While Newcastle United and Aston Villa may not be the most obvious rivals in the world given the distance between St. James’ and Villa Park, there is an element of real needle when the two meet.
Indeed, two of English football’s historic powerhouses, the Magpies were relegated in the Midlands back in 2009 while under the stewardship of Alan Shearer in front of a home crowd who’d made banners to revel in the visitors’ absolute misery.
So, any meeting between the two is big enough but tonight’s trip to the scene of 2009’s crime gets even more dramatic when you consider what’s in store for Steve Bruce. It’s fair to say Rafa Benitez’s replacement on Tyneside wasn’t an overly popular choice upon his arrival over the course of the summer and that kind of ill-will towards him was also evident during his time in charge of those clad in claret and blue.
An ex-Birmingham boss obviously, Bruce infamously had a cabbage thrown at him during a difficult spell for the team in the Championship last year prior to his sacking and the 58-year-old described it as one of the most unsavoury moments of his career.
Still, despite that ugly event last year, some Villa fans online have actually been hoping Bruce gets a good reception tonight.
Lets not make tonight all about steve Bruce, cos its not, its about Dean Smith and Aston Villa getting 3 points, Bruce failed and is history, he doesn’t deserve any abuse, the bloke did his best,
Get behind the team and the best way to get at bruce is by beating them UTV #AVFC
— Layton (Probes) AVFC (@laytonprobert) November 25, 2019
— Michael Plant (@MichaelPlant82) November 25, 2019
If I was going to ask one thing tonight it would be to ask all villa fans not to make tonight about Steve Bruce! It will only play into his and the media’s hands #Avfc
— Daniel Stannage (@danstannage) November 25, 2019
— James Donaghy (@thecoldgun) November 25, 2019
I really hope Steve Bruce gets the reception at VP tonight that he deserves. Not our best manager but a manager that kept us going, tried his best and it unfortunately didn’t work out for him. Whatever you think of him he still took us to a play off final #AVFC
— Steve Grimshaw (@GrimmySteveAV) November 25, 2019
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