The city game, Garde out-Bruce in and other depressing thoughts.

New Toy Story toy. Mr Potato Head.

Sorry if you are really coming Steve, it’s only a joke, honest

As is often the case these days, I had to work and missed the Man City game.
I did though belatedly realise MOTD was on and managed to turn over for it just as they were analysing what I think was the third goal. The one that showed the City players waltzing around just outside our box while our defence did absolutely nothing in trying to stop them.
No doubt you’ll understand why I frankly couldn’t even be bothered to hit the catchup or rewind buttons to view what I’d already heard was yet another utterly abysmal collapse.
From bits I’d heard/read, it seems the first half was a pretty turgid affair and to be honest, I just wasn’t in the mood to see us get another whipping.
But it led my thoughts back to the manager, Mr Garde.

I made my thoughts fairly clear in stating that I thought Sherwood should have been given a bit more time, which was very much a minority view and I think I was pretty early in saying I wasn’t sure about Remi Garde being the right man for us a good few weeks back.
At least you can’t say I just go with the flow all the time.

The truth is, I don’t rate Garde tactically, as he’s far too pragmatic and unadventurous in my opinion.
The Man city game was a typical example, as I see the idea was to hold them deep into the game.
And then do what exactly?
Go out and hit them with a counter? With our attack? and their attack/our defence?
You have to be kidding me and the idea was just preposterous.

So it should be easy for me to jump on the bandwagon which now seems to have arisen and call for Garde’s head to roll immediately.
But I’m not going too, at least not yet.

Especially when you consider the latest press BS is that Steve Bruce is the man to replace him.
That suggestion just doesn’t work on lots of levels for me.
Thinking about it, Bruce does have a decent record when it comes to getting clubs promoted, but he’s not a manager I’d have considered previously, as I don’t believe he’s good enough for us.
In fairness, I guess that’s just the part of me where it’s not quite sinking in, in that we’re now a championship club-in-waiting.
But there are other reasons too, such as why on earth would Bruce want to come to us?
Okay, I doubt anyone could deny that we’re a bigger club than Hull and yes, we could probably offer him more wages (and even then I’d question if we’re willing to pay them), but surely that’s our only appeal.
Any new manager won’t be offered serious money to spend and will have to watch our rubbish squad decimated even more than it already is.
It’s blindingly obvious to me that we’re a basket case and no decent manager would touch us with a bargepole unless there’s upheaval in line with what us fans want, in a top to bottom clear out. Which simply isn’t going to happen unless Lerner opens his wallet and pays them all off.
Simply put, it means Bruce isn’t going to leave a comfortable position at Hull, where things are going quite nicely and promotion definitely isn’t out of the question.

It’s a non-starter for me and even if there is a hint of truth in the story, I’d take my time in choosing a replacement. We’d look even more desperate than we already are, if we were to replace the manager now.
Let’s face it, the bookies have already started paying out on us being relegated, haven’t they?

So nothing will happen before the end of the season, in my eyes.
In fact, I saw a comment on here that suggested that Garde may already have resigned and he’s just covering.
That actually sounds very plausible and Lerner has history for it, doesn’t he?

Thinking ahead, it’s Spurs up next, so without doubt another loss, to put it mildly.
And while I’m at it, let’s have a close look at the remaining fixtures;

Aston Villa V Tottenham
Swansea V Aston Villa
Aston Villa V Chelsea
Aston Villa V Bournemouth
Man Utd V Aston Villa
Aston Villa V Southampton
Watford V Aston Villa
Aston Villa V Newcastle
Arsenal V Aston Villa

At best, I see nine points there, with wins against Swansea, Bournemouth and Newcastle, with the rest losses.
More realistically, I see five points, with draws against Swansea and Bournemouth and maybe still a win against Newcastle.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we don’t win or even draw a single one of those games though, so fragile is the bunch of wimps we have.
And it’s why I agree with Garde, that we shouldn’t subject the kids to this (which is another seemingly contrary view).

But even though I’m terrible at predictions, you’d have to be pretty optimistic to suggest we’ve any hope of staying up.
Hence there’s absolutely no point in bringing in a manager now, who’ll just relegate us and start off on the wrong footing.

Final point.
I spoke to my Derby supporting mate yesterday.
There was a small amount of stick/abuse as you’d expect, but then he got serious and after admitting that he was gutted to see us go down (in line with fans of other clubs, as I’ve previously said), he volunteered that Derby were actually way worse when they got relegated, than the Villa currently are, as we have better players.
Derby just weren’t good enough, but at least they tried, in his opinion.

I’m not sure which is worse, myself.


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  1. pat57
    pat57 March 8, 2016 at 5:58 am . Reply

    Unless anything changes I can only see us scraping a few draws at best. I can see Swansea and Bournemouth beating us, Swans are playing okay at the moment, away win at Arsenal recently,and Bournemouth just saw off the other basket case Newcastle 3-1 away.

    Honestly don’t think we’ll break 20 points. Total, utter disaster of a season.

  2. Sir Earl Barratt
    Sir Earl Barratt March 8, 2016 at 7:39 am . Reply

    Badger, I’d be interested to hear you support your statement of ‘Not good enough for us’ when you mention Steve Bruce? He’s managed in the prem a few times now and I don’t recall a record low points tally. Did his teams ever stop playing for him perhaps? Did he ever sit on the bench from the first whistle to the last? Did his teams ever give anything less than 100%? Has he ever been accused of being a patsy for the owner or a yes man?

    I think you’ve inadvertently uncovered a major issue in my fellow Villa fans – a complete arrogance and borderline delusion. We’re a club so broken that the Leeds owner must look at us as think he’s not that bad after all. Let’s look back to when Martinez was linked. He wasn’t good enough. Some of the players linked recently: Gardner, Steven Davis, huddlestone all not good enough for the mighty Villa with a social media outpouring. Now we can add Bruce to the list. We are an utter bollocks of a club and when we go down we will be forgotten by most outside of our club. We should be grateful that anyone would look at us twice, player or staff as we’re such a train wreck. Horses for courses now I’m afraid, the money ball buying policy headed by a European coach has failed as badly as the previous four appointments and it’s time to get real. Following the longed for sacking of all these suits running our club like a game of Football Manager, we need someone who knows the league and who knows players who know the league, if that’s Bruce, so be it. I’ll be behind anyone who will show some passion and dish out a few rollickings on the way to three points.

    Proud history; decidedly uncertain future! UTV

    1. Jacko
      Jacko March 8, 2016 at 8:35 am . Reply

      I have to say the jury is out on Remy Garde for me, but the thing that concerns me the most is the players who don’t fancy his training regime and tactics. We haven’t had world beater managers but we have had decent coaches non of which has been able to push the team up the table. The players especially the senior ones seem to be the ones who really don’t care about Aston Villa being relegated. I say the full squad should be axed in the summer and we start again with decent signings. We can’t keep saying it’s the manager when it’s the players who have been the most consistent. Consistently bad.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 8, 2016 at 11:40 am . Reply

      Problem with Bruce is he us from Birmingham city and hated by most villa fans. It will end up like Mckeish he will never be accepted even if he got is promotion. Imagine if we lost first 2 games of the season fans would scream for his head whereas another manager would at least get a honeymoon period.

      1. Sir Earl Barratt
        Sir Earl Barratt March 8, 2016 at 5:44 pm . Reply

        Honestly couldn’t give a toss he was at blues to be fair. He’s had about ten years in between. If he can work with the regime, whatever that looks like, and get results he’ll be welcomed by me. Steve Bruce is where we are currently and Steve Bruce type players is what we need. Nasty buggers in midfield who aren’t going to watch players pick up the ball in their own half and dribble unchallenged towards our goal. Defenders who’ll head a brick if it means saving a goal. assuming we’re keeping gestede, someone who’ll deliver a few crosses that he can get to.

    3. badger123
      badger123 March 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm . Reply

      SEB, I can’t support the statement.
      It’s why I wrote the line that came next;

      “In fairness, I guess that’s just the part of me where it’s not quite sinking in, in that we’re now a championship club-in-waiting.”

      The point I was trying to make was that most of us wouldn’t have wanted him only a couple of years back, whereas I think many of us would take him now because he’s probably about as good as we could get.

      I wouldn’t say we’re deluded, myself.
      It’s more that I think most of us can’t believe how far we’ve fallen over the last few years.
      Arrogant? Possibly. But I think many of us know what we are currently.
      And it’s probably true to say we shouldn’t be in this position.
      At least that’s what fans of other clubs tell me, including even noses.

    4. BWS
      BWS March 8, 2016 at 10:16 pm . Reply

      I would sorta agree with most of that apart from the Martinez thing, he is imo the most overrated manager in the history of overrated managers.

  3. nath
    nath March 8, 2016 at 8:42 am . Reply

    if our players all eleven picked and subs when required, actually gave 100% for the club, manager & fans. they are more than capable of getting positives results in the games, swansea ( A ) Bournemouth ( H ) Southampton ( H ) Watford ( A ) Newcastle ( H )

    i noticed before last week game with city we were 4/1 not to win another game. thats were i would place my money. if we continue as we have done all season. i never been one for sacking managers, especially when i rate um. but gardes has lost the players,thats a massive understatement. if we could win them 5 games i mentioned it still might not be enough. but at least we will finish the season with a feel good factor MAYBE.

    i don’t think we need to panic and hire a stopgap manager, just promote mac or cowans

    lastly on new manager. whoever is asked and accepts, must be given funds to build his own team. can’t continue to hire managers and ask um to manager a shower of shit we have with grades and sherwoods both of these guys were given a mission impossible.

  4. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 8, 2016 at 1:16 pm . Reply

    This board cannot be trusted to decide on a new manager whoever that might be. I agree with Nath, if Garde walks then we should get Sid and Mac to look after matters until this board has gone and we all hope a CEO with experience of running a footballl club (or at the very least a major sporting business) is appointed.

    As to the remaining fixtures then one would think there’s a couple of wins in there but given the apparent lack of fight being shown by the team then I fear we will fail to win again this season.

    As there’s a real link between form at the end of one season and start of the next this would be disastrous. Somehow, even if (sorry when) relegated, we need to try and find some positive form to end the season on.

    1. BWS
      BWS March 8, 2016 at 8:13 pm . Reply

      You’re right they can’t be trusted but no matter what a legend Sid is or how loyal Kev Mac is I really fear consecutive drops with either in the hot seat.
      They may be good at what they do but imo they both lack the authority or depth of character to become first team gaffers.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 8, 2016 at 8:53 pm . Reply

        I agree BWS and wasn’t advocating long term appointments but only to the end of the season should Garde walk before then. I, like many, are hoping that the three wise monkeys will be gone by then and we just might have a decent board in place who know what they are about in selecting a new manager

        1. BWS
          BWS March 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm . Reply

          We might as well mate, Remi seems to have lost the plot, dressing room and the will to live.

  5. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm . Reply

    Listened to Mervyn King on Radio 5 Live just now. Apart from plugging his book and talking about financial stuff he did speak about Aston Villa. He stated that every aspect of the club was being reviewed (as we know), but said a couple of interesting things. The first that they will soon be in position to announce some changes, and the second that he hopes Remi Garde will decide to stay with the club. The implication was very much that it was Remi’s decision.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 8, 2016 at 3:57 pm . Reply

      That’s interesting DSV – if true the it seems Hollis /King (a) don’t hold Garde responsible and (b) they believe he has much to offer Villa.

      He is undoubtedly an intelligent man and a board with real nous would take advantage of that intelligence and experience in decisions relating to the broader running of the club.

      We can only watch ….. and speculate.

    2. nath
      nath March 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm . Reply

      i like remi and i am confident he could have kept villa up this season, but drastic changes was needed to the current squad. not only did they need to bring in many players, but they needed to get loads out the door with a big thanxs but no thanxs.

      having ignored his recommendations,having ignored his requests for players. can’t see how remi would want to stay. plus once a manager has gone down the slippery slope of bad results, its hard to swing back the momentum. most fans are now doubting him

      that said if SOMEBODY comes out and tells the fans what the new plan is. might help get the players back on side.because they are doing their best to get him sacked.

      some of the players he wanted in january were pretty decent, that guy that went to sunderland looks decent.

  6. Rocky1
    Rocky1 March 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm . Reply

    I cannot wait for the plan to come out, they just have not got a clue and for Garde he has been hung out to dry. Yes let’s question tactics, but if you had half of those lazy bastards playing for you, you just cannot do anything and those that want to make it difficult will do so and drag the rest down. The decline has been coming for years and they have tried everything. Now that reality has hit home the knives out and everyone is looking over their shoulder. The whole structure of the club is wrong and not every manger we have had over the last 10 years or so can be really that bad.
    Changing the manager every year an expecting whoever to polish a load of turds is not the answer. Get the structure right, have a plan and then build a team that the manager wants and let him have a ago to build his squad. To get a manager in and expect him to change the whole philosophy of the club in a matter of months with no backing is total suicide. I am sure Garde knew the remit when he signed, but he may not of been told about the sceaming back stabbing bastards he was expected to work with, in the way of the playing staff at his disposal and the divides within the club. I am just glad that the fans have not turned on him as Garde deserves a lot of credit for putting up with the shit he has to work with.
    What made me laugh was when I read that the players where unhappy that he did not come into the dressing room after a game we lost and put his thoughts across! What would he have said ” The lot of you where fucking shit and do not deserve to wear the shirt of this once great club”

    1. BWS
      BWS March 8, 2016 at 10:11 pm . Reply

      Good post Rocky you’ve hit the nail on the head a club in steep decline rotten from board to dressing room. Yea we can go through manager after manager and blaming each one in succession for the failings of the club but the reality runs much deeper, it’s rotten to the core.

    2. Villain1
      Villain1 March 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm . Reply

      Could not have put it better Rocky1.

      I know its a very hypothetical situation, but I do believe that if Garde stays and is given the autonomy/funds from parachute money by Hollis/Lerner, he will totally obliterate this squad as is required. You don’t need to be a body language expert to see what he thinks of these players.
      I just wish we could place Richards, Lescott and Gabby on gardening leave immediately and never see them in a Villa shirt again…. one can dream

  7. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum March 9, 2016 at 8:53 am . Reply

    Ok. Got my BT TV set up and a number of Premier League games. Cool. No more Sky.
    Bugger. Just remembered we’re about to be relegated. Oh well! 🙂

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum March 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm . Reply

    So Veretout looks like he’s AC Milan bound…No good at Villa. Wanted by Milan.
    WTF is going on at our club!!!!!

      GIDDYVILLAN March 9, 2016 at 3:33 pm . Reply

      Maybe he wants to play in a happier environment Milan possibly offer that,who the fuck wants to turn up to work depressed if they do the villa fits the job description perfectly

    2. nath
      nath March 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm . Reply

      i have just clocked these stories too, make you wonder to what these muppets, are doing with our club. ok make a odd mistakes, they made 11 bum signings. but don’t compound this mistake by making another selling um cheaper. its crazy absolutely crazy running of a football club.

      another thing, players from the under 21 we have released over the last few years, are mostly all in championship. so we could have kept them & saved a fortune on transfers and wages. instead we wasted millions on buying crap and sell crap for less. plus now we need to buy players like we released for mostly nothing.

      just brilliant piece of business

  9. marvin
    marvin March 9, 2016 at 4:46 pm . Reply

    It is hard to know what Hollis/King plan to do – the boardroom is a mess. I don’t think they need to fire everyone on the board but over the past season or two we kinda went from one extreme to the next. Since Fox was appointed we have gone from little to no middle management to pure excess, and to be honest I don’t think anyone one really knows what they do – including themselves.

    With that being said the worse case scenario for the club right now would not be relegation but to lose Remi Garde. If we loose him not only will Hollis/King have to continue cleaning house behind the scenes but also risk hastily appointing someone as manager out of necessity rather than vision.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 9, 2016 at 7:40 pm . Reply

      Maybe they don’t (need to fire everyone on the board) but none of the three wise monkeys can continue in their present roles. So would – for instance – Fox move from CEO to Commercial Director – the position he held at Arsenal? I suspect not and I would suggest that goes for the other two Fox appointments. So, in reality, we need a complete clear out and a new board with Hollis (or his proxy) as Chairman and King as the principal NED.

      Then they have to persuade Lerner to let the board run the club, invest as recommended by the board and select a new manager if Garde walks.


  10. nath
    nath March 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm . Reply

    daniel johnson seems like a good all around midfielder. sold 50k probably better than most our midfield currently, 14 goals in 40 plus appearances and hes created quite a few, wonder if preston would sell him back for half the price we sold him.

  11. Rocky1
    Rocky1 March 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm . Reply

    I think that when Garde joined he was disappointed not have been able to get the backroom staff he wanted around him. His body language is that of a man who is totally alone and lost. In there somewhere must be a man who has a lot of confidence in his own ability and I am sure given the right backing he will be able to turn it around. I have always wanted our managers to succeed but there has to be something significantly wrong from the top down for so many to fail. I am not say we are the only club who appear to be in turmoil but most clubs have the structures in place at all levels with people who know their jobs and can work as a team and not as a group individuals pulling in different directions.
    I think Lerner has realized this and is trying a different approach albeit it is to late to save us from the drop and he is now putting the correct structure in place at the top and allowing them work their way down. The change will come, but it may be not be until we are mathematically down, then shit & fan spring to mind.

  12. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion March 9, 2016 at 11:48 pm . Reply

    I am really in a dilemma over Remi Garde. On one count I find he bought none of the current squad and would probably sack all those he has put a shirt on so far. So on that basis he deserves a clean sweep and the chance to buy his own team. On the other count I find he continues to pick the square pegs for round holes that we know about, and I am not sure whether that is to piss off Fox Riley and Almstadt, or because he has lost the plot.

    Then I think, does Remi look like the type of manager to get Championship teams promoted? He doesn’t, does he?

    1. marvin
      marvin March 10, 2016 at 12:38 am . Reply

      To be fair Garde hasn’t had a goalscorer (in any form) since he arrived at the club. Much like Sherwood who struggled before him, without that threat up front every team knows now to immediately press us until we break. Really Garde could be picking world class players at the back, but without those outlets it is just a matter of when, not if, the goals are conceded.

      Personally Garde tried in vain to get players in and club didn’t back him. Had the board funded even one signing who knows what could have been.

      1. nath
        nath March 10, 2016 at 7:03 am . Reply

        marvin is totally correct here

        take away the massive fact we are crap, look at it from a opposition view. they will assess any dangers we process. which will take seconds. realize we avent got anything upfront or midfield. this means teams have pressed us and squeezed us into giving the ball away cheaply in our own half, teams like walsall fc would rub their hands together at a prospect of facing this current squad.

        without carry a danger to opposition your limited to what tactic you can play. remi has been trying everything and anything.the biggest worry for us fans. WHO thought this current crop would be good enough. WHO gave the green light to sign um, because they avent just failed slightly. they crashed and burned all season.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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