I don’t know why I expect anything other than disappointment from following United, they have never failed to kick me in the balls in all the time I’ve been watching them. Rafa Benitez had done the impossible and made me care about the club again. I’d walked up to SJP for the Swansea game expecting us to capitulate and meekly fall out of the league but we won 3-0. Rousing performances against Man City and Liverpool made me believe that our players really cared. The vital 1-0 win against Palace made me believe that we had a bit of luck on our side but as usual, Newcastle United thought fuck it, let’s make him miserable (again).
Villa Park is in a shit part of Birmingham and the fans match the surroundings. They really are a set of charmless fuckers. The way they celebrated having one of the worst teams in PL history confirms all of the above. I really don’t know how fans get off supporting the mackems from a home game in Brum but it seemed to make these bellends happy. As a steward said on the way in, ‘if you can’t beat this shower of shit, then you deserve to go down with them’. That just about summed it up and pretty much covers the whole season as well. As you can probably tell, I didn’t enjoy it at all.
The first half (of another must win game) was a complete non-event. We let Villa have possession far too often and were ponderous and slow when moving up the pitch ourselves. I can’t think of anything that really happened with Cisse, Winjaldum (how the hell he stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes I’ll never know) and Colback being particularly culpable for just being shit. Cisse was absolutely rank until he was taken off. His touch was terrible, he couldn’t pass the ball to a team mate and he never looked like causing any threat at all on goal. All he did was run about. If that’s what we expect from a bloke who is there to score goals then it’s no wonder we’re doomed. Winjaldum looks like he has already got a move organised for the summer. He really sums up the modern day pampered footballer who really doesn’t give a shit about anything other than the large amounts of cash filling his bank account every week. Colback is just average at best. What the hell do we expect from a player who we got for nowt from the Mackems? Even players like Townsend and Sissoko (who looked really up for it previously) struggled to create anything at all in the first half.
I think everyone in the away end expected a second half performance akin to the others under Benitez. We expected an upbeat start and for us to start to dominate a team who would crumble if we scored. We didn’t. We should have two minutes after the re-start but Colback fired well over when he absolutely should have scored. Thankfully, Cisse was hooked in the 52nd minute to be replaced by the prolific Mitrovic (I know, a poor attempt at sarcasm there) and he had the only other two chances of the second half. The first came from a Tiote hook back into the box which bounced over / though the Villa back four and which he lobbed over the bar. It was a shit effort and he should have scored. The second came from a cross from our left. Mitrovic outmuscled Lescott and planted a free header wide of the left hand post. He should have scored (a theme here?). A last minute free kick from Townsend was comfortably saved by Bunn and the final whistle blew to great celebration from the home fans as they managed to not become the worst Villa side in their club’s history but not making it 12 losses in a row.
Only Darlow, Mbemba and Lasscelles came out of the game with any kind on credit but to be fair, they really had nowt to do as Villa’s front line looked about as likely to score as ours. It was a surprisingly cautious approach to the game which cost us in my opinion. We seemed reluctant to throw everything at them which surprised me the most. It’s sad to say but this is the second time we have walked away from this bloody ground knowing we are relegated and it’s never any easier to take. I think I’ve just about had enough to be honest. Even drinking my head off around Broad Street all night didn’t help. To cap it off, we ended up in a bar where a welsh choir kept bursting into song. It wasn’t the best end to a shit day to be honest. You can only take so much close harmony singing / Newcastle United before you want to slash your own wrists!
Newcastle United: Darlow 7, Anita 5, Lascelles 6, Mbemba 6, Dummett 5, Tiote 6 (Perez 68 7), Colback 4 (De Jong 90), Townsend 6, Sissoko 5, Wijnaldum 3, Cisse 3 (Mitrovic 52 5).
Unused Subs: Shelvey, Janmaat, Taylor, Woodman.
DAVE TED EDWARDS
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