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The Steve Bruce Debate Rages On

The Steve Bruce Debate Rages On

As always the debate rages on over the manager of Aston Villa. In our forum The Official Steve Bruce Thread continues and just like on the terraces, some love him, some are unsure and others really don`t buy into the vision!

This was an interesting post by "Merd" that we thought would be good to front page:

We all want a stable Premier League football club ultimately.

If we were performing like Wolves and having the odd blip against a Millwall or similar, we would all be happy as flies on a dung heap. We don't have that level of performance and we continue to be made to look bang average by Bolton, Millwall, Wolves, Cardiff, Reading et al, so we are not all happy.

Perhaps I am unrealistic in my expectations, as others may be, but to get back to the upper half of the PL we must play a better brand of football. Can Bruce deliver this? He has no track record of it so far in his footballing career. Put another way, during all our years of PL football, there was never any Villa fan thinking 'that Steve Bruce fella, really want him as our manager'.

We are where we are and he has stabilised a sinking ship, got rid of some rotten apples etc, but the reality is that we will eventually replace him as manager. The timing is crucial to our success, as is the name of the next manager. There is no room for sentiment here, this is a decision that has to be and will be made at some point by the board.

For me we are too far into this season to replace him now, but I really don't want him giving Gabby a new contract or employing any more Whelan's or Samba`s during the next couple of windows.

Wolves regularly play 8-9 players who are generally young and joined the club this season, while we are relying on a bunch of journeymen with a couple of youngsters.

Timing is everything in football - right person, right place, right time. I believe we should be searching for our Nuno, Wagner or Wenger so that a smooth transition can be made. If we continue with Bruce I can see the continuation of highly paid journeymen making up the majority of the Villa team for years to come. I do understand that it is a risk, but one worth taking. Bruce may get us promoted this year, but for me he will have served his purpose at the end of the season whatever the outcome.

The next five games will give us a good indication of where we will be playing our football next season. The right decision about our next manager, will decide where we play our football for the next decade.

Read more in the forum thread (more adult language etc in there) The Official Steve Bruce Thread

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

Date:Thursday December 14 2017
Time: 3:57PM


I wouldn't expect it to be honest given the progress we've made under him since he arrived. 5 years of dross and mismanagement at all levels. He's turned the corner, got us winning games again and made us difficult to beat. Can't believe anyone is questioning him at this point. "Oh but the style of play is rubbish". It's the division we are in I'm afraid. All the best players, the exciting players, they all play in the top leagues. Apart from Wolves, you watch any Championship game and its full of teams like us. Lacking in quality and grinding out results. And Bruce is good at that.
14/12/2017 16:16:00
Isn't it always the way though? Managers/players are always the topic of debate? I like Bruce though, I hope he gets us up and gets the funds to push us upward in the Prem. Fed up of seeing games like v Millwall though, no excuse for that, albeit a point is better than the losses we were getting in previous seasons.
The Fear
14/12/2017 16:23:00
One to watch for the near future.... Rowett at Derby now, with umm... 'combustable' owners by all accounts and looking good yet again. And I am not just refering to the choice of fashionable sweaters he wears.

Lee Johnson at Brizzel has endured some abuse before taking that club forward.

I guess what I am saying is Bruce is 'ok' but the grass can be greener elsewhere.
14/12/2017 17:39:00
If Bruce gets us up, will the team he has created, possibly with the odd addition, be fit for survival in the PL? At the moment, the teams he puts out would in no way do that. He has until the end of the season to change that.
14/12/2017 17:51:00
Agree with a lot of what Merd says. Replacing Bruce is a case of timing. He's getting no younger, so we must be looking out for a young, forward thinking manager. I can understand the likes of Samba and Whelan (FFP) but pleaseeeee no new contract for Gabby!
Pride of Lions
14/12/2017 17:53:00
I agree fully with Merd. If we had the likes of Grealish, Baker, and Davis, steadily improving, along with other youngsters like O Hare, and Suliman getting some game time too, I'd be feeling we were laying down more of a basis for the future, maybe with Bruce. But we are not. Top Premier teams seem able to introduce youngsters to play in the League above us. I'm not advocating a young team, but buying Samba and selling Baker, giving Elphick game time rather than the Captain of England's U20s, and continually selecting on loan Onamah who is more miss than hit, instead of our own Grealish worries me. We need more players who look comfortable with the ball. We should be making more of what we've got, and I am not confident of the January transfer window making a difference. Fingers crossed we squeeze up. It seems like Wolves plus any one of ten for the other automatic place.
14/12/2017 19:46:00
This is the precise same conversation we have with every manager we turn over every 18 months. Not so long ago we were in the top 6 with MO'N and we were still complaining that the style was lacking. Would we take back that position now? (this comment isn't about the harm that followed so let's not open that old wound!) The point is we all want to be winning and we all want to be winning with style but so does every other team in every other division and it is clearly not as easy as just plucking out another manager as many teams have proven many times. Fans of the most successful teams are having these same debates about there managers. The manager is always the fall guy but it is a combination of a large number of factors which leads to success and style on the pitch. Clearly management is a factor, but is Bruce mismanaging? I would say that given the progress made, he has not shown any signs of this.
14/12/2017 22:46:00
If any other club in our position were talking about getting rid of their manager, we would be taking the P out of them. The over reaction every time we drop points is embarrassing, too many people living in the the past with unrealistic expectations. In just over 12 months he has taken us from the bottom 3, to pushing for promotion - this is despite the fact we've had Kodjia and Jedi out for the majority of this season and JT for several weeks too - arguably our 3 best players. Some people didnt want him from the start and will look for any opportunity to knock him. I dont see any other manager being better suited to get us out of this division
14/12/2017 23:04:00
No I wouldn't AVFC4ME, MON hit his limit and blew it each and every year and everyone knew the problems we had that were never sorted under his charge. Maybe for once we can address those problems and actually kick on properly. Bruce is getting more right than wrong but there's little future planning here, his signings make no sense given his style of play so we're back to wasting millions and the MON meltdown financially is about to hit unless we get promotion following recent spending - and no we can't do a Wolves and sell on for profit which is their plan because at the moment for example we wouldn't even get half the fee for Hogan because we don't play to his strengths. And he's far from alone.

I more than get why Bruce has a promotion or bust attitude but somebody needs an eye on failure to get promoted or we lose another 2-3 years based on 12 months of little thought and no planning. Should Bruce be canned, absolutely not but can he improve, absolutely yes.

He's probably the most refreshing and genuine gaffer we've had since JG for me, but it doesn't mean his flaws shouldn't be questioned.
14/12/2017 23:13:00
I don't disagree with you Mike. I'm not convinced Bruce is the future but I am absolutely convinced that another change of managers is seriously counter productive at this stage. My point really was that in today's world there is an over emphasis on the manager being the fall guy for pretty much everything and, in my view, simply changing one man doesn't change much. Is Bruce the right person to lead us to the top of the premiership? Probably not. Is he the right person for where we are right now? Probably. We're not going to become a prem team overnight so we will still need Bruce for some time after promotion in my view. So I do not agree with Merd that we should be teeing up a successor now. I did enjoy the read though. Always like a good passionate debate! ;)
15/12/2017 01:06:00
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