What is the best way to stay in the Premier League – Aston Villa vs Newcastle United

Newcastle United beat Aston Villa 2-1 to take a huge step towards staying in the Premier League for another season.
What made this game even more interesting was that both teams have conducted themselves very differently in the January transfer window but who will ultimately be successful.

Newcastle have signed a number of players this window particularly from France and in the first half they dominated the game and there was only one winner. There new signings had given the club a lift and all the players were enjoying the game. However, the second half the game completely changed and Aston Villa probably deserved a point with the amount of pressure they put on the Newcastle goal. Fortunately for the North east team Tim Krul was in good form and they held on for the three points. So the game showed two different things to me, number one being that new signings can make a huge difference to a team lacking in confidence and number two being that when the going gets tough and you want your team to be committed possibly having younger players in the team can be a positive thing.

Sissoko was crucial in the victory

Sissoko was crucial in the victory


I didn’t believe Newcastle were going down this season but there was always the possibility and with some very tough games coming up three points was crucial at Villa Park. The main strength of what Newcastle have done in this transfer window is that they have signed players that can gel and with a lot of French speakers in the squad it won’t take them long to settle into the club. However, a weakness of buying so many players in the January transfer window is that they do not have time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League and if they had started off slowly they may never have picked up.

Onto Aston Villa and they haven’t done anything in the transfer window and are relying on what they have. They have a young team with a lot of potential but not enough experience and that could work against them as the season goes on and if it keeps going the way it is, the players may let their heads drop and if that happens it is most certainly game over. But, if Paul Lambert can keep them positive then their youth and inexperience could work in their favour because they should have no fear which they showed in the second half against Newcastle.

Weimann provided a spark for Villa

Weimann provided a spark for Villa

When you are in a relegation battle in the Premier League in my opinion you do need to bring in players that are going to settle quickly and this is why I think Newcastle have a better chance of staying up. Also, to me it seems like Randy Lerner, Paul Lambert and Aston Villa are preparing for life in the Championship already by not putting any money into the club. I don’t want to see Lambert get sacked simply because with that team I don’t think much can be done so the problem is Randy Lerner in my eyes and their current predicament reminds me a lot of Newcastle when they got relegated.

Will Randy Lerner learn from Mike Ashley's mistakes?

Will Randy Lerner learn from Mike Ashley’s mistakes?

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Who will be the next Aston Villa manager?

Aston Villa have had a disappointing season to say the least and Alex McLeish has took the blame for it.

McLeish only won 21.43% of his games in charge

McLeish and Villa were never going to work out anyway in my opinion, the fans didn’t want him and he plays negative football which is why the club failed to win more games than they did and were sucked into a relegation battle. This time Randy Lerner has to make a good choice or Villa’s place in the Premier League is seriously under threat, since Martin O’Neill left the club it has been in decline. In McLeish’s defence he had to deal with a lot of injuries to key players, in particular Darren Bent but still more was expected of the side and at least a challenge for the top 10 would have been nice for the fans.

So who is going to be the next manager? The current favourite is Paul Lambert of Norwich City as he has had a fantastic season with them and has proved that you don’t need big names to be successful in the Premier League. He has got a lot of players that are quite young and have the potential to grow which is exactly what Villa need right now, with a lot of impressive youngsters coming through like Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan. Lambert has a very impressive record winning 42.46% of his 325 games as a manager and will add vibrancy and reinvigorate the club which is exactly what chief executive Paul Faulkner has said they are looking for. Norwich won’t let him go easily and maybe he will see it as a step sideways and decide against the move.

Mick McCarthy, the former Wolves manager is also linked with the job and this surprised me slightly as he was sacked as manager of Wolves and has never done anything better in the Premier League than battle relegation. I would expect more ambition from a club like Villa but maybe they are thinking that McCarthy did a good job on the whole with Wolves and with better players at his disposal he will be able to lead the team into the top half. He is unemployed and knows that the Premier League so he could be a good choice however I can see the fans reacting just as negatively to this as they did with McLeish.

Finally, yet again Roberto Martinez is linked with the role and he wanted to stay at Wigan Athletic last summer but maybe things have changed and he will be more interested now. If they can drag him away from Wigan then they will have a fantastic manager who likes his teams to play a passing game and is also someone that doesn’t mind trying new things out. His formation of 3-4-3 has worked magnificently towards the end of the season and even the best teams in the league have been unable to deal with it. But Martinez will be thinking if I have one bad season they might sack me. So I think he will stay at Wigan but if Villa give him the chance, they need to make sure they stick by him.

If I was the chairman, I would do everything I could to get Martinez in charge of my team as he has kept Wigan up for a number of years now and he has stuck to his own game plan for the most of it. The players will enjoy the freedom and creativity he will give them and they will prosper under him and maybe challenge for Europe once again.