Is Steve Bruce the right manager for us?

It seems this is a question that particularly divides Villa fans and it has caused some robust debate on here.
Thanks for keeping it mostly very civil, by the way.

No doubt it’s been the same on other sites, but is it true that this debate has caused physical fights amongst us?
If so, that’s ridiculous to my mind, but hey it’s all part of footy, I suppose.

I just wanted to give my take, with as balanced a view as I can, so I can gauge the responses.
Ok, I don’t get to the games very much these days, but I still like to think I have my finger at least partly on the pulse.

Here goes;

It’s a fact that Steve Bruce has the best record of getting teams promoted from the Championship to the Premier league. That is beyond debate.
And to me, it’s a big plus, as he knows how this league works, especially when it boils down to the last few games, where the team that achieves a last-minute good run-in, might do better than otherwise expected.
My money says we’re at least capable of that, as much as it might not seem like it at the moment.
We have the manager who’s seen it more than most, simple.

The counter to that is that Warnock has a good record too and has Cardiff consistently winning games.
So much so, that it’s hard to see them losing any.

The biggest complaint about Bruce seems to be about his football.
While I’d definitely agree that it was dire at times, particularly earlier in the season, is it really fair to say that about the last ten games or so?
I don’t think so and I’d say we’ve aimed to get the win in every game.
The performances at times might not have matched the ambition, but again, that’s footy.

I hasten to add that it seems some fans just detest Bruce because of his links to Blues.
I just won’t entertain that as a reason for disliking him and frankly find it quite pathetic.

Then there’s the tactics.
I’ll happily admit that sometimes, Bruce’s decisions baffle me.
But he’s got the results, mostly and I wouldn’t profess to know better than him.

I guess what I’m asking is would any other manager really have done any better?
I go back to Warnock again, who’s done really well.
Given we have the best squad on paper, would he have made them perform better?
I really don’t know.
Cardiff have a squad performing above their level, whereas we have supposedly “better” players that need motivating in a different way. I can’t call it.

The next question has to be would you stick with Bruce, regardless of if we get promoted or not?
This is the difficult one.

I know some of you will say if we don’t get promoted, he has to go.
But then what?
We join the manager-go-round again?
Is that really the way to go?
I’m not convinced.

My opinion says that even if you don’t like Bruce, he has at least stabilised the club. We aren’t in freefall anymore and are looking upwards.

Of course, you’d be well within your rights to say that given the money spent, we bloody well should be.
To which I’d say we spent proper money during our decline from the Prem.
The point is, money guarantees nothing.

Look, this is not a defence of Steve Bruce.
I find it hard to get past some of the utter rubbish footy I’ve seen under him, with supposedly superior players.
But looking back, I can see the reasons, in that he had to settle the side.
I believe he’s done that to good effect.
And it’s why I’d give him 10 games in the Prem, if we were to be promoted.

And even if we don’t get promoted, I’m wondering who we’d get in, instead?

Whatever you think, please keep your replies civil.

Cheers and UTV!!


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  1. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 March 21, 2018 at 11:58 pm .

    Link doesnt seem to work….I give up if this one doesnt as well……

    1. badger123
      badger123 March 22, 2018 at 10:47 pm .

      I don’t know the facts here, but I wonder what HS2 is going to do to BMH?
      I’d suspect it’ll be a lot worse.

  2. nath
    nath March 22, 2018 at 6:56 am .

    Jaap Stam is free anybody want him. his team reading played really good possession style football. they gave villa a run around a few times. if style counts he really does tick that box.

    personally style doesn’t matter unless your winning. bruce and warnock are old school. they could play the same as stamp. its not that they cant achieve that. its they know its about results. they use their styles because they know with the limitations of their players and the abilities.

    1. badger123
      badger123 March 22, 2018 at 10:55 pm .

      Jaap Stam?
      are we in a timewarp here?

      1. nath
        nath March 22, 2018 at 11:45 pm .

        timewarp ??? last season too far back

        the example was stam style was easy on the eye. keeping ball on the floor pretty passes not long balls. these are always spoken about on here.

        even two dinosaurs like bruce and wanrnock could achieve this style if they really wanted. but they put more emphasis on winning the game over style hence they sacrifice the style alittle.

        warnock plays it simple. fans at villa wouldnt stand for such crap primitive football. even if we were top of the league. it wouldn’t do. you see villa need a manager to play football like how we used to play WHEN in my living memory we never played really sexy football. and winning football.

        fans want different things / most want results now but in a game or two they want to play like pool or city.many teams like to try play like these two. most wont be successful end up like wednesday and reading

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm .

    What we’re looking for is not for sale or no longer around, a Stanley Matthews or George Best wouldn’t go a miss, Jaap Stam ? not for me he didn’t do a lot for man utd over the short time he was there. It’s no use dreaming we have found one diamond in Grealish, from what been said two more are ready to break into the team. I all so read Johnstone might feature in the England squad. I’m afraid the only player’s we will attract are money men in the last days of playing.

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 23, 2018 at 1:15 pm .

    Keinan Davis scored his first international goal with a last-minute winner for England U20s this evening.

    The Villa forward came on as a substitute, replacing team-mate Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, and was on hand to steer home the deciding goal against Poland in Bielsku-Bialej.

    Davis has enjoyed a fine season, breaking through into the Villa first-team and now getting off the mark for his country.

  5. nath
    nath March 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm .

    lmao OMG stam was example, i wasnt suggesting we hire him. i was pointing out, even thou his reading played good attractive football. it wasn’t fruitful with points it deserved. meaning at the end of the day he was sacked. the guy whos at swansea just sacked from wednesday. he was almost a success. but couldnt win promotion. football again was first rate. i enjoyed watching his wednesday team. movement was excellent. but did the fans appropriate this not on your nelly.

    steve bruce will get promotion. then we can sack him for another manager who will bring us style and we will win the world cup as i drowned in my cornflakes. (the promotion ) was only thing true in the second paragraph

    what about the wigan athletic manager former utd coach hes done a great job

    what matters more

    playing fab footy but losing weekly
    winning games but playing boring football
    nothing in between its either a/b

    answer should be winning games

  6. Holte66
    Holte66 March 23, 2018 at 6:03 pm .

    Agreed that winning ugly is better than losing 5-4 playing entertaining football. Bruce came in and realised we were a soft touch defensively so had to build from the back, which made us less attractive to watch. We have improved a lot defensively this season which builds confidence in the team. We now have decent forwards and hopefully we can get Kodja back sooner than expected. We have missed him as much as we missed Grealish. He offers more than our other forwards and if he can get on same wavelength as Grealish, Adomah and Snodgrass then we could be great to watch and winning.

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla March 23, 2018 at 9:14 pm .

      You might be being a bit generous here. Gollini made a few mistakes but looked like he had the makings of a good keeper. I remember most fans slating Johnston when he did the same but he kept his place. Terry was a very good signing, but apart from that he hasn’t trusted Bree or Taylor who he bought, and prefers to play Hutton out of place. Chester has been outstanding but that’s nothing to do with Bruce.

      Kodjia is an interesting one. He is a real talent but a bit of a one man show. He has spent a long while out so I would be surprised if he made a big impact apart from the final couple of games and maybe a big play off player.

      Grealish looks key to me. He is the outstanding talent we have. If he is on his game the only way to stop him is to foul him. With Snodgrass able to do such a great delivery and our forwards plus Chester and Terry we are a massive threat to anyone when he does get fouled.

      We have so much talent in our squad, and experience, that it’s not good enough that we are thinking about play offs. That’s where we are though.

      If most on here think that’s good enough I am surprised, but it seems to be the majority so maybe it’s just me.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 March 24, 2018 at 7:06 am .

        DS – I will hazard a guess that most are now being realistic about our chances of automatic promotion that doesn’t necessarily mean they consider play offs ‘good enough’ given our squad.

        We made a mountain to climb with our dismal start and poor December – would it have been different if Grealish had been fit all season – we’ll never know.

  7. nath
    nath March 23, 2018 at 10:09 pm .

    england look very good tonight. best i have seen in years. it was nothing extraordinary. it was basic stuff villa lacked earlier this season. movement. england under southgate has found a system he knows very well. he has players all understand their roles. most have played it under southgate at under21s. simple movement leds to good passing moves. player on ball has lots of options. also what is impressive is we mixed up from playing out to going long. i was very impressed. this system was the same they used last summer when our youth all did really well in their wc tournament.

    looking good for the national side. hopefully villa have the same idea to use a system and a way of playing. use that through each lvls and like southgate trust the youth to step up.

    anybody want southgate ???

  8. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 23, 2018 at 10:35 pm .

    No thanks. Can’t be bothered to explain why but maybe tomorrow.

  9. nath
    nath March 23, 2018 at 10:44 pm .

    beggars cant be choosers. lol i’ll explain tomorrow also.

    again i dont want southgate. but i aint the one that wants to change manager every week following a set back.

  10. nath
    nath March 23, 2018 at 10:50 pm .

    saying most want to change. nobody suggests anybody or fancy anybody trust anybody. so why are most complaining. promotion was the goal this season and its still within our reach.

    i suggest names just to gauge the type of manager you guys wan. really i think you want klopp or Guardiola lol dream on i guess

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