Aston Villa - Glensider at St James Park
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Newcastle United 6 - Aston Villa 0

St James Park


Attendance: 43 546

Glensider at St James Park

As that rather superb Topanga Canyon band 'Canned Heat' first informed us on their self titled debut album back in January of '67, we're 'On The Road Again', and indeed, aren't we just. Yes, I know that to all intents and purposes the new campaign kicked off with that 3-0 demolishing of West Ham United at Brummagem B6 last Saturday, but it's today when the real stuff gets underway. The Villa away-days are back, and another season of fun on the road as we clock up the miles to support the claret and blue boys begins.

As the trips to St James Park have always been amongst our favourites on the calendar (no real idea why, as we've certainly experienced a wide range of results and performances on Tyneside, definite highs and lows down throughout the years), there's no complaints from any of us as we leave Brum behind, destination Newcastle United.

As our personal little 'fixture list' has been quite kind to me as the new season swings into action, and I don`t have to provide the vehicle or take to the wheel until we head to The Molinuex in late September, I'm quite happy to disappear into the back seat and work my way through the multitude of Sunday newspapers that accompany us on today's little jaunt, halting my reading only briefly and occasionally to nod, shake my head, utter yes or no, or to sing a line or two of whatever Jethro Tull track it is that emits from the cd player. Clearly a pleasant outward bound journey lay ahead, just had to hope that the return trip home would be as enjoyable.

Plenty of fellow Villans on the road with us, as we tried to determine in what season we last won our opening two games of a campaign. We certainly didn't manage it under Martin O'Neill, nor under David O'Leary, but sadly we tired of the exercise before we could pinpoint the year, the manager, and the two victories.

Glorious sunshine as we approached Tyneside, weather more in keeping for an afternoon at the cricket, rather than ninety minutes of watching our national winter game. Does any geordie attend a game without wearing a replica shirt? It must surely be compulsory to sport the black and white striped top. However, a lot of claret and blue in evidence too, including four handsome individuals inside our car.

The talk in the pub pre-game centred unsurprisingly around the search for a new manager, and it certainly seems that the very vast majority of the regulars favour a new guy from outside of the club, while most agreed that the game today would be a much bigger test of Kevin MacDonald's credentials. Certainly under O'Neill we were a more than useful outfit on the road, extremely hard to beat, as our points haul over the past couple of seasons would indicate. Many agreed that there was a suggestion of going 'a little over the top' following the victory over a very poor West Ham, but today, on opposition territory, we would find ourselves tested more.

KevMac's team was probably the one most of us expected, although many expressed reservations about attempting to go all-out gung ho when on opposition territory, in fact it was the team that started last weekend, with Stephen Ireland in for James Milner. Lets face it though, after a wasted summer of virtually no incoming transfer activity, he has few options, although a more reserved approach was called for for this game, as opposed to how we set about the West Ham season opener.

Friedel, Young, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Albrighton, Petrov, Ireland, Downing, Carew and Young.

On the bench, Guzan, Beye, Bannan, Lichaj, NRC, Delfouneso and Heskey.

The opening exchanges suggested little of the drama to come, but on eight minutes we threw away a glorious opportunity to take an early lead. Ashley Young was put clean through in the box, and as he attempted to round Steve Harper, he was taken down by the Newcastle 'keeper, and Martin Atkinson was left with very little choice but to point to the spot.

Up stepped Carew, only to blaze the ball way over the bar. Head in hands time all around, both on the pitch, and up amongst us, in the gods.

A mere two minutes later our woes doubled. Joey Barton was fed by Gutierrez, and he unleashed an absolute screamer from 30 yards out, that flew past a well beaten Brad Friedel. 1-0 to the Geordies, the stadium volume increased to a new level, as if that were possible.

Ashley Young rounded Harper to find the net on twenty-five minutes to seemingly level matters, but the goal was ruled out for offside. I'd have to see that one on the box to clarify my thinking, but it looked a decent enough goal to us.

Before we knew it though it was 2-0. Gutierrez put a ball into the box, and Carroll was there to nod it down to Nolan.. His first header was well saved by Friedel, but he made no mistake from the rebound.

It got worse. Three minutes later Barton whipped in a corner, it was nodded across goal. Richard Dunne screwed his clearance up completely, and Carroll reacted quickly to shoot past Friedel. Come Back Martin O'Neill, all is forgiven!

Newcastle looked likely to score each and every time they came forward, and they were coming forward at will. That calamitous afternoon at Stamford Bridge apart, this shambles was looking very much like the most inept Villa away performance we had witnessed since David O'Leary walked amongst us.

Into the second half, and it didn't get any better, although it took the home side until the sixty-fifth minute before they made it four, Carroll notching his second goal of the afternoon. You could see though that the rampant home team weren't finished, and a repeat of that seven goal hiding at Stamford Bridge started to look a very distinct possibility. Woeful stuff. Simply not acceptable.

The mood amongst the travelling Villans was now one very much of anger, with KevMac, the players, the ex-manager, and Randy Lerner, all coming in for their fair share of abuse. Not a pleasant atmosphere at all.

We were a shambles at the back, completely dominated in midfield, and lacked any threat or purpose up front. Embarrassing didn't even begin to describe it. Outplayed, outfought, outclassed.

Kevin Nolan made it five in the eighty-fifth minute, and there was still time for Andy Carroll to complete his hat-trick right at the death. By then though, most Villans had vacated the stadium, leaving just us few gluttons for punishment, to soak up the final humiliating action.

Absolute and utter dross, there's no escaping the fact. A gutless, clueless shambles, that clearly indicates that all is far from well, and that this campaign is going to be a very difficult one. We were soundly beaten by a team that with all due respects are hardly going to see their name in lights this season, apart from that is, following today's trouncing of our lot.

Not the result/performance that we expected, and not the result/performance we had all hoped would kick-off our away day campaign. Arguably the worst Villa away performance witnessed in a long time. Even worse than Stamford Bridge. At least we played reasonably well there for forty-five minutes. I am, suffice to say, somewhat stunned, and definitely lost for words. One of those very rare occasions when reliving the nightmare and having to pen a report, is not the most pleasant of tasks.

Randy Lerner, over to you.

The Journalist

Writer: Glensider Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 22 2010

Time: 8:47PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Awesome report as ever - who needs the journos in the papers - Glensider tells it like it is !. And it must be said, any half arsed manager would have started the Coker and had Ireland on the bench. But please, no 'Come Back Martin O'Neill, all is forgiven! ' We need a proper coach to take us onti the next level. Martinez after he gets sacked from Wigan anyone ?
Pancho Villan
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22/08/2010 21:08:00

all that money spent to see a performance like that? Feel sorry mostly for the away fans like you....
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22/08/2010 21:17:00

oh yeah, no return of Monny, need fresh new ideas and a manager who doesn't spit his dummy.
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22/08/2010 21:19:00

Thanks Glensider. Though I watched the game on the box, the match report from someone who was there remains interesting. Are you still on the fence regarding an appointment? I can't believe we are going to have another week of this will he/ won't he - does he/ doesn't he nonsense. The opportunity for advancement this season is fading as the window begins to shut - a window for transfers and for opportunity. How long will the more gifted players hang around if it appears that the club is drifting? As Glensider says - Randy, over to you.
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22/08/2010 21:20:00

sorry you went so far to see that Glensider, so grateful on your return you took the time to do the away reports, always appreciated by me and the legions of readers on here. Feel sorry for the fans, feel sorry for the club, we all deserve better. As you say, over to you Randy, the manager has to be selected, has to be right and has to be soon. I'd hate to make that decision. Shame to hear the atmosphere was that bad as well - understandably when you see your team give up after 30 mins though and even more so when so many travelled with so much hope + so far.
The Fear
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22/08/2010 21:22:00

Lost for words ? I think you have written an excellent report.
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22/08/2010 21:52:00

When Villa played Bohs a few weeks ago, I put together a report on the game and whilst it was in the tupenny place compared to the high quality output put together by you, Glensider, it helped me realise that there is a lot more to doing what you do than just throwing a heap of words together after the event. So thanks a bundle for doing this for us every fortnight or so. Let's hope the next report will make less nightmarish reading!
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22/08/2010 21:53:00

NRC who is this NRC? Nice Roy Carter? Nasty Ray Cash? Look Heskey needs to be played, his pace and power alarms teams so much so they might be laughing so hard that they won't be able to track your other players, hence u win. Heskey = the worst striker of all time? I think so.
Kick my ball
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22/08/2010 21:54:00

2nd game of the season and we are beaten like that, and by a promoted side - its a bit depressing.
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22/08/2010 23:02:00

With all due respect, we were the better team in the first half. The three goals we conceded were individual errors by experienced players (too experienced in Friedel's case), and the experienced Carew missed his penalty. Were it not for these abberations, we'd have more than likely been sitting pretty at half time - despite the selection errors. How that constitutes 'a gutless clueless shambles' I don't know. The second half was bad, but it was always likely to be given Newcastle had their tails up courtesy of Friedel (who was terrible) and Dunne (who was otherwise ok). To read anything into this one result, further than that Ireland is not a central midfielder, would demonstrate the kind of hysteria our tabloids are so proficient in.
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22/08/2010 23:13:00

leftfoot. last season we got beaten by wigan. Not so heavily, but we played alot worse in that game i think. We turned out to have a good season! We would be worse!! we could be wigan, -10 goal difference already!!haha
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22/08/2010 23:48:00

Only got a -3 goal difference which can easily be brough back. Im not panicking yet, it was a freak result but clearly shouldnt have happened especially against newcaslte!
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23/08/2010 00:17:00

Enjoyed reading your article Glensider and join the others in thanking you for your regular match reports which are very enjoyable. In this case though I tend to agree with Albarnista that (despite what the score line suggests) it wasn't all bad - we were the better team for 45mins but got undone by a couple of mistakes and (in Barton's case) a bit of individual brilliance. I disagree that Friedel was to blame for two of the first half goals though - Bartons shot came out of nowhere and was unstoppable, and he actually did bloomin well to get the Nolan's first header but was left stranded for the follow up - unlucky.
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23/08/2010 01:07:00

as per,brilliant article.feel sorry for you and the other villians who paid to watch that dross.
randolph villa
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23/08/2010 01:51:00

How did Ireland play guys?
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23/08/2010 02:20:00

'Better team in the first half' Albarnista, 'better team'? I think not. Better teams dont go in at the break 3-0 down, or if they do, then St James Park on Sunday 22nd August witnessed a first. Not sure in what part of the stadium you were viewing, but up there in the gods, where the very vast majority of us were accomodated, the general concensus at the half-time whistle was that we had been very much second best. Not that I, I hasten to add, go with the flow, the opinions expressed are very much my own. Very well hammered, very much second best, gutless because not one of our number seemed prepared to roll up his sleeves to fight when the going got tough, and clueless because that is exactly how we were, with regards to our inability to stem the flow.
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23/08/2010 03:45:00

In one word, Thaiblue... ****e! But he wasn't match fit and was expected to do the same job as Milner even though he is a different type of player. Hopefully after a few matches he'll gel with the lads and be played in a more advanced position. As an aside, anyone out there still think we got the best end of the deal? We lose our star player to a close rival, get one of their rejects and have cash we can't spend. City have torpedoed us and we're going down faster than the Belgrano! Whether Milner is important to them is less relevant than how integral he was to us. I bet they are laughing their balls off in Mancland and Abu Dhabi.
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23/08/2010 03:50:00

Ashley Young seemed to be the only one to even put in a shift in my opinion. I felt sorry for the lad.
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23/08/2010 06:15:00

We have got to get rid of Carew and Heskey, and replace them with actual strikers. I had a funny feeling Toon were gonna be pumped up for this game, revenge for us dumping them out to the Championship and all that. Hats off to them, they played very well and we certainly didn't. Hoping Ireland is going to be a quick-fix was perhaps a bit naive; looks like he might take some time to fit in. Ah well. Onwards and upwards. UTV
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23/08/2010 07:37:00

Good report as ever GS. I didnt see the game as I was at a Christening but kept in touch with bits here and there. Debated whether to watch MOTD 2 and wish I hadnt. Dunne had a shocker and for me was to blame for at least 2 of the goals. Miss kicked for Caroll to score his 1st and was very slow to react for Carroll to get his 2nd. I think it may also have been Dunne that was closest to Nolan when he got his 2nd although there were 3 Villa men around Nolan and not one of them bothered to react to the knock down. All is not well for me. If you cant get a team motivated during a caretaker spell then you have no chance on a full time basis.
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23/08/2010 08:40:00

p.avfc...I have something for you mate, you left these on vital spurs on tuesday, I'm think you may need them here....HONK!......HONK HONK!...........HONK!.....HONK HONK!.......(thats 6 honks by the way) LMFAO
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23/08/2010 08:54:00

Absolutely gutted, sat watching the game in a pub with Villa shirt and all and was a very embarrassing afternoon. Don't know what game Albarnista was watching but even through my Claret and Sky Blue glasses we were very much second best and didn't seem to have the heart to get stuck in. Let's just hope that this is a wake up call and the team start pulling together. We definitely need a striker that actually knows where the goal is. Also WH losing 1 - 3 at home to Bolton puts some perspective on our opening day result.
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23/08/2010 09:18:00

it's one game in 38. chill kids. newcastle played like freaks. they were amped from the very beginning because they were back in the prem and playing at home. They gave it absolutely everything they had. any side that rocked up there would have gone down. I highly doubt they'll be able to pull that off again.
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23/08/2010 10:44:00

Always seem to agree with every word you say GS. I find it laughable to see some of the comments on here. Its nothing to do with a one off or just a bad performance, I can accpet that if we at least try. Yesterday was the first time since I went to Charlton and we lost 3-0 watching Alpay not trying and Kinsella standing around in midfield that I have been so angry at a performance. Even at 3-0 if MON had been in charge we would have had a go for 10 minutes in the 2nd half. Yesterday we just plain and simply gave up, which is not good enough. The only one I feel can have any credit is Ash Young as he at least got frustrated and kept trying to make things happen.
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23/08/2010 12:02:00

Poor performance, the players really for me for the first time didnt put in effort apart from A Young. The question is why? We need more investment to stand still, which is what mon said. Feel sorry for kmac even thou he was part to blame, lets see what happens by the end of this week!!
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23/08/2010 12:34:00

If its possible I think I agree with both Glensider and Albarnista (yes Albie first time ever I think we've agreed). Until the carew punt, we were the better side by a distance and I thought my pre match prediction of a loss might be wrong afterall. After the attempt by Carew to put the ball back at VP, I agree with Glensider, the Geordies suddenly got belief which was then magnified by Friedel flapping at the first goal and our heads went down in a totally spineless collapse. however as I've posted elsewhere on here today, we had virtually everyone below par, individuals who are normally reliable made schoolboy errors, the script was written for them after we sent them down and whlst I agree if we can get a top manager we should do it really is too soon to write off the season just yet.
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23/08/2010 13:15:00

I think reflecting on this in the cold light of day now it was set up for them really. First home game of the season and a point to prove to the rest of the Premiership (like us vs West Ham last week), us against the world mentality. Penalty miss that spurred them on and then a disallowed goal which really must have had them thinking this is going to be our day. Add into this the fact we relegated them on the last day of the season and Hughton must have been rubbing his hands together, he probably needed to do very little motivating yesterday. I'm hoping this is a freak one off, a wake up call to everyone and that Petrov's nice little speech is more than just words.....time to lick our wounds and get behind the boys again on Thursday, this is our team for christ sake and I for one will be voicing my support as loudly as possible!! up the Villa
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23/08/2010 13:40:00

Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Like last season's home defeat to Wigan, perhaps we thought it would be a stroll in the park, having listened to everyone's rave reviews about last weeks performance. Just turn up and get the three points. Two home games now to build confidence. We need some players back from injury as well to bolster us at the back. Oh and someone who can take penalties.
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23/08/2010 13:53:00

is it safe to come out yet?
The Fear
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23/08/2010 17:12:00


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