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.
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.