Friday evening’s score draw with Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United strugglers certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons when it came to the fans. It was a woeful showing once again, but taking the passion and emotion out of it, we did slightly edge it in terms of chances and we all know had Ollie Watkins managed to bury his second late chance – it was game over.
That doesn’t mean that some of the criticism that was doing the rounds on our Vital Villa Match Day Forum Thread in the aftermath of the match weren’t valid and solid points, and neither does it mean that some of the criticism wasn’t wildly over the top.
Forum member McParlandTheGreat had some thoughts of his own that I thought were worthy of a wider audience.
Is it safe to say anything yet?
Me, I’m totally unmoved by Friday’s match. We knew it would be rubbish; Newcastle under Bruce always is. That’s the only way they survive, somehow scrapping enough points to stay above the bottom three. Usually.
Facts of life. These days no team has an even run. Sides run out of steam, struggling sides click. It’s the norm. The Covid layoff didn’t help; it interrupted the flow and we’ve struggled to get it back, at what is always a testing time of the season.
We’ve actually got a decent squad. It’s still a work in progress; sides which aim to improve always are. And it’s a lot more complex than saying this or that player is bad.
What was Dean Smith’s thinking on Friday?
Cash is his best right back by a mile but coming back from a hamstring injury he decided this wasn’t the match to risk him, probably rightly.
Then there’s the question of who’s the attacking midfielder; Ramsey, Barkley or Sanson. None are ideal; Ramsey has potential but maybe not enough guile to test the Barcodes. Barkley could but is off form (to be polite) and Sanson he’s being careful with while he gets up to speed. What the hell, might as well give Ramsey a shot.
DS knows it’s going to be a poor game; with Bruce packing the defence, he’d be happy to get the three points but maybe not too surprised it’s just the one. DS is probably taking the long view and thinking about where the squad will be at the end of the season.
Why not? We’re still three points ahead of Arsenal and six ahead of Real Leeds, and only two behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
In the great scheme of things, dealing with Newcastle and taking a point doesn’t matter that much.
Can You Shake Newcastle Off That Easily?
Yes, But It's A Worry
No Chance, I'm Still Fuming