Ok, he messed up, imo, but Bruce stays.

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.


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  1. nath
    nath May 31, 2018 at 7:15 pm . Reply

    what is going on with you guys lol you tarts lol sorry

    i learned about this FFP bullshit. they can punish us by dropping us from automatic promotion into playoffs or if we finished playoffs they can drop us completely out. if we are still on the wrong side of the rules this season. thats if we finished into the top 6. so its not just a fine for punishment

    i would love grealish to stay i had hoped we build a solid team around him. give him a solid platform to open up the oppositions. which he can do for fun.

    but we gambled everything on promotion last season. it looks really bad that our great club has resorted to this reckless behaviour. we don’t want to fall foul like portsmouth.

    we should aim to get our house in order once and for all. sell everybody over 25k if that means selling chester sobeit. problem is we won’t be able to sell them all. some just are not desired for other clubs. we will be stuck with them. i wouldnt give hutton a contract he was on 30k minimum. bree should be good enough for the right back. under 23’s players will have to be fast tracked. we have some good players. they just need to knuckle down like omamah did last season. its a massive step up to championship from youth soccer. where tackling is a sin

    the three strikers i asked badger about he says 4.5 mill for their wages i read somewhere wage bill should not exceed 18 mill i think i saw somewhere.so them 3 strikers are over 1/4 of our budgie

    i reckon grealish will end up at spuds. they have been monitoring onomah, so without us knowling they will have been watching grealish for sure. they will know its not a gamble and they will try to get him on the cheap. hopefully other clubs will drive up the price

  2. Tony Hill
    Tony Hill May 31, 2018 at 7:55 pm . Reply

    Every sympathy and empathy with SB following the sad passing of his parents just months apart.
    That said he is totally to blame for Villa’s plight. The writing was on the wall with his negative tactics and game plan!
    I hope I’m wrong, but I fear Villa will be in the doldrums for years to come after the debacle that was the play-off final; it’s disastrous for the club, and I think SB should do the right thing and step down.

  3. Holte66
    Holte66 May 31, 2018 at 8:56 pm . Reply

    Grealish and Chester are the only players I would fight tooth and nail to keep. Everyone else is dispensable IMO. It depends whether they get good offers from premier league clubs and also if players want to go. Any player who wants to go should be allowed to leave. After restoring harmony within club it’s important to have players who aren’t disruptive. We have already saved by Gabby, Hutton and Terry going. Add to that returning loan players, I don’t think we have to see much more cost cutting. Nath is right that last seasons U23s have to step up, and Bruce if he stays needs to trust in them more than he has done until now. It’s a shame that our better loan performers like Johnstone, Snodgrass and Grabban almost certainly won’t return, but we have players like Steer, Green and Kodja who should be able to come in their place. Hepburn Murphy if he stays fit could be the star next season like Sessegnon was. We need at least one central defender and probably a left back but we have plenty of competition elsewhere. Time for players like Hogan, Lansbury and Bree to get game time or offload them. I hope the McCormack and Richards contracts can get shredded, that would be ideal. Who would keep Taylor and Adomah next season? Surely either Whelan or Jedinak needs to go although I think Bjarnasson is most likely to go. It’s fun to speculate until we know for certain. Keep the faith. UTV

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson June 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm . Reply

    Holte66 you and I think alike, your right Chester, Grealish, and Snodgrass, are the only player’s I’d worry over, Bruce paid the price by not having trust in home grown players , now he’s forced into useing them, to be honest they would most likely pay dividends , I just hope that they don’t off load to keep our head above water. Start now talking to the young guns and tell them how important Villa means to them .God save the Villa.

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