Season 2005-06 Result
Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa
 A.Shearer 32 (pen).
 R.Elliott.
 G.McCann 75.
 G.McCann,
 L.Hendrie.
Date: 03/12/2005  Venue: St.James' Park  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 52,267
Match Report Submitted on 07/12/2005 by Sean
Being given this match to report following the JJB debacle made me think xmas had come early, after all the players reputations had been scrutinised, criticised and vilified which meant, to a man they had something to prove. Then we come to our gloriously ‘unlucky’ manager, having been usurped tactically by one of the youngest and least experienced managers in the premier league and having his ‘judge me when all our players are fit’ stock excuse embarrassingly exposed by defeat to a reserve team, ‘the disciplinarian, no nonsense man motivator’ would surely have fired up our boys to bury the ghosts of the carling cup?

So it was with surprise and trepidation that the team selection was met when Ivan and John, (my next door neighbours in the Gallowgate), relayed this information to me upon my arrival ten seconds prior to kick off. Now ok, Chopra getting a chance wasn’t a huge shock but smacked a bit of desperation however the inclusion of Faye reeked of complete idiocy! As it transpired, the change in personnel did nothing to improve the quality of football served up and in fairness, Faye wasn’t glaringly worse than anyone else wearing the famous stripes, he just fitted right in almost seamlessly.

The action was thin on the ground from two teams who have forgotten what passing and movement brings to the oblong field of green. In truth, Villa’s attack was as bad as our ‘keystone cops’ defence, we had slightly more idea in the final third but their defence was so much better drilled than our own that they handled everything comfortably until Scott Parkers sweetly struck goal bound effort was intercepted by Ian Ridgewell’s arm in the 32nd minute. Cue Mr Shearer bearing down on wor Jackie’s record but facing a mackem reject who had incredibly managed to thwart big Al twice previously in a penalty situation. ‘’’’Thump’’’’, no problem this time as Alan hammered the ball to Sorear$e’s right and although he guessed right he was helpless to prevent improvement to Shearers statistics.

After that followed a lot of huffing and puffing with little real threat from either side, Hendrie (not the snooker player) curled a free kick into the side netting and after the break Shearer clipped the crossbar with and exquisite half volley. So it was no surprise when another horrible mackem reject struck to level in the 75th minute, it was a good finish but questions must be raised regarding yet more defensive capitulation which saw the ball given away cheaply ten yards inside our own half and Boumsong going on an ‘aboriginal style’ walkabout while ball watching.

It seemed a point was about fair, then in the 88th minute and with the game petering out into a dull draw, Titus lunges at Baros like a ‘rhino at a sparrow’ as he heads into no-mans land just inside the area. How professional footballers’ decision making brings him to this course of action should be subject to clinical psychological testing. Thankfully Gareth Barry decided on a Chris Waddle impersonation and blazed the ball 4ft over the bar to ensure the drab point was safe.

To summarize, this was another abject display with no fear of any flowing football, and no discernible system in place to establish any patterns of play for the players to accustom themselves to. It seems ironic that on the day of the great George Best’s funeral there wasn’t one iota of flair on display at St James’ Park and it would seem that the coaching of Saunders and Murray could convert Ronaldhino into Kevin Muscat! Bring on the ar$e.