Monday, August 20, 2007

"A goal, a goal, my kingdom for a goal"

Newcastle Utd 0 - 0 Aston Villa

Whilst we aren't quite in Richard III territory yet, the lack of a home league goal since Nobby's penalty against Liverpool in February is currently a cause for concern. On Saturday, it was Aston Villa's turn to keep a clean sheet against our impotent strike force, as both sides cancelled each other out.

On the plus side, Newcastle benefited from strong performances by Steve Harper in goal (who produced several top class saves), and Taylor and Rozehnal in defence - the latter showing definite promise of a solid partnership. Unfortunately, going forward we rarely looked capable of unlocking Villa's back line, with our best chance falling to Rozehnal, only for his effort to be saved by Scott Carson. From an attacking point of view, Milner looked lively, but Martins didn't appear to relish the left-sided attacking role he was asked to play.

In the second half, Owen proved that he needs games before he returns to match sharpness - which is why any part he plays for England this week should be welcomed (assuming he returns injury free).

Allardyce talked after the match about the importance of clean sheets - and whilst he has a point I think there will come a time when our inability to score will see the crowd expressing their frustration in rather more vocal terms than they did on Saturday.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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