By Christopher Boulay

Newcastle United's Andy Carroll (2nd L) celebrates scoring against Aston Villa during their English Premier League soccer match in Newcastle, northern England August 22, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)

Aston Villa’s motto on the bottom of their crest is ‘Prepared.’ It’s short and simple.

Prepared is something the Villains were not against Premiership new boys Newcastle United on Sunday. What probably should have been an easy win for Villa, turned into a nightmare rather quick.

Just look at the stats:

Possession- NUFC 60% AVFC 40%

Shots (on Goal)- NUFC 19 (13) AVFC 2 (1)

Corners- NUFC 6 AVFC 2

It may be painfully obvious, but you cannot win if you don’t have the ball, you cannot win if you don’t shoot, and you can’t win if you produce next to nothing offensively. After that missed penalty by Carew, which was horrid, it looked like the wheels came off for Villa.

A hat trick for Carroll, a crutch for Nolan, and Barton’s opener was all it took to have Villa fans from cautious optimism, to near panic. As I write this, the Magpies faithful are probably still awake in Newcastle celebrating the slaying of a Premier League giant.

There really is nothing positive to come from this result, other than the fact that no one got sent off. Seriously, Villa just had a reality check, and if they don’t learn from it soon, this could be a very long year. It is the second game of the season, I recognize that, but slow starts can absolutely cripple a team. Beating a terrible West Ham side may be three points, but it won’t instill fear in any Premier League opponent. Losing to a newly promoted team by a 6-0 margin, well that just makes a club look like a laughing stock. While I don’t think that it has to do with Milner leaving, I do think that the lack of leadership from Martin O’Neill’s departure is partially to blame.

This brings me to my next point:

Kevin MacDonald has had his shot. I don’t care who you play, but if they are a newly promoted club, you do not allow six goals. Villa needs a change and they need it fast. He is just a caretaker manager, and he should not get anything on a permanent basis. If Villa can’t survive to the Europa League group stage this week, the board needs to consider their options. A team with this much talent can’t afford to be embarrassed like that.

There are plenty of able managers that are unattached at the moment, and Villa need to act fast if they want to land one. It always takes a couple games to get used to a new manager, and if the Villains want to stay on track for Europe, or even top 10, they need to get a deal done.


  1. I agree with your sentiments re the Villa manager. I don’t think there would have been the level of capitulation under Martin O’Neill. The psychological effect on the team of having a caretaker manager after losing someone of the calibre of O’Neill cannot be overlooked.

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