So I’m over my massive disappointment after yesterday’s poor showing.
Actually I’m very sanguine, probably because I saw what was coming and wasn’t at all convinced that we’d win the game.
It still annoys me that we did exactly what we shouldn’t have done, but oh well; it’s in the past.
Which leaves me asking the same question everybody has been asking, in do we keep Bruce or sack him?
I haven’t looked around any other Villa sites yet, but it seems the consensus on here is that he should stay.
I believe that’s sensible.
I know that a few of you won’t agree with that, but as much as I believe he cost us the game yesterday, so it’s undeniable that we’re in a much better position than when he first came to the club.
You might well say that “we bloody well ought to be, after the money we’ve spent”, but if we look at it from a wider angle, has Bruce actually spent much?
I’d have to re-trace exactly who he’s bought, to be honest, to answer that one.
The important part here, is that Bruce has called out the players with a bad attitude (think McCormack) or dropped those that needed dropping (Gabby), where it seemed previous managers couldn’t.
There’s one bloke in charge of the team now and that’s quite rightly the manager, himself.
He needs a chance just for that.
The Birmingham Mail has made a point about how Bruce has gone a long way to restoring the unity between the players and the fans.
I think that’s a very valid point. I’d never known such a bad player/fan relationship in all my years.
But that’s not enough in itself.
I still have major issues with how Bruce sets the side up.
He was way too defensive early on in his tenure, with the personnel he had available, but I’m of the opinion that he saw this was needed, if only to help create stability. I can’t argue with that, if that’s how he saw it.
Lately though, I think his defensive approach has cost us.
Certainly I thought so against Boro and thought so yesterday.
Which really makes we wonder if he has what it takes to push us on.
I’m not convinced.
Yet, even with all my doubts, I think Bruce deserves another crack next season.
We’re going to lose some very decent players, like Snodgrass and Hutton.
(Regardless of any speculation, we will NOT lose Grealish. Xia will not let it happen and I’m willing to take bets).
And we’re going to have to introduce some of the kids on a more regular basis.
Who knows these kids better than Bruce?
And while he might have been reluctant to play them this season, so I think with the constraints we’re under, he will give them more of a chance.
So we go with Bruce on another rolling one year contract.
And he gets until somewhere around November to prove that we can seriously challenge for the Championship title.
We will need to be top two though and that’s where I believe we might have a problem.
Look at the sides that have just been relegated from the Prem;
Swansea, Stoke and West Brom.
You may well think they’re all rubbish teams in the Prem
But they probably have way better squads than ours, when it comes to the championship.
And that’s where I struggle to see how we can go up next season, regardless of who the manager is.
But that’s for next season.