Gone Fishing – NUFC v Aston Villa (02/9/12)

Thanks to the members from heroesandvillains.info for participating (thread here)


Our neighbours down the road are hailing Martin O’Neill as a messiah, the consensus on Tyneside is that it’s a house built on shifting sands; as fans of a club he managed, what do you see for sunderland’s future under O’Neill?

  • Chipsticks –  I predict an unsustainable wage bill for Sunderland that comes back to haunt them once the great O’Neil gets fussy and moves on
  • Steve Rose – Whatever O’Neill builds, it will have feet of clay. They will be flavour of the moment for a while but you will have the last laugh. So will we.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – they’ll have more success than they’ve had in some years. This will be followed by the realisation that success for Sunderland amounts to not much more than consistently upper-top-half finishes, perhaps a league cup and not much more. O’Neill will leave, the next manager won’t be able to do much with what’s been left behind.

A busy window for you, what are your thoughts of the new recruits?

  • Chipsticks –  – Happy with the window! The lack of proven Premier League quality is a concern but we have a wide range of young, ‘hungry’ players who seem to genuinely want to play for the club (makes a nice change). Vlaar at CB and Karim El Ahmadi in holding midfielder have both looked very solid
  • Steve Rose – Our transfer window : No quick fixes there, but genuine possibilities for the future. The complete opposite of what we have been used to. We may fall flat on our faces, but I like what has been done.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Nobody really knows, but it’ll be fun finding out. Or maybe it’ll be horrible.

A few pundits are tipping you for the drop, is this fair?

  • Chipsticks – I can see why pundits would tip us to go down, we have a small, young squad. But once they start to gel together I’m sure the results will come and I fully trust Lambert to keep us well away from relegation
  • Steve Rose – pundits are fickle, and don’t seem to like us much right now. Not fair, but not unreasonable either.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – it’s more likely than top-six, but it’s still an outside bet. Like when Newcastle went dow…oh.

Which Villa player do you predict will have a big season? 

  • Chipsticks –  I think Darren Bent’s going to have a big season. We’re relying on his goals big time but we know he has the ability.
  • Steve Rose – Concrete Ronald. He’ll be the one emerging from the tunnel chewing on a baby’s arm.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Big season for Stephen Ireland.

Which Villa player do you predict will have a disappointing season? 

  • Chipsticks –  I think Charles N’Zogbia might have a dissapoint season. He’s been very uninspiring since arriving, and we’re all praying he decides to start playing like we know he can soon. Why not against his old club?
  • Steve Rose – Such things are relative. I doubt NZogbia will be anything other than underwhelming.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Disappointing season for N’Zogbia. Again

What’s a realistic aim for Villa this season? Where have you strengthened to achieve this?

  • Chipsticks –  A realistic aim for Villa this season is to finish above 15 and show notable improvements in our approach to games since last season.
  • Steve Rose – keep out of the mire, got rid of McLeish
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Realistically: mid-table oblivion.

Who will win the Premier League this year and why?

  • Chipsticks –  I have a feeling Chelsea will win the league this season, they’ve made the best signings and have started very strongly.
  • Steve Rose – not us, couldn’t give a monkeys
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Champions: Man City.

How do you see the top 6 panning out? and why?

  • Chipsticks –  I think Chelsea, Man City, Spurs, and Man United will get Champions League football, with Everton and your lot getting 5th and 6th.
  • Steve Rose – not us, couldn’t give a monkeys
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Top-six: The usuals plus Spurs, Newcastle, Everton or Liverpool

Which teams will be relegated and why?

  • Chipsticks –  Norwich, Southampton, and Reading are my candidates to go down. I’m not convinced there’s much, if any, quality players worthy of the premier league in their squads.
  • Steve Rose – not us, couldn’t give a monkeys
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Relegated: Reading, Saints and one of Norwich, Wigan, QPR.

Which new Premier League players are you looking forward to seeing?

  • Chipsticks –  Quite excited to watch Eden Hazard, he’s looked absolute class so far.
  • Steve Rose – Any and all of our new signings. Plus Bent (if he actually gets to touch the ball it will seem like a new signing)
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Podolski will be interesting.

Who will be your danger man/men against Newcastle?

  • Chipsticks –  The one thing to watch out for will be Bent. He might not get many chances but if the ball gets anywhere near him in the box he rarely fails.
  • Steve Rose – No idea, good performances are found where they come from right now.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – El-Ahmadi, Bent if he wants to be.

Which Newcastle players are you worried about?

  • Chipsticks –  I’m very worried about Demba Ba and Cisse up front, as we’ve seen what they can do from multiple positions. That Vukic looked really good  in the Europa League against that Greek side as well – very creative and full of energy.
  • Steve Rose – Shearer. He’s an ugly get.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – Tiote, Cisse, Mirandinha

Finally, what do you reckon the score will be?

  • Chipsticks –  I predict a 1-1 draw out of hope more than anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us take a bit of a hiding.
  • Steve Rose – Could be anything really. You got 6 two years ago but could have been 2 down and out of it in the first 20 minutes. Last year we were nowhere near as good as 1-2.
  • VillaiNorseVillan – 2-2


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