle. Jose Enrique returns to the squad.

That’s all the information available at the moment, stay tuned!

Player to watch: Shay Given

Perhaps if we’re really nice to him, he’d join Aston Villa?

Match Facts & Stats

  • Newcastle United was formed in 1892 after two clubs, Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. At one point they may have ended up being called Newcastle Rangers, or Newcastle City!

  • Newcastle United, actually one something once. It is also relevant because they defeated Aston Villa in 1924. 1924 was also the year that the rules first allowed a goal to be scored directly from a corner.

  • Another famous moment for Newcastle United, was when former United player Paul Gascoigne combined with Lindisfarne to release a song.

  • It’s difficult to say whether this was a masterpiece, or yet another reason to laugh at Newcastle United and their supporters. Make your own mind up!

  • Newcastle’s new owner, Mike Ashley has been criticised for his “with the fans” style of watching the matches. Like the ownership/management of Aston Villa, Ashley likes to meet the fans, however he sits with them and it has been suggested that the sacking of Sam Allardyce, and the appointment of Kevin Keegan may have come from the odd word in his ear during matches.

  • The return of Kevin Keegan was seen as the dawning of a new era for Newcastle United. So far I’d say it’s been just plain naff.

  • Famous people that have come from Newcastle include Jimmy Nail and Ant and Dec. Dec & Ant did that awful World Cup song 'We're on the ball' and only come as a pair, which would make them much easier to dispose of.

    Ref Watch:

    The ref for the game is Mr Lee Mason.

    Mr Mason certainly likes his yellow cards, 85 in just 25 games. He’s a regular ref in the lower leagues rather than the Premiership, however did find time to officiate Villa’s 1-1 home draw with Manchester City. In that game he booked 6 players including (surprisingly,) Nigel Reo-Coker!

    Match Prediction:

    They won’t be able to blame any bloody fog for this; 2-0 Villa with Laursen and Harewood the goalscorers.

    Next Fixtures:

    A day out at Reading on the 24th February.

  • The Journalist

    Writer: Murph Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Friday February 8 2008

    Time: 2:35PM

    Your Comments (oldest first)

    Change to most recent first
    Excellent preview, welcome back!
    The Fear
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 15:35:00
    Mystic Mug says 2-1 to Villa. Which is nice.
    The Fear
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 15:36:00
    Predicting a clean sheet, murph? Brave of you.
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 16:01:00
    Given my clear hatrid for Carson yes. However Newcastle have scored just once since King Kev joined I'm hopeful.
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 16:11:00
    I'm sure Carson will let one in, 12 matches since last clean sheet! What was Gazza doin on that video? Hilarious though. The Fear has got it right we'll win but will let one in, Michael 'I like Horses' Owen scored one last week he tends to go on scoring runs or is that when he is not in the treatment room?
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 16:23:00
    I think that Villa will win
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 16:31:00
    Isn't it time we had a player collaboration with Squeeze? I can just see a bouncing shell suited Gareth Barry crooning 'Up the (Spaghetti) Junction'. Come on GazBaz. You know you want to.
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 18:36:00
    3-1 newcastle
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 18:40:00
    Fab and funny read as allways Murph and as the fear said welcome back. I just hope though now that you have reminded the toons about it that they dont sing that song all through the game ..... lol i'll blame you murph :p
    Report Abuse
    08/02/2008 22:29:00
    2-1 to the geordies. Yes, the media have been full of this story of Newcastle fans demanding free flowing attacking football, entertainment, and excitement, cause thats what they've been brought up on. Since when!!?? Keegan will be around until Christmas, then he'll quit. As guaranteed as night following day.
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 02:13:00
    Good artical Murph, I would love it if we beat them, they still have to go to Fulham and get something from the game.
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 04:32:00
    Ha ha, I was in England when that song came out. Age hasn't helped it. Very funny stuff overall but layoff Scott or were you just picking on both parties to even it out a bit?
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 09:32:00
    Has anyone seen Wayne Routledge and Craig David in the same room at the same time before????
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 11:08:00
    Not the start you were looking for, yet again Owen with a header!!
    will it ever happen
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 12:50:00
    Nearly, Toon4LiFe. Maybe next time, eh?
    Report Abuse
    09/02/2008 15:38:00
    Bit of a spanking there Toon4Life. Relegation scrap ahead me thinks.
    Report Abuse
    10/02/2008 00:56:00

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