Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Bruce Says Players Are Scared. I'm Not Buying That Excuse

Bruce Says Players Are Scared. I'm Not Buying That Excuse

I have to say, I`m struggling with the recent quotes from Steve Bruce.

In an interview with Gregg Evans at The Birmingham Mail he admits the players must do better. Ok, that`s kinda an obvious part so I agree there! But then he goes on to imply, as he did last season at points, that some of the players go into hiding because of the size of Aston Villa.

Now come on... really?

Bruce said "The enormity of Aston Villa also comes into play. I`ve quickly learned that. Unfortunately, at the moment, I`m not getting the best out of them because some of them have shied away."

Shied away from doing their job? With the time Bruce has had now, can he not be accused of doing the same IF he really can`t get the players doing what he is asking? And what are the coaches doing? The only people that haven`t shied away are the fans. 5000 at Cardiff City, sold out v Reading on a miserable Tuesday night and all to watch utter garbage. It`s an amazing fan base. It`s not an amazing team at the moment though and that`s the key. We don`t play as a team. There aren`t many players I`d swap from Cardiff or Reading but both outplayed us because they are a cohesive unit.

Isn`t that the managers job to make us the same?

We are a big club but come on folks, we aren`t that big so as to frighten our players! We`ve not had frightened of the club players before, why are we meant to believe we have that now? The football pitch is a great leveller, it`s not as if they can even blame the weight of expectations at Villa Park yet, our two defeats were on the road.

He goes on to explain, "They`ve found it difficult to get established. They`ve found it difficult to find the form which is why they`re at Aston Villa. They then have to grasp the nettle to and go forward with it."

I bought this last season as he was trying to get a team settled and new players came in at quite a dramatic rate. But they`ve had half of last season and pre-season and are still finding it hard to 'grasp the nettle`?

They`d best grasp it pretty damn quick otherwise the fans will turn totally and there won`t be a hope in hell of promotion. If we don`t go up this season, with the way the parachute payments massively drop and the FFP rules are so tight in the Championship, we could find ourselves there for quite some while.

He adds: "They have to improve and I have to help them improve." The time to do that was throughout last season and in pre-season Steve. The pressure now is massively on them all, including the manager, in our home game v Norwich this weekend.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday August 17 2017
Time: 8:41AM


It would seem that the job/club is too big for Bruce.
Villan of the north
17/08/2017 08:57:00
Pathetic excuse and even worse motivational talk for the players. Bruce has had a full pre season to get these players playing football, implementing a style of play. We saw in pre season against shrewsbury and Walsall that we played no football, created nothing and looked awful.. but it was brushed off as "it's only pre season". We were completely outplayed at Reading, I've never seen a team completely dominate us through ball possession and good football. They kept it, looked confident on the ball, constantly moved for each other and showed for it - we do none of this. Midfield pass it backwards before a big hoof forward. You're right in the article, I wouldn't swap many of their players for ours, but I'd definitely swap the manager...
17/08/2017 09:11:00
So JT is shying away because its a big club. Really? This is all a smokescreen. What about the reverse psychology that the boost of playing for such a club should have them bursting with pride and playing harder? Look back through history, we have never, to my knowledge, had players who have shied away due to the size of the club. This has never been mentioned until SB arrived. Brian Godfrey et al would have fallen over laughing at this nonsense. Des Bremner who made the European Cup team tick came from nowhere into that role and was a star. Sorry SB history says your talking nonsense. Maybe the club is to big just for one individual and his comments show what he is thinking and not the players.
17/08/2017 09:12:00
Sadly VOTN that's exactly what it looks like. This is ridiculous. Agreed Gordonsleftboot and HolteEnd2610
The Fear
17/08/2017 09:47:00
Papers state "Bruce has 3 games to save his job" let's see if this gives him the kick up the rear end he deserves for this nonsense he comes out with.
17/08/2017 09:50:00
I'm not completely agreeing with Bruce on this, but it does happen and there have been occasions in the past - not just at Villa either. Wasnt Tommy Johnson petrified the first few months he played for us, I remember him vomiting on the pitch during a game. I'm sure from memory Alan Thompson was quite nervous too. Hourihane is one who looks nervous to me, our tactics probably arent conducive to his style, but when he does get on the ball he isnt doing a great deal and how many goal scoring chances has he wasted since he came in - he would have buried them at Barnsley. Others such as Terry, Whelan, Samba, it obviously isnt going to affect. When results are poor and the fans are putting you under the pressure that we are, he cant say anything right - he would be better off not giving an interview. My criticism would be, if some players are struggling with the new environment, drop them, there are a 2 or 3 kids in the under 23's chomping at the bit to get in the team.
17/08/2017 10:18:00
They are scared. Too scared to try something, they are playing in their shells. You can't win if all your players are hiding in the team & waiting for others to show the initiative. I'm not saying Bruce is innocent he should have bought another powerful forward to help out when Kodjia is not available, but the other players have to do their bit and be willing to try and take a few risks to take the game to the opposition
Big Dubs Header
17/08/2017 10:24:00
Bruce's comments will do much to boost the team morale .... NOT , does this sound like he's lost the dressing room. Sad to say I think the damage is done. I wanted him to succeed but enough is enough.
17/08/2017 10:35:00
I love the Villa but we're hardly Real Madrid at the moment. Most of the squad were not even born when we last won the league so what are they seeing that scares then so much? It's a terrible excuse. And I'm pretty sick of excuses. 10 months he's been shooting this nonsense and I though the point was that Bruce was bringing in people who could handled it.
17/08/2017 10:36:00
Nerves can definitely impact a player's performance gary, but Mr Fear is spot on with his article - it is not the 'size of our club' which is having an effect, that suggestion is ridiculous. May I suggest, Mr Bruce, that if players like Lansbury and Hourihane are failing to live up to their expectations at Villa, hence becoming 'nervous' of making mistkes ( which is, I agree, the case ) that you try to play them in roles where they are more comfortable and an attacking style of play. Neither are defensive mid-fielders. Simple really, use players in their best positions.
17/08/2017 10:54:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Best of International Football News


Recent Aston Villa Articles

The Villa Times - 20/01/2018 (Aston Villa News Round-up)

The latest Aston Villa news and views via the uno fish ial one...

Van Persie Was An Option - Wyness

With former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie returning to Feyenoord late yesterday evening, Keith Wyness has confirmed he was an option for Aston Villa...

West Brom Confirm Regis Funeral Details

Following the sad passing of the legend that was Cyrille Regis this week, West Bromwich Albion...

Bruce Aiming For Four Wins On The Spin

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has now held his pre Barnsley press conference and he's hoping to make it four straight wins this weekend.

Aston Villa Archived Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Aston Villa v Barnsley will:
Suggested By: Mystic Mug
Win, of course, never in doubt72%
Lose - social media meltdown time!?23%
Draw - zzzz!5%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Could Red Bull be favourites for 2018?
Latest Vital Boxing News
Taylor Set for Soto Bout in Glasgow
Write for Vital Football

Aston Villa Fixtures

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear349
2.Pride of Lions343
10.Melon Donkey105
The Vital Football Members League