Preview: Aston Villa vs Newcastle Utd – 23/08/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

We head to Villa Park on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City. Despite the negative result last weekend, the game was full of positives for Alan Pardew’s side. We made the game very difficult for the champions and the scoreline flattered them in the end. If this weekend we play as well as we did last weekend it is fair to say we will comfortably beat Aston Villa.

In the opener we looked to get the ball down and play some football a lot more often than we did last season which allowed our midfield players to see more of the ball. If we continue with a similar style of play it will likely result in a better outcome against a side that aren’t the reigning champions. No disrespect to the Aston Villa defence but they aren’t on the same level as the likes of Vincent Kompany meaning the likes of Rémy Cabella should find it a little bit easier to create chances.

The much anticipated debut of Siem De Jong is scheduled for this encounter; his presence will bring a verve to the Newcastle United side as well as added goals, creativity and intelligence. Facundo Ferreyra may also be in line for his first competitive Newcastle United match, as due to his lack of match fitness the Argentine didn’t feature against Man City but he started a reserve game against Bolton on Monday night scoring once and assisting an own goal in a 3-3 draw which could bring him into contention.

After a tough opener against the reigning champions we are still looking for our first win of the season. Aston Villa are one of the few teams we managed to do the double over last season and once again there is an expectation amongst the Toon Army that Alan Pardew’s side return from Villa Park with no less than the full three points on offer. Continue reading

Aston Villa Fans’ Thoughts on the Match

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Yacob

This week I headed over to the Heroes and Villains forum to ask the questions and many of you will be pleased to hear that the scoreline prediction is back. Here are this week’s questions:

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
2 – New signings you think will make the biggest/smallest impact for both clubs?
3 – What young players could make an impact?
4 – Who is your most important player?
5 – Which one picture relating to Villa encapsulates how you feel about your club?
6 – If your club was a footballer, who would it be and why?
7 – What sort of impact do you feel Roy Keane has/will make?
8 – What are your thoughts on Lambert? Is he still the right man to take Villa forward?
9 – Lambert has seemingly brought N’Zogbia, Hutton, Given and Bent in from the cold? How much of a difference can they make?
10 – What do you think the score will be?

Toronto La Roca

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
Villa 11th, Newcastle 13th

2 – New signings you think will make the biggest/smallest impact for both clubs?
Sanchez for Villa, Cabella for you

3 – What young players could make an impact?
While Okore will force his way into being a top player at Villa, everyone is really encouraged by Jack Grealish

4 – Who is your most important player?
Vlaar now, Benteke by the end of the season

5 – Which one picture relating to Villa encapsulates how you feel about your club?
Dark grey clouds breaking, sun trying to come through

6 – If your club was a footballer, who would it be and why?
The best I can do is Jack Wilshere. A player with loads of potential, some flashes of brilliance but lets himself down with inconsistency and stupid acts too often.

7 – What sort of impact do you feel Roy Keane has/will make?
I think he’ll be a very stabilizing force and bring tremendous confidence to the players.

8 – What are your thoughts on Lambert? Is he still the right man to take Villa forward?
Not sure. He’s here and I’m willing to give him another opportunity to prove himself. He can’t be that bad if so many of us wanted him in the beginning.

9 – Lambert has seemingly brought N’Zogbia, Hutton, Given and Bent in from the cold? How much of a difference can they make?
It will give us proper strength in depth and much needed experience.

10 – What do you think the score will be?
2-1 Villa

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TFI – Player Ratings vs Manchester City – 17 Aug 14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Welcome to our first ToonForumIndex match report of the season, our second full campaign (our summary of last season can be found here) of asking our forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time a record 38 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

A host of debutants, a change in style, and an encouraging performance against the champions resulted in this season opening in a very different fashion to how the previous one ended three months prior. Some promising play in the first half, with Cabella’s flair and willingness to skip past a man or two, and Rivière’s harrying of the defence and hold-up play standing out in particular, was dampened thanks to a goal for the visitors after a combination of poor defending and silky skill saw Dzeko find Silva in space for an easy opener with half-time approaching.

Things opened up for a period in the second half, with Gouffran having a particularly good chance after a Colback corner found him in acres of space, and after the visitors tried to slow the game down, Pardew added Obertan, Aarons and Pérez to the mix, about ten minutes apart from each other. The last of those three, Ayoze, would be the one who impressed most, having an immediate impact and charging past the City defence on the break, only to have Fernando barely get a crucial deflection on the resulting shot. A couple more chances would follow, as Dummett and Sissoko in particular should have at least hit the target, but it wasn’t to be and after Aarons failed to take the ball past an opposing player, City broke and despite Krul parrying the first shot, Agüero sealed the win.

The team averaged a rating of 6.07, while Colback (7.66) and Obertan (5.17) took the first man and mug of the match awards of the season, respectively. The ginger debutant stepped up his performance and impressed after what was perceived to be a poor pre-season, while the Frenchman was judged to have done the opposite after great pre-season. Pardew was rated 5.92, earning praise for the manner in which he approached the game, but being criticised for a reluctance to commit players to attacks. Continue reading

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Manchester City – 17/08/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

We enter this season in pretty much the inverse manner to how we started the last campaign; Manchester City at home rather than away, and with both of the transfer windows leading up to either season having opposite outcomes. This time the previous January window was very disappointing as we sold our key player and had the team fall apart from then on, but the same period in 2013 saw us significantly strengthen by bringing in five first team players, many of whom have grown to be key components of our team.

In this summer we have made an impressive nine signings (including two loaned back to Nottingham Forest and a loan-to-buy deal for Ferreyra) compared to making a single loan signing, in the form of Rémy, the year before. I suppose that the one major commonality is that again Pardew’s position is tenuous at best in the eyes of the fans, as both seasons ended on a poor note.

While the spending spree, which seems to have been largely funded by the sales of Cabaye and Debuchy, and immediate impact had by the new players in pre-season seems to have papered over the cracks, the manager still has a long way to go before he is approved of again. However, it is unlikely that Pardew will manage to get off to a winning start this season, considering that we have lost our last ten games against Manchester City, who visit us as reigning champions, and we haven’t got a win over them in sixteen, that last victory coming way back in 2005. I don’t think our record of not losing at home on the opening day of the season since 2004 is going to still be intact by Monday. Continue reading

Man City Fans’ Thoughts on the Match

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Yacob

The oppositions fan questions have returned and to open the season, I visited the Bluemoon forum, which appears to be the largest Manchester City forum to post the questions. The response was good and some of the replies make for a good read. The questions were:

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
2 – New signings you think will make the biggest/smallest impact for both clubs?
3 – What young players could make an impact?
4 – Who is your most important player?
5 – Which one picture relating to City encapsulates how you feel about your club?
6 – If your club was a footballer, who would it be and why?
7 – How do you see your team fairing in the Champions League this year?
8 – Just how important is it that Aguero stays fit this year?
9 – Dzeko or Negredo?
10 – Do you think Lampard will get much game time for you before he leaves in January?

Bilboblue

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
top two for us, around 9th for Newcastle.

2 – New signings you think will make the biggest/smallest impact for both clubs?
Hopefully Fernando will do his job allowing Fernandinho to get forward more. For Newcastle, I like that French guy you just signed……

3 – What young players could make an impact?
Mangala/Rekik/Jovetic

4 – Who is your most important player?
Silva and Yaya equally, we miss either if not playing.

5 – Which one picture relating to City encapsulates how you feel about your club?
Probably Dickov sliding on his knees at Wembley many moons ago.

6 – If your club was an footballer, who would it be and why?
Colin Bell, sleek and efficient with flair.

7 – How do you see your team faring in the Champions League this year?
Quarter finals hopefully, I still think we are a bit naive in this competition.

8 – Just how important is it that Aguero stays fit this year?
It’s always important for every team to keep the best players fit.

9 – Dzeko or Negredo?
Dzeko for me is more dependable, but Negredo before his injury last year was superb, hopefully he recovers sufficiently

10 – Do you think Lampard will get much game time for you before he leaves in January?
No, some in the cups and a few appearances as a sub, a player that has had an incredible career, but is here 4 or 5 years too late.

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