That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
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Moussa Sissoko and Yoann Gouffran must have come off the Aston Villa pitch at half-time wondering if all the talk of the Premier League being ultra-competitive was absolute bunkum. No easy games? That must have felt like a massive myth after an opening ten minutes in which they had enjoyed 86% possession and - on a statistician's twist on an old joke - Villa were lucky to get 14. Pouvons-nous vous jouez chaque semaine?
It wasn't that Villa were poor in that first half - it was simply like they didn't exist. It was Frenchmen against boys and the boys looked like they'd stayed up way past their bedtime just to get a beating. It seemed to cross nobody's mind to pick up Sissoko, presumably because their young, fragile minds were too scrambled by the movement of Papiss Cisse, Gouffran and Jonas Gutierrez. They were so utterly rotten that one bookmaker had tweeted that Villa were favourites to win next season's Championship title by the time the first half-hour had been completed.
On the strength of that opening 45 minutes, it's difficult to see Newcastle getting seriously involved in a relegation battle. Yes, they wobbled as Villa belatedly realised they were allowed to play an active role, but they eventually emerged with their first away victory of the season. Never mind the quality, feel the points and then feel the ensuing confidence. In that first half, Sissoko was excellent, Gouffran was lively and Yohan Cabaye was clearly emboldened by their arrival. They have wasted six stressful months but their season begins now with a lesson learned: To attempt to stand still in this Premier League is to risk reverse.
The same optimism cannot be extended to Villa. There was no shortage of energy after the break but a) it came too late to rescue anything but pride and b) it takes rather more than the odd 45 minutes of energy to survive relegation. The list of players who are simply not good enough to form the backbone of a Premier League side is frighteningly long. Joe Bennett, Matthew Lowton, Ciaran Clark and Ashley Westwood may have blossomed as bit-part players but they have not been afforded the luxury of easing themselves in at the shallow end. Like a C-list celebrity on Splash!, it's been messy and embarrassing.
There's no point in changing the manager because it's the weakness of a young, callow squad that is patently the problem. Paul Lambert should certainly take a wedge of the blame for the make-up of that painfully thin squad but having made the decision to opt for cheap and young, they should at least stick with a manager who wants to work with cheap and young - though we suspect at this stage he wouldn't mind a little influx of slightly older and slightly less cheap.
As Lambert faces the challenge of lifting a group of footballers who barely know what it feels like to win a Premier League game, he should spare five minutes to put in a begging phone call to Randy Lerner. Send him the DVD, tell him to watch until the end and then start looking down the back of the settee. Without help, this Villa side is going down.