Villa 1 – 2 Sheff Weds; That’s enough, BRUCE OUT!

I really wanted to think about things before I posted anything, but I’m afraid I can’t resist anymore.

It seems most Villa sites are just as reticent as me to actually call for Bruce’s head, probably because they realise, just the same as me, that a lot of what he says makes sense.

I’m trying to be absolutely fair here, so just bare with me.

We had massive upheaval in the summer and Bruce was looking to get rid of anyone who was worth anything, purely to keep the club alive.
That’s a poor situation to be in.

We’re all great managers on paper, but consider what Bruce must have been thinking at the time.

And then it changed on a sixpence, where the new owners came in, which must have been equally as shocking.
So now, Bruce, who was probably part way through negotiations about some players leaving, then has to say it might not happen.

And then maybe, it does after all, as even minted owners have to comply with FFP.

I wouldn’t wish that situation on anyone, as it must be the world’s worst nightmare for a manager in any field, let alone footy.

But that’s where the excuses end.

We’ve signed some great players on loan.
El Ghazi, Bolasie and Abraham seem inspired signings.
And I salute Bruce for getting them in.

But after today, I’m just not seeing how he will make them work for us.
Even if he does to a certain extent, I am pretty sure that it won’t be to their best.

So what actually happened today?

Well, quite simply, we huffed and puffed at a reasonable rate, just the same as we always do under Bruce.

We showed great effort and intent for about 10 minutes, where we massively worried Wednesday, but the rest of it was all far too pedestrian; just the same as we’ve complained about for a long time.

It comes down to simple facts again and Wednesday looked the better team and created more chances.
All while we’re at home.

This is now quite simply unnaceptable.
We’re being bettered by lesser teams.

And as much as I really wanted Bruce to come good for us, now I believe he’s not capable.

If the Elphick rumour is remotely true (and I suspect it probably is), it makes sense.
The manager has too many favourites and is too quick to abandon anyone else, regardless of if they’ve performed well for him.
How must Adohmah feel, for example?

Whatever, it now seems to me that Bruce has shaken the squad up by some very brutal means.
A last roll of the dice, I reckon.
That still made us perform like that today.

A performance that was to my mind, bloody poor.

I really don’t think Bruce has anything left to contribute anymore.

I’d salute the bloke, for what he’s done for us, this far.
He’s stabilised us, without a doubt.

But now is the right time for him to go, as to my mind, there is no way he’s going to progress us as a team.

Go Steve, while some of us can still see your plus points.


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  1. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron's Claret & Blue Army September 22, 2018 at 6:22 pm .

    Agree totally Badger, although I think you’re being kind. I was a Bruce supporter up until the transfer deadline. I don’t know what happened with Elphick, but that one piece of management was scandalous, compounded with the ongoing Jedinak farce. Like Elphick said, the last two times he played, we smashed Bristol and won at Hull on opening day, but her never had a chance. I believe that him and Chester would’ve been a great partnership and we would be higher up the league. No, we’re not firing up front, but we will, simply because the players there are too good not too; they’ll get bored and spark at some point. BUT. The defence is why we’re playing catch up again, when we should be top. And that is, in my opinion, down to the Elphick decision. The manager has essentially sabotaged the team, and I don’t understand why. As a result, I believe the players’ faith in him has been tested, hence the indifferent performances.

    I can’t see a way forward and I certainly don’t see us being promoted this season. Another play off disaster again, at best.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 September 22, 2018 at 6:33 pm .

    Fair and well reasoned post Badger. Like you, I think Bruce has had a lot to contend with in his tenure at Villa. I would be happy to shake his hand and thank him for his commitment and, frankly, for saving us from a ‘Sunderland’ scenario when he first came in.

    He’s done well in getting teams promoted but he’s never won the Championship and it seems to me that the Championship has improved significantly and, in so doing, has left Bruce behind.

    I will not resort to name calling but I now think we need new ideas and a new approach, although even with a new manager, I’m not convinced we can get promotion this season with an unbalanced and leaky defence. What we should be able to achieve is a more entertaining and a more consistent display on the pitch.

    Over to Messrs Sawiris and Edens who have been conspicuously quiet since taking majority control – now’s the time for them to speak out.

  3. Avatar
    Pat 57 September 22, 2018 at 6:35 pm .

    Agree 100% with your post.

    I think that Steve has done some good work in keeping us in the Championship and ensuring that we didn’t do a Sunderland which, at the time, many of us were predicting.

    He’s done as much as he can and I’d like to think that even he could see that it time to part company amicably and hand the reins over to someone else.

    The sooner the better for me.

  4. Avatar
    Jimbovilla September 22, 2018 at 6:51 pm .

    He moans about defending but plays players out of position, he has proven over his tenure that a majority of his goals start from out wide and other teams know it, he has an inability to let players express themselves, they seem shackled.
    Thanks Steve, you steadied the ship now it’s time for a different approach

  5. Avatar
    Bum Bum September 22, 2018 at 7:12 pm .

    Bruce Out. Sorry Steve, but it just isn’t working. You’re chance of managing a Big club simply hasn’t worked out. Time to go.

  6. Avatar
    Sidforever September 22, 2018 at 8:17 pm .

    When the inevitable occurs and Bruce is sacked, I will thank him for bringing stability to the club after the years of total mismanagement. I will also thank him for sticking with us during the summer melt down.

    However, until Bruce goes I am unable to find charity in my heart for his team selections, style of play or classifying life long supporters as stupid.

    I truly believe there is a very good manager out there who would not only get a tune out the team, but can still get them promoted.

    On a side note. I’ve witnessed in business a manager having to dismiss his team before his bosses dismiss him. I think Christian Purslow started this process last week and will now undertake the final dismissal by a week Monday. Bruce will have to win on Friday at Bristol City with absolute style, which is way beyond him.

  7. Avatar
    Originallondonlion September 22, 2018 at 8:24 pm .

    I have a theory.

    It may explain why Bruce can say of the fans: “They say I don’t know what I am doing – but I’ve won 4 promotions.” and the fact that he does not know what he is doing – any longer.

    Either: it is because he has never had this amount of resources at his previous winning sides, and so his style of management worked with the ‘band of brothers’ style small squad. Nobody at those sides who was fit was out of contention. Not so at Villa and Bruce cannot man-manage the humps that players get if rested.

    Or; Bruce has gone past his smell-by date. McLaren, McCarthy, even Wenger lost the ability to manage as well as they once did. I can’t think of one who regained it.

    Time for a change.

  8. Avatar
    Holte66 September 22, 2018 at 9:04 pm .

    Good post Badger and fair considerate comments from everyone. I agree that we appreciate the fact that he has steadied the ship and reunited fans and players. Unfortunately things change quickly and the natives are getting restless, and with good reason. We are sitting half way in the league after having a supposedly easy start and playing football to cure insomniacs. The championship has changed over the last few seasons and just rolling your sleeves up and putting your boots on won’t bring success anymore. There has to be a team and a style of play. Look at Cardiff last season where they played a system using players in their best positions and playing to their strengths. Bruce has chopped and changed so much already and still seems no further forward in knowing his best formation and players for each role. Bruce needs to go now before it gets really unpleasant and before things go back to the toxic ways before he came in. There was a large attendance today and judging by the boos a lot won’t be watching the next game. New owners will have to take notice of this before we are too far adrift from top two and even play offs.

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