It was announced today that Big Emile Heskey will be out of action for up to three weeks. This in theory could be a blessing in disguise. All season there have been question marks over Heskeys starting place and whether he deserved it and if he did was he really a man for the middle of the park?
So how do we replace him?
In theory it shouldn't be to hard. Albrighton? Bannan? Jenas?
Personally i would go for a Albrighton start against Newcastle especially as Jenas wont be fit for Saturday. But I would also bring in Bannan and give Delph a break as i feel he looked a little ropey against Everton. And with him and Petrov playing (Petrov wont get dropped) We just don't have that attacking flair. With Bannan in the team he just always wants to get that ball passed forward. We dont't call him the Scottish Xavi for nothing you know.
All season what we have lacked primarily is width. That is one thing we have become accustomed to over the years at Villa. And we are lacking big holes on our wings at the moment. Its time for Albrighton to come in and prove he is ready and rip Danny Simpson apart and get some balls put in there like the ball he delivered to Agbonlahor for our second goal against Everton.
There are two other players who need to have a good game too. Darren Bent has not looked at his best this season so far. That could be down to a couple of things. Deliveries and service? Or lack of form? I think the problem lies somewhere in the middle of the two. Hopefully its a blip and will come out of it sooner rather than later.
The other player who needs a good game is Charles N'Zogbia. Since he came into Villa he has looked a shade of the player we signed from Wigan. The player who single handedly kept Wigan up with his performances at the end of last season. With every game that passes he seems to be more and frustrated with himself. He needs a performance and what better time than against his old club Newcastle on Saturday.
One positive from the first few games of the season is that our defense looks a complete different package than what they did last season. Dunne and Collins are almost back to their best that they showed under MON. Then there is the GK Shay Given has to be the best signing of the summer already he has shown what a fantastic GK he is, saving us on countless occasions throughout the games so far this term.
So for Saturday I would go for a 4-42 or a 4-4-1-1
Hutton Collins Dunne Warnock
N'Zogbia Petrov Bannan Albrighton
One thing that is needed from the game Saturday is that we need a performance to get the fans singing in the Holte end and around the ground again. Best way of achieving that? Attacking play.
Another thing that is a must is 3 points. As a fan the win against Blackburn seems far to long ago now. So I would hate to think how it feels for the players. Yes i know its only 2 games. But still. With the run we have coming up in December we need to get those wins in place now as its going to be hard to get anything out of the festive season with our fixtures.
So what of the opposition? Well somehow our opponents are also unbeaten this season on seven points with their two wins coming against Fulham at St James Park and a good away win at their local rivals Sunderland. Along with that have had goalless draws with Arsenal and QPR. Newcastles problems are similar to ours though. Goals. After selling Carroll in January they have not really replaced him and after losing Nolan and Barton in the summer in theory this is a game we need to look at think, we can win it!
ASTON VILLA 2-0 NEWCASTLE UNITED
Whats your prediction??????