Bristol City – Villa; it’s now a question of CAN we win?

As opposed to WILL we win? in my opinion.

I don’t know.
Last season I was confident that we had a chance against any team we played, even if it meant that we’d scratch out the points by the odd goal.
I could live with it, as teams that do that sort of thing, even sometimes against the run of play, are teams that are often successful.
And we were doing reasonably well, which was fair enough.

Unfortunately, I currently don’t think we look like winning games at all and I worry for us tomorrow.
We look directionless and have no coherence whatsoever.
We’ve even made Jack Grealish look incredibly average, which should be a crime in itself.
And most worrying of all, our defence looks really poor and prone to conceding against any sort of pace.

I called for Bruce’s head in the last post.
Part of me regrets it, to be honest, as it feels like a knee-jerk reaction.
I genuinely would be happier if we were getting results.

But, as much as I think Bruce has improved the team with his attacking signings, so he’s ruined us at the back.
He’s so unbalanced the team, that it’s like they’ve hardly met each other, let alone played together.
Which in the case of a few of them, is probably true.

The perverse thing is that I think Bruce is probably correct, when he says the team will improve over time.
But I don’t believe they’ll do it quick enough, which is what causes me my biggest cconcern.
We quite simply don’t have time and continually dropping points will cost us promotion.

Back to tomorrow then and Bruce has asked for a reaction.
Didn’t he ask for it against Wednesday?
Or was that us fans? I forget.

Do I think he will get one?
Sadly, I’m not convinced he will, at all.

I’ve seen mention quite often lately that the players ought to take some of the blame for our poor start.
It’s a point I can partly see, as the team doesn’t look anything like fluent.
They’re making so many mistakes and giving the ball away far too easily.
But if you consider that one of Bruce’s best points is his man-management, it seems to me that he’s currently not doing a very good job of it.
I’ve suggested before that I’m not convinced that he’s used to having such a competitive squad and I think he’s finding it a problem.

Again, I don’t know, but the simple fact is that I don’t see us having a hope in hell of getting anything tomorrow.
Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if we were to be spanked again, although Bruce will probably be even more cautious against a very decent City side, hence keeping the score down.

Let’s get one thing straight.
I want Bruce to win this game.
I’m definitely not in the “Bruce out” at any cost brigade.

I just don’t see it happening.
And if we lose poorly, you have to ask how long the owners can go before they say enough is enough?

I’m going for a 1-3 loss, I’m afraid.
But really hope I’m wrong.


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  1. Avatar
    Hitchens60 September 29, 2018 at 9:56 pm .

    Sort of slightly off topic or maybe not.

    The Times are reporting that JG’s new contract has a release clause of £45m. If Villa fail to make the Prem then he has to really up his game big time for any team to be prepared to meet that valuation.

    Anyway round it seems to be a win win for the Villa.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 September 29, 2018 at 10:34 pm .

      If that’s true Hitch then he will be at VP for a while yet. He wasn’t worth £45m last season when he was playing well. This season is form has dipped, although that is partly down to Bruce playing him out of position last couple of games. I wonder whether dropping him for next game might be a good idea. We are a predictable team so maybe try a 4-1-4-1 with Bjarnasson as holding midfielder, McGinn and Hourihane flanked by El Ghazi and Bolasie with Abraham / Kodja / Hogan up front?

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson September 30, 2018 at 8:08 am .

        I read that Hitch Holte, and it was two different media reports, its looks sound busines to me, if the club agrees a fee he can go for less than the contract of 45 million. With the rise he must have signed for gets their money back.and its keeps clubs at bay. Nath ,looks like dressing room again to me, players sent away, players seeing different wages, players not happy with positions. Needs a trouble shooter in the club.

  2. Avatar
    nath September 30, 2018 at 12:25 am .

    grealish needs to watch games of himself from last season. where he was direct when he picked up the ball, he drove past players, or passed the ball on quickly while moving into another position, then demanding the ball back. he was dictating the play for villa. but most importantly he had a finishing product, whether that was shot, pin point cross or neat through ball or goal.

    yesterday he gave more effort, but he still lacking anything close to his last season form. towards the end of the game on friday, he had a chance to square the ball to abraham, simple ball as he had entered the box only yards from byline, but he either shot from a very acute angle or he passed the ball into the goalkeeper somehow.

    the players are all suffering a dip in their own individual form, all down to lack of confidence and pressures being put on them from all angles. bolasie geeing up the crowd when taking a corner, who were getting toxic as the game neared its end. the league we are in is such a close league, we need to stick with the players no matter if you want bruce sacked. we fans got to stay with the players it tough enough for the players to play at this moment without pressures from home fans. first half we could see players taking too long to pas the ball, being to precise with passes / to many touches all signs of lack of form. players on form play more instinctive one touch and release more flicks etc

    we looked better second half and are close to winning games again. the three mids thor hourihane and mcginn i was particular happy with.

    we are not gonna influence the owners to sack bruce quicker by booing our players,also making vp a hostile environment for our players is also counter productive. the owners should have removed him preseason. henry was their choice and they should go with that. we fans couldnt agree on the colour of shite, so i say bring in your own man, at least then you will get criticism on your decisions not the last owners.

  3. Avatar
    Hitchens 60 September 30, 2018 at 10:25 am .

    Report – admittedly in the Sun – says that Dean Smith is the owners top target should they remove Bruce. It also suggests that Bruce has to turn it round quick or he’ll be replaced. This allegedly from Villa ‘insider’s’

    Of course it could be complete fantasy – after all even lazy journos can add 2+2 and get 4 – can’t they?

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson September 30, 2018 at 2:16 pm .

    Aston Villa target and Premier League winner Robert Huth has been giving an update on his current injury situation, as he begins another month without a professional contract.

    The German defender has been heavily linked with a move to Aston Villa, a side in desperate need of a centre back for the autumn months, but he’s revealed he won’t be going anywhere after picking up an injury whilst training at Championship rivals Stoke City.

    “I’m on my way to recovery. I got injured while I was training with Stoke, so I’m just taking my time off now just to recover and see where I’m at after that,” Huth told Goals on Sunday, reported by Birmingham Live.

    He also revealed that despite wanting to get back into the game, he wasn’t willing to put a timescale on his recovery

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