Back to the proper footy then and it’s Blackburn away tomorrow.
The good news is, it’s a 5.30pm kick off, so I’ll get to see it.
Straight into team news and it’s not good on Blackburn’s part, as Dominic Samuel and Ben Gladwin have been pretty much ruled out for the season. Jack Rodwell is unlikely to make it.
On the plus side (for them), Bradley Dack might play after recovering from a knee problem.
The news on our part is that Hogan is ready and of course, Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie will be available.
Which makes things interesting, as our striker and winger situation suddenly look pretty good.
The big question for me is does Bruce go with one or two up front?
I’m guessing Abraham is guaranteed to start and Hogan won’t get a look in.
I’m also guessing that Kodjia will be dropped and it’ll be Abraham up top on his own, scratching for bits, just as Kodjia often does.
If so, I think that’ll be a mistake and I’d like to see Abraham and Kodjia given a stint together.
Bruce has often talked about how we should go two up front, but let’s see if he does it, now he’s got the chance.
If Bruce goes one up front, I predict the fans will be on his back straight away.
Why add another striker if we only ever go with one ineffective one, because we don’t play to his needs, anyway?
If we’re going to use wingers to keep lobbing the balls in, either get a battering ram who might get on the end of them or double your chances by putting two strikers in there, in my opinion.
But what do I know?
It would seem I know nothing about defence, along with most of us, if Bruce’s “I know what I’m doing” attitude is to go by.
I’m the same as the rest of us, in thinking that letting De Laet go out on loan is quite bizarre, especially when coupled with Elphick also being loaned out.
But at the same time, I can partly see why these players have gone.
I strongly suspect that Bruce was told that the only way he could bring players in, was to balance the books and both defenders were touted as being on high wages.
It all makes sense on paper, as for whatever reason, Bruce just doesn’t rate (or most likely just doesn’t get on with), the two defenders.
Which is fine. That’s the manager’s prerogative to play the players he thinks are best suited to the team.
But to so unbalance the squad is for me, bordering totally unforgivable.
A poor result here won’t immediately cost Bruce his job.
But should we lose, the clamour for his head will make his sacking very hard for our owners to resist in the near future.
I’ve previously said that I don’t think Bruce has long left as our manager.
But I’d be very happy if he proved me wrong and we go on a monster winning streak.
That’s all I want to see. The Villa winning.
Whatever manager we have doesn’t really matter, although it would be a plus if we played with some verve and panache.
We need a confident performance and to get back to winning ways quickly.
One each, if our defence can have at least an average game.