Newcastle 2 – 0 Villa; Serious questions

I’ve deliberately held back in writing this, as when you’re on a losing run as we are, it’s far too easy to go for a knee-jerk reaction isn’t it?
And there’s no doubt my immediate reaction was “sack the manager”. Having read around on here and other sites, it seems I wasn’t alone.

I’m only going to talk briefly about the game and for me it was a shoe-in loss, so I wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised at the result. In fact, if you’d offered it me at the start, I’d have taken it.
I said that the performance was more important than the result and what annoyed me was the way we folded after conceding.
Now we can debate if we played well in the first half or not, but my money says we’d done a decent job of nullifying Newcastle. Were Newcastle poor or did we make them look poor?
What’s beyond debate (I hope!), is that we looked probably the better team overall and definitely the most likely to score. Until the goal, of course.
Fist corner, first shot, absolutely rubbish goal.
Typical Villa.

But I still felt that we were very definitely in the game.

And then came the second half, where… well, we all saw it.
Another rubbish goal then and we just looked more and more gutless as we went on.

And it’s this part that worries me.

Now I can’t see how Bruce can be blamed for either of the goals. The first was pinball and it happens.
The second was plain and simply shocking defending and for me, both were down to individual errors again.
How’s that the manager’s fault?
Whatever, the game’s over, so I don’t see the point on dwelling on it too much.

Just as the players looked more and more clueless, so the cameras cut to Steve Bruce and it was this that shocked me most of all. Bruce looked distraught and appeared to be asking Colin Calderwood what to do.
And it’s the look of desperation that stunned me.
If the manager doesn’t know what to do, how can we expect the players too?

When you consider we signed around five Captains and not a single one of them seems to want to take the lead, you have to ask what’s going on?
Then add the fact that only Hutton went to see how Hogan was, when he did his ankle and the mind begins to boggle.

I know a lot of the players have only known each other a few weeks, but if I saw a workmate go down with an obviously painful injury, I’m damn sure I’d go and see if they’re alright.
They’re on the same team aren’t they?
Or are they and this is where our problems arise?

I really don’t know, but it’s all too depressing.
Apparently an ex-club official has come out and said that they expect a 50-60% sucess rate on signings.
It’s early days (or is it?), but not a single one of our winter signings have had a remotely standout game.
Consider that we’ve cherry-picked supposedly the league’s best players and it becomes all the more concerning.

How is it we make what we all accepted as very decent signings, instantly look so poor?
I don’t understand it.

I’ve said it before, but no matter what we do, nothing works. Nothing.

Yet after all this, I’m still not for sacking Bruce.
In fact I think I’m becoming even more convinced that we have stick with him, whatever happens.
You can mock.
But my opinion says if Bruce can’t get these players to play, who the hell can?
Rowett or the likes?
Don’t make me laugh.
Whatever it is that’s wrong down the villa (and I firmly believe we’re not seeing the real reasons), will overcome them quicker than it has Steve Bruce.
So that’s my current standpoint, which I’m sure will have some of you suggesting I’m quite mad.

But of course, it’s not my decision to make.
Dr Xia dropped a very big hint in a Tweet the other day, when he said that the first requirement was a manager with guts. It’s common knowledge that Di Matteo didn’t like turning in every day and it seemed to me a blatant reference to this.
Or in other words, Bruce does and is working hard to sort things.

Will that be enough for our owner to stick with Bruce?
Again, I don’t know, but this is simply a results driven business.

I’ve seen a few fans suggesting that we need at least 6-7 points from our games against Derby (H), Bristol City (H) and Rotherham (A).
I seriously doubt we’ll get much out of Derby (my Derby mate is well confident) and Bristol City, maybe.
But if we get nothing from those two (would you bet against us? er yes, I would actually, but won’t).
Then it would all come down to the Rotherham game, where if we couldn’t beat them, surely Bruce’s position would be untenable?

So what’s with me being so downbeat?
Well I just don’t see any fight or balls in this team and that is the first real basic requirement in this league.

Still I’m getting ahead of myself and we all know things can turn on a sixpence.
Let’s see how things pan out.


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  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 22, 2017 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    And in other news……

    Bree back in training which is good. Whilst harsh on Hutton I believe the future is Bree / de Laet and fully expect Hutton to leave in the summer so the more games Bree can get under his belt this term the better.

    I, for one, will wish Hutton the best and hope that he gets a good gig – frankly the guy owes the club nothing which is a lot more than can be said of others.

  2. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion February 23, 2017 at 1:33 am . Reply

    When a team is as bad as Villa are you need to build it up in a very specific order.

    1/ Stop giving cheap goals away.
    2/ Try not to give many goals away
    3/ Try not to give any goals away.
    4/ Get the midfield to hold the ball amongst themselves alone.
    5/ Build versatility into your attack.

    Not really changing the topic, just the game. I missed the Newcastle game to go to Sutton. Combined age of their back four 139 years, they were undone twice: once by a neat dummy fooling the keeper; and once by a really slick passing move and volley, typical Arsenal. But Sutton’s defence have been around the block, in fact two of them built it, they are all part time players. They know each other’s game inside out, they are always stepping in to cover when another defender misses his tackle. The midfield can play the ball around and give the defence a breather.

    Nevertheless Arsenal were 2 up with 20 mins to go and seeing Sutton’s defence looking weary, Wenger decides to bring in 2 fresh forwards, Not just any forwards but Oxlade Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez. You know what? Sutton found renewed energy and made sure neither of them scored.

    Items 1 to 4 above by a manager with a plan and players with pride in the shirt.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm . Reply

    Didn’t Man City go through the same thing few years back?, they had players not speaking to each other because one was getting more than the other, some players wanted out.there’s definitely something wrong inside Villa Park.

    1. jvillan
      jvillan February 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm . Reply

      gabby on over 50 thosuand richards on more is it any wonder when bruce praises them 2,we should used last summer to clean out bad apples instead of letting them rot all they touch

      1. jvillan
        jvillan February 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm . Reply

        bruce is supposed to be man manager get the best out of players?
        he has fallen out with players at every club he has been at

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm . Reply

    Anyone for the Leicester manager? he’s available now.

    1. bws
      bws February 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm . Reply

      This is like history repeating it’s self.
      Didn’t Sir Ron leave at around the quarter finals stage of the European cup after being the first manager in seventy odd years to win the title?
      Uncanny if they go on to win it beating Bayern in the final.

    2. bws
      bws February 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm . Reply

      No Bill the tinkerman’s not for me.
      On the subject of ex Leicester managers I read on another Villa Site today Brian Little and someone else at VP (who I can’t remember) where tasked with finding a new manager and recommend Pearson, allegedly the Doc didn’t think he was sexy enough hence we ended up RDM cause of his European cup winning exploits with Chelski.
      I touch of the blues with Zola, a big name as player, not as a manager.

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm . Reply

    Anybody else think the sacking of Ranieri epitomises everything that’s wrong with football in the present age?

    Money, money, money – I reckon Shankley is turning in his grave.

    I despair.

    1. bws
      bws February 23, 2017 at 10:19 pm . Reply

      Hitch I don’t know if you heard Holloway on the radio the other day, he was talking about players and their lack of do or die for the team, how it’s all about self and how they are rewarded far to early. It also seems owners have one ambition, EPL survival, that’s it, no silverware just keep the bucks rolling in and worst still the fans buy into it, unbelievable.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm . Reply

        No didn’t hear that BWS but it reflects a lot of the unhappiness on here about players (apparent) lack of commitment.

        1. bws
          bws February 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm . Reply

          Hitchy it wasn’t simply a lack of commitment it was their lack of team ethic, discipline, their lack of respect, their self interest and low work rate.
          Mate it made you feel for the managers of today, the likes of Sir Ron, Cloughie and Shankly were around today they would probably be done for abuse!
          Can you imagine young Mr Grealish in the boot room or sweeping the terraces? No chance.
          Too much too soon (imo).

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 February 24, 2017 at 4:59 pm . Reply

            No argument from me BWS

    2. Saddened
      Saddened February 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm . Reply

      H60, it’s absolutely disgraceful after what he delivered !

      Lets see who they have waiting in the wings !

      1. bws
        bws February 23, 2017 at 10:27 pm . Reply

        Mancini is the 5/4 favourite.

  6. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion February 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm . Reply

    The Pie-Man one day, the Pizza-Man the next. I wonder if Potato-head has had his chips?

    1. bws
      bws February 23, 2017 at 11:10 pm . Reply

      To the tune of Subterranean Homesick Blues?

      1. originallondonlion
        originallondonlion February 24, 2017 at 1:13 am . Reply

        It fits BWS. Maybe Arsene has discovered the secret of keeping his job, try but don’t actually win anything. Ranieri’s sacking completes the hat-trick involving the managers who won the Premiership, FA Cup and League Cup last season.

  7. ifiruledtheworld
    ifiruledtheworld February 23, 2017 at 11:00 pm . Reply

    Heading to the game Saturday, it’ll be my first one of this year.. if we win, no thanks will be necessary. A man can dream!!

  8. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2017 at 8:02 am . Reply

    There’s many that think what Leicester have done is outrageous, i have to agree, managers beware because money talks in today’s world. I wonder if Bruce is shivering in his boots now? Reference Pearson, yes he would have been a better choice reason being a few head would have been banged together, shame on the game of football.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 February 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm . Reply

      Reinforces what we thought on here when RDM was appointed – Doc going for a ‘marketable’ name rather than a tough pro. It seems the Doc applied normal business thinking to football – I hope he’s a fast Lerner (sorry for the pun).

      In some ways it seems he’s repeated Lerner’s mistakes – let’s hope (a) he doesn’t lose interest and (b) he has sufficient funds to provide the investment we will need over the next couple of seasons. Tbh the Doc doesn’t strike me as a quitter so hoping for the positives.

      I read the minutes of the fan’s forum with Wyness (et al) – reading between the lines it seems that Lerner and his pals had run the club into the ground and there is a lot more reorganisation needed than just on the football side.

      1. bws
        bws February 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm . Reply

        And there were those who wouldn’t have a bad word said about him even though it was plain for all to see the club was slipping deeper and deeper into the mire.

      2. jvillan
        jvillan February 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm . Reply

        no matter what mess lerner left
        we have signed 17 players at a cost of over 80m yet bruce cannot get a tune out of any of them
        a bad workman always blames his tools, just maybe its the tool telling them what to do

        1. bws
          bws February 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm . Reply

          But which tool is to blame JV??

          1. jvillan
            jvillan February 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm . Reply

            bruce is manager so i suppose he is the tool
            just take a look at new hull manager he shipped out big money buys replaced with unknowns on a fraction of money

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