Report: Villa Park party gives Newcastle what they deserve.  Sob On The Tyne Again.

It might come across as cynical, perverse, almost childish to
have enjoyed the final home game against Newcastle as much as we did.  Perhaps even more so given that the game was
dire and the result a draw.

For we did enjoy ourselves, largely at our old foes expense.  Again.

Many will look in on this increasingly bitter rivalry that’s
developed between Villa and Newcastle with a raised eyebrow.  It of course all stems from our infamous
relegation of the doomed Shearer side of 2009.
If it hadn’t been Villa, someone else would have taken equal pleasure I’m

The Geordie nation hasn’t forgotten and can certainly hold a
grudge.  Sob on the Tyne, indeed.  They will keep on sobbing after this result,
that’s for sure.

Pre-match I was struck by the visiting fans outside Villa

Now, Villa aren’t always saints, but the two groups most
watched (whilst waiting for the latest Villa protest from the Holte Pub) were

Drink invariably plays a part, and I know not all Newcastle
fans are the same, but the arrogance and parading down Trinity Road I witnessed
wasn’t palatable.  Brash, confrontational
and arrogant.  You could have been
forgiven for thinking that the Premier League title was on Tyneside.

Aston Villa kneeling before Newcastle?  I think not.

Troop your colours, sing your songs, have some banter but stay

The one telling factor in these matters is ultimately what
happens on the pitch.  That’s all that

And Newcastle were dreadful.
The game was also undeniably dreadful.
We played our part in that.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Eric Black, our inept caretaker manager, continued with his
selection of the hopeless Leandro Bacuna and Joleon Lescott.  Bacuna was roundly booed every time he dared
a touch.  The Dutchman even found himself
heckled for putting the ball out of play so that the injured Carlos Sanchez
could receive assistance.

Lescott, still unbelievably our Captain, was reminded of his
new cars at every opportunity from The Holte.
It’s equally astonishing that we risk having to watch him for two more
seasons under his existing deal.

The first half was tame.
Aside from a ball flashed across the Villa goal, nothing noteworthy
happened.  I was staggered by how
reserved the visitors were.  Totally
without any intention of taking the game to us.
It was equally a missed opportunity on our part to attempt to create
something, so stand-offish were Benitez’s side.

It seemed that after the break, surely, there would be an
offensive, a barrage in their attempts to secure three essential points.  Wrong.

It was arguably one of the poorest opposition displays
witnessed at Villa Park in a very, very long time.  We beat a poor Norwich and a disinterested
Crystal Palace after-all.  It should not
be forgotten that we are a good barometer for judging ineptitude.

Villa were no better, strangled by the effects of years of
awful, impotent coaching of any offensive ability out of the squad.  Our shape was a puzzle and our tactics open
to interpretation.

Ashley Westwood manages to take the impetus out of the slightest
suggestion of an attack and simply gets over-run physically.  Sanchez does the great and the horrendous in
equal measure.  Gana, well, I just don’t
see the attributes to become excited about.
Whilst it might be effective at stifling the midfield, we still seem both
at risk and limited in attack.

Speaking of the attack; what attack?

Ayew huffed and puffed but was never in the game.  Sinclair hasn’t been in any game since he was
rewarded with a contract after scoring a memorable goal in 2015 against West
Brom.  Limp.

As the game wore on and it looked just as likely that anyone
(if they could be bothered) might score, it made no sense to see no
substitutes.  We have had successive
managers who have baffled by not doing the obvious.  I put it down to a stubborn “I know better
than you” attitude.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Today we needed something, anything.  The rawness of Traore running at their
defence.  Grealish’s trickery just for
one opening.  What we did get was
Hepburn-Murphy in the 90th minute.
What’s the point?  Give the kid 45
minutes, not 6 minutes of injury time?
Eric Black; you are a tool.

All this whilst in the closing stages, we got deeper and
deeper and deeper.  Watching Newcastle
roll on their subs.  If they weren’t so
bad, I might have been concerned.

I guess that’s the point.

Newcastle fans, vocally on social media certainly, want us
all to think of them as a big, successful and powerful club.  That they are on the cusp of fulfilling a
mythical, romantic prophecy.  I’m not sure
who created this myth; Sky, Mike Ashley, Ant or Dec.

The reality must one day dawn.  Newcastle United is not a football club with
a pedigree for success.  Well supported?  Yes, in a two club part of the world; who
else is there to follow apart from the red and white half?  

Draw a circle around The Midlands or London and do the
maths.  All I can fathom is that there is
very little to do in Newcastle every other weekend.  Sunderland isn’t even that far away

I suppose the delusion is where the black humour comes into
it.  At Villa we have enjoyed the great
times and get this, coped with the bad.
It’s no use crying into your Sports Direct mug or pretending you’re a
superpower sleeping giant.  We cry into
our European Cup.  We get it; it hurts.

Our relegation has been met with anger, there’s no
doubt.  However, life goes on and our
great fanbase will seize upon it as our re-birth.  There were scenes today that could compare to
memorable European nights at Villa Park.
That speaks volumes.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

So, as we approach our final game away at Arsenal many will
feel that despite our downfall, that the fanbase is at least together.  Downtrodden, decidedly sick of this season,
but in the right frame of mind for a Championship scrap.

That will no doubt be important.  

We ultimately have no control over how our club is run, who
owns it or how it chooses to treat us.  

We can though show an eleven who pull on the shirt what it
means to represent a great club like Aston Villa.

>> Follow Villa Underground on Twitter

>> Get the latest Aston Villa news to your inbox – Subscribe to The Villa Underground Email.