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Reasons to Play: Why Newcastle United Should Want To Beat Aston Villa

It is becoming apparent that Newcastle United players are buying in to the "nothing to play for" train of thought. Here are some reasons to play hard on Saturday against Aston Villa.

Mike Finn-Kelcey/Getty Images

I would like to start this with a small apology.  I was perhaps a little slow to react to a trend that we could all see growing in the past 6 weeks or so.  It became pretty clear last Saturday that this team don't know some of the reasons that they should be turning up week after week.  We should have been doing this earlier, and for failing to realize that, I apologize.

It shouldn't be my job as a Newcastle United supporter to do this.  I should actually be one of the reasons on this list, frankly.  It seems, however, that "win for your supporters who travel all over the country, turn up at St. James' Park match after match, year after year and buy lots of merchandise to support this club" isn't a strong enough motivator.  Neither is "personal pride as a professional footballer".  As a result, I have sat down and drummed up a couple of other reasons that representatives of our club, Newcastle United, should want to really take it to Aston Villa on Saturday.

1. It would get Stan Collymore's goat. (h/t @DolphinHotel)

Perhaps you are not very active in social.  I would completely understand.  It's a pretty ugly wasteland, especially if you happen to be a player who performed as you did on a particular day last weekend.  Because I am willing to indulge you this, I will fill in the blanks a little bit.  First, if the call "COLLYMORRRE!" doesn't curdle your blood, I can't help you... your lesson ends here.  If you understand why that call would curdle supporters' blood, then you may continue.  One of the time honored pastimes of Newcastle fans on twitter is to get banned by Stan.  A variation on the game is to see exactly how little it takes to get banned.  Stan Collymore is a bit of a gasbag and has some personal baggage that you could take into account or not... but he has been a supporter of Aston Villa since a young age and so it would be fun to make him sad.  (Maybe he'll block you on twitter if you were to score the game winning goal!  You know... that is if he is still doing the twitter thing these days.)

2.  May 24, 2009

Imagine lads that you support a club.  I'm sure all of you can relate.  Imagine that your club had been taken over and that curious business decisions had put it on a spiral downward.  Imagine that your club were at the end of a season that saw them have no fewer than 5 men in charge at one point or another during the season.  Imagine that in spite of all that, you were heading into the last match of the season in control of your own destiny.  On the day, if you had managed to win, you'd have stayed up.  If not, you were going down.  Imagine a performance devoid of any real passion which lead to these scenes after the match. (Players please click that link.  Supporters, you don't need to.  You know what it is.)  If that isn't enough to instill in you the desire to defeat Aston Villa every time you play them then I cannot help you.

3.  Tim Sherwood Talk

We have heard you come out in support of Working Class John Carver™.  Some have expounded upon how you like playing under him.  You are preparing to take on one of the managers who took a shift at the top of the odds board to beat him to the position (albeit on a permanent basis, not interim).  If you go out and do a job this Saturday, you can preemptively shut the mouths of all those who would be running them if Sherwood were to get the better of your boss.  Also, think of the cache that would come along with beating The Man Who Made Harry Kane™.  Look.  If you won't do it for the fans and you won't do it for yourselves, DO IT FOR WORKING CLASS JOHN™ FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.

4.  You know, that whole points thing

You must've heard by now of that "40-point mark" that guarantees you Premier League survival.  For all I know it is probably among the verbiage in your contract.  There is a certain amount of truth to that.  Usually the number of points to ensure survival is a few less than that.  There are times a couple more points are required.  Lean in close and let me tell you a secret, though:  "YOU DON'T HAVE TO STOP AT 40 POINTS!"  Hell... you can even get more than 40 points and still not finish in the top six.  Everybody wins!