Hardly a thriller against the Villa
Just two games into the new season and I hate to say it but a little bit of uncertainty has already crept in for Newcastle United.
Let's not get too down in the dumps.
But United could not build on their superb start at Bolton and had it not been for Steve Harper, they could easily have lost to an average looking Aston Villa side.
If your glass is still half full, Newcastle's luck in front of goal deserted them on the day and with a little bit more time the goals will flow when Mark Viduka and Alan Smith get their feet under the table and Michael Owen shakes off the cobwebs and gets a good run in the team.
But the half empty brigade will point to the fact that United lacked creativity in midfield and fear that Sam Allardyce's tactics could end up denying them both points and entertainment.
The atmosphere ahead of kick-off could not have been better and not for the first time in Toon history the players could not match the superb black and white backdrop around them on a disappointing day.
True, Newcastle have two more points in the bag than the champions Man United at the moment and have played a game less but having used Oba Martins, Viduka and Owen to try to rip the Villa defence open and having the likes of Smith and Milner on the field - it never looked like happening for the Magpies.
And the fact that David Rozenhal came the closest to opening the scores tells its own sad story.
We all got excited by the opening day win at Bolton eight days ago but with the Trotters rooted to the bottom of the table, it's hardly looking like the result of the century is it?
Nevertheless after the short international interval, which basically consists of a night of keeping fingers, toes and anything else crossed in the hope that nobody gets injured, Newcastle will hopefully re-emerge unscathed for action on Teesside next week to take on Middlesbrough.
Boro, of course, picked up their first win of the season at Fulham yesterday but were counting their lucky stars that David Healy's goal was chalked out late on despite the ball being clearly over the line.
It's a game that Viduka will be looking forward to and after United failed to break down Villa before Owen arrived on the scene just after the hour mark, it's likely the England man will get a go right from the start against the Smoggies.
One noticeable change for United so far this season is the fact the ball is finding its way into the box on a more consistent basis and the pretty stuff that was usually built up from the Toon defensive third has now gone.
But unless United's strikers are going to do something with it, those longer than usual passes will be quickly cleared and Newcastle run the risk of getting caught on the counter like they did against Bolton when Nicolas Anelka scored and yesterday when Nigel Reo-Coker produced a top notch save to deny him.
Not the worst day we've ever had in the office but we're all hoping for plenty better than this.
*Chronicle columnist SuperMac and Joe Allon will be dissecting the action from Sunday's clash at the Riverside with Boro at Players Bar in the Gate at 3.15pm - admission is free.