Ah yes, the Smiths. They knocked out some good tunes, didn’t they?
I’m sure someone has probably used that as a headline before, so I apologise.
But it just seems so apt.
You’ll notice that I’ve been leaving my ramblings until the day after the match lately, instead of as soon as possible. The reason is that I’m just like anyone else, in that I get emotional and am prone to making knee-jerk comments.
So I’ve decided to give myself time to think things through before writing.
And the result is that I believe it’s too early to sack Steve Bruce.
I suspect that will have a good few of you thinking I’m an idiot and maybe you’re right.
Look, I totally get it. Our football makes me want to vomit too.
Even though I managed to watch a fair amount of the game, I found myself more than happy to flick around here and other Villa sites to gauge the mood of the fans.
It didn’t make for very pleasant reading and the consensus seemed to be that the manager has to go.
I can see why too, as in my opinion, that display was as poor as anything we produced during the relegation season.
There was no heart, no fight, no spirit and the biggest insult of all, seemingly no effort. We quite simply played that game as if it was a training match and it frankly shocked me.
The lack of urgency, pace, closing down and movement was just abysmal.
A simple thing like taking a throw-in takes ages, because no-one runs around and the thrower has nowhere to throw too. Did anyone else see Hutton with the ball, gesturing to the rest of the players to give him an option, as he was being closed down?
This is scandalously bad stuff and shouldn’t be happening amongst professional footballers.
So it has to be the manager’s fault. He’s the one who’s in charge.
or does it?
While mooching around other sites, I noticed a comment which keeps bugging me.
The poster saw that when Reading had a throw-in, Bruce instructed Gabby to mark a Reading player. Gabby totally ignored him and the Reading player received the ball, only for Bruce to throw his hands up in the air in bewilderment.
So what’s going on here?
I haven’t got a clue, but it does make you wonder if Steve Bruce has indeed lost the dressing room, as has been oft suggested.
Then again, if it’s just Gabby who’s being an arsehole, why does Bruce keep playing him?
I can’t profess to know the answer to that one and I can only guess that there’s something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.
What was it Sherlock Holmes said? Remove all the options and the only one left is the answer, however unlikely. Or something like that.
Which is my case for the defence of Bruce.
In short, m’lud, the players aren’t doing as they’re told and that isn’t the manager’s fault.
So the prosecution case (how the hell has this become a court battle?) is that Bruce can’t control the players. Again, that’s the only possibility, because Bruce certainly isn’t telling them to misplace passes, stroll around like they haven’t got a care in the world and generally not bother, is he?
So leaving the realms of fantasy and getting back to the real world; We have to remove Bruce and get another manager in.
Which takes me back to my position of “if Bruce can’t control the players, who do we think can?”.
Make no mistake. If things carry on as they are, we’re in serious trouble, I see that.
We face Norwich at home next and while they’ve struggled themselves up til now, if we lose to them, things will look seriously bad.
Bruce has asked for more time (which is usually a sign of the fat lady having done her warm-up), so we can form a better opinion when we have our best team. But how long is that going to be?
We don’t have that long, is the simple answer and with supposedly by far the best squad in the league, a few injuries shouldn’t matter anyway.
But then, make no mistake that thinking the players are blameless here.
They’ve been simply poor too.
For me, something has to happen quickly, because it won’t be Xia sacking Bruce; it’ll be the fans’ clamour for his head, which Xia will not be able to resist.
Such is the power of the internet and why I never liked him posting the way he does, fwiw.
While I’d predicted that we’d struggle in our first few games, we have to get a win, sharpish.
I’d remind everyone that the league will not be won over 4, 5 or even 6 games, as much as it might feel like it will at the moment.
Quite simply, my mind is in turmoil over what to think, but my fairly elderly instincts are that now is not the time.
Remind me, when’s the international break?
That might be more opportune.
Just get us a win Steve or you’re a goner, mate.
But I’m sure he doesn’t need me to tell him that.
And just in case you’re in the mood for a bit of panic, here’s the link;