Norwich 3 -1 Villa; Where does that leave us?

I didn’t watch the game for the usual reasons.
I did listen to a small part of the commentary before half-time, where I had to listen to Norwich scoring the first goal via a wonder-strike, though.

It sounded dire, with us being slow all round.
And just after that goal, there I had to leave it.

I was hesitant to say we played well against Reading, purely for this similar reason. Reading made us look good, but I don’t particularly think we were.
We’ve been poor for the last few games; it’s as simple as that.

And then I’ve read some of the debate on here, with both sides putting very good points of view.
And I can see both sides of the argument.

For what it’s worth, I totally agree that Steve Bruce has had a very torrid time of it lately, on a personal level.
I’m very much minded, although not totally convinced, to say that even if we don’t get promoted, he should remain as our manager next season.
I 100% subscribe to the fact that he has at least stabilised us as a club.
That’s something that’s not to be taken lightly.

But at the same time, I can understand the criticism of the manager.
He’s admitted himself that he’s made mistakes and that’s a trait I very much admire. I like to think I’m good at my job, but I know full well that I’m nowhere near perfect.
Yet I don’t get paid the sort of money top footy managers do. And that’s where we have to be a lot more critical.
Hence we have to ask questions.

At the end of the day, we were performing at least as expected just after Christmas, but now things have gone totally boobs up and we’re blowing it, just when it’s most important.
That’s not the sign of a manager performing at his best, whichever way you look at things.
We simply ain’t performing as a team, at the moment.
And that quite simply comes down to the manager, regardless of how much sympathy I have for him.

That said, I think we have the play-offs pretty much in the bag.
We’re not going to lose all of our remaining games, are we?

Or are we?
Have a look at this lot and tell me which ones you’re confident of winning, given that we can’t beat middling teams, with nothing to play for.

I’m suddenly a bit worried.


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  1. Avatar
    DSVilla April 10, 2018 at 11:45 am .

    Just read your earlier comment Nath where you mentioned Klopp. That isn’t why I mentioned him. His name just popped into my head as a perfect example of what I think we are missing.

  2. Avatar
    Villain1 April 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm .

    Regardless of what happens it would be ludicrous for the board to keep Bruce on… its a lose-lose situation.
    If we fail in the play offs as I expect – he has to go, having not achieved his goal for the season. You don’t get the budget Bruce got at this level and get away with anything less than promotion.
    If we go up however there isn’t a prayer that Bruce is anywhere near good enough for the PL anymore. We’d be looking at 20th place and a relegation again.
    My concern has always been we lose in the play offs and board say, go on we’ll give you another season Steve, because we’ll be in the same shit situation next year, probably worse as we’ll have to sell and reduce the wage bill because of the FFP gamble we’ve taken.
    Nobody IMO should be under more pressure in the play offs than Bruce, he and the board gambled the future of the club on this season. Now they need to deliver and not bottle it. If they do, the manager and the board have to go

  3. Avatar
    Hitchens60 April 10, 2018 at 5:11 pm .

    Fair enough V1 but I do take issue with your statement ‘the budget Bruce got at this level etc.’ The fact is Bruce inherited a load of duff overpaid players who Dr T (and his predecessors) paid far too much money for (Tshibola, McCormack, Golini anyone?) I think you will find his net spend in three transfer windows is £2.5m which is probably lower than most other Championship clubs. At the same time he’s reduced the wage bill and operated shrewdly in the loan market.

    IF we get promoted then there will clearly be more cash available and there is no doubt a debate to be had about whether Bruce is the right manager or not. If we don’t get promoted and there is no cash I’m not clear where our options lie.

    This is not meant to be a general defence of Bruce but your arguement that he should be sacked because of inter alia money spent in the transfer market just doesn’t stack up (IMHO).

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 April 10, 2018 at 6:16 pm .

      You make a good point Hitch that Bruce has had to tighten the FFP belt over the last couple of windows. We Villa fans are not known for our patience, but from last season to this season there has been progression. Promotion this season looks like a lottery now, but I think with the likes of Green, Hepburn Murphy and O’Hare we have promise that next season the team can improve. We might need to replace the likes of Hutton, Terry, Snodgrass and Johnstone. Even Grealish and Chester might want to move to premier league, but I don’t think we need to sell them unless someone offered huge money for them. I think we are lacking speed and movement in our team, which players like Green etc can bring. If we fail to get promoted I would still want Bruce to stay, in the hope he can maintain the progress made, which would surely mean automatic promotion. Having said that, he cannot start next season the same way as this season. As for tonight I haven’t a clue what to predict. I will guess 2-0 to Cardiff and hope to be wrong.

  4. Avatar
    nath April 10, 2018 at 6:21 pm .

    lots of good views posted and finally we are being tolerant of other views whether we agree or not. i have to agree with hitch bruce has brought harmony to our squad under great restraints. whilst i do place more blame to the players for recent lack of form. i also agree steve bruce will struggle in premiership.

    i also find the klopp hypothetically managing villa point very enticing. i followed his career from afar. at Borussia Dortmund he brought through lots of young hungry players and they played like pool now. high pressing well organised with and without the ball. he has done the same to pool now and they play even better. but could we get a KLOPP not a chance. i understand you mean a new klopp. that will take some searching and identifying from round. then we have to beat the rest to him.

    i want us to get promoted that will mean we attract better players and better managers. nobody who is top of his game manager or player wants to play championship. except neves lol yes we are going to struggle but going up means more choices.

    finally i believe we will stand a good chance in playoffs. no doubt we have good players, not good enough to win the league. they lacked the consistency over a long season. but over three games against anybody in championship i would put my money on us. they must start to play soon thou form is not easy to find when you are out of it

  5. Avatar
    nath April 10, 2018 at 7:06 pm .

    anybody like to hazard a guess on the formation. ?? tonight. no terry he received a knock against norwich played through it but looks like it might have been wrong decision too.

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 April 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm .

    Jedinak will replace Terry and Tuanzebe will replace Taylor I’m guessing?

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson April 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm .

    Jedi, in for Terry Grabban leading the line no Tayor, Axel Tenzenby… happy days.

  8. Avatar
    nath April 10, 2018 at 7:26 pm .

    it does look like straight swap of personnel. but it could be 3 at back with thor left wing back elmo right wing back axel chester jedi the three at the back

    right time to put my bollocks on the line. we are gonna win tonight. 3 nil

  9. Avatar
    nath April 10, 2018 at 7:41 pm .

    thor has pulled up in warming up

  10. Avatar
    nath April 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm .

    fulham fans will be all supporting villa tonight. don’t worry we won’t let you down NOT we always let ourselves down so letting fulham down won’t bother us

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