It's a big game tomorrow. Not because it's Newcastle or because we have a new manager joining us next week, but because our players demonstrated something last time out and we will find out tomorrow if it was just a flash in the pan or if they really are that good.
We might not find out tomorrow because we've now entered another transitional period, brought on by our incompetent CEO. So I could easily write that the result doesn't really matter. But we want to see a performance. We want to see something similar to what we saw against Brentford.
And the players will know that Unai Emery will be watching, so they'll want to put in a performance. But can they?
But Newcastle are different under Eddie Howe and St James' Park can be an intimidating place to go. It will take a slightly different approach to Brentford at Villa Park, but it's now one that should be thought of as too tough. We shouldn't forget, it is only Newcastle.
I'll be back tomorrow, but this is the match post. Whatever happens, we start again next week and we can expect change to come. In what form and how quickly, we just have to wait and see. But tomorrow will be fun.
Temporary manager speaks
Match facts from the BBC
- Newcastle's 1-0 home victory in February last season ended a seven-match Premier League winless streak in this fixture.
- The Magpies are unbeaten in 13 Premier League home games against Aston Villa, their longest run versus a particular team (W7, D6).
- Newcastle have scored once in each of the past seven Premier League meetings at St James' Park, with three 1-0 wins and four 1-1 draws.
- Newcastle can equal the club Premier League record of five wins in a month, achieved most recently in April 2006.
- An 18th top-flight victory of 2022 would be their most in a calendar year since 2002, when they recorded 20.
- The Magpies have only lost once in 15 matches in all competitions (W8, D6).
- They have the best defensive record in the division, conceding 10 goals in 12 league games.
- Manchester City and Liverpool are the only visiting teams to have won in 20 Premier League fixtures at St James' Park since Eddie Howe was appointed as Newcastle's manager.
- Miguel Almiron has scored five league goals in as many appearances this month.
- Callum Wilson has failed to score in his six Premier League appearances versus Aston Villa. It's the most games he has played against a side without ever scoring.
- Villa's six-match winless away run in 2022-23 is their longest from the beginning of a Premier League season since a streak of seven games 11 years ago.
- Their solitary victory in 11 away league fixtures was 3-1 at Burnley in May.
- Aston Villa are looking to earn successive league victories for the first time since May.
- They have only taken one point from their 12 most recent matches against sides starting the day in the top four.
- Philippe Coutinho has scored one goal and made no assists in his past 22 Premier League appearances.