Are Aston Villa in a Glass Half Full Situation as a Club?

By Liam Scahill

The Here and Now

In a society where instant gratification is a life necessity and an expected everyday normality, Steve Bruce’s footballing ideologies and ethos have come under increasing levels of scrutiny from Villa fans in recent times.

Football as a whole, on a global scale is viewed very much in the here and now, by not just its audiences but by players alike. The deeds, achievements and displays of loyalty of yesterday count for little. The footballing stratosphere recently has witnessed a widespread complex wind system of condemnation, with regard the now infamous decision, by current Premier League champions Leicester City to sack their title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri and besmirch his name on a global scale, mere weeks after the man was awarded and recognised by FIFA as being the best manager in the world.

The debate & deliberation in the aftermath, has almost tantalisingly teased opened Pandora`s box, which is housing a wider argument that in time to come must ensue if the game of football is to retain any of its remaining wholesomeness. That white elephant-taboo-unmentionable-out of bounds-anathema-prohibited debate, lurking in Pandora`s box is a polemical trenchant conversation surrounding the lack of ethical thinking and/or responsive empathetic understanding in the game.


Back down in Villa’s troposphere, Steve Bruce’s reign has heralded and orchestrated some truly woeful lack lustre footballing displays, which inevitably has led to him & his team receive a plethora of criticism and ridicule. The directness and often one dimensional football hors d’oeuvres being conjured on the pitch and severed at the Villa football buffet, has not salivated every Villa fan`s palate.

Essentially, a cocktail of poor results followed by the harsh reality that the promotion dream is over for this season, has prompted fans and pundits alike to analyse Bruce’s failings with merciless scrutiny. The patience threshold amongst the claret and blue hordes of faithful followers has justifiably been eroded away by the Lerner years.

In essence, would it be fair to assume in a footballing sense, collectively as Villans we are all emotionally damaged from the recent past underperformances of the club? Can the bleak possession and pass completion statistics of some of the football on offer that Bruce has presided over thus far in his short reign, empower us with sufficient adequate portions of ethical moral standing that we call for him to be sent to the redundancy gallows?

Results Business

Results at the end of day is all that matters to us fans, and subsequently it determines the longevity of any manager’s reign, is this fact just and reasonable? From most fans perspective’s one would imagine it is, however there is more than the perspective of fandom in the footballing world that counts for something. If the players who don our famous history embroiled jerseys underperform and manage to consistently misplace passes, does this failure rest solely at the door of Bruce?

For supporters, we are brimming with copious amounts of Villa pride; we are emotionally charged and invested in the club. Analytical reason is nigh on impossible for us when we evaluate our club’s performance on the pitch, perhaps just perhaps for the time being at least, we need to cease the practice of eyeballing overachieving clubs in our midst such as Huddersfield Town with envious eyes for example.


Huddersfield under the stewardship of one David Wagner seem to be making virtuoso like strides on the pitch, with a footballing approach that is not just stylish but effective in the Championship. Wagner and his origins scream exoticism, when correlated to our own Stevey Bruce, maybe Big Sam Allardyce had a point when he joked that he will never manage a top four side because his surname is not “Allardici”. Our current Villa world is not the utopia we desire it to be but nor is the footballing atmosphere that we inhabit.

The Long Game

Maybe just maybe the ambition and the determination that Keith Wyness, Dr Tony Xia and Steve Bruce display at times will orchestrate a sumptuous metamorphosis of the club. Instead of limiting our horizons which are weighed down by years of witnessing the Villa underperform, we should expand our horizons and give the club’s hierarchy opportunity and crucially time to prove many of us unbelievers and doubters wrong.

The alternative is, we follow the grain, and surrender to the tide of short-term thinking and seek instant gratification, ethically is that the Villa way? That is the question each and everyone one of us must answer in our own mind’s eye. Recent positive results can be perceived as green shoots of progress or a mask that hides away mediocre negative football, but in conclusion there is the distinct possibility our glass is half full, not half empty and the death knell of our historic club is not upon us!

Let our future and/or present opinions of the club, not be too tainted by the past, let us positively dare to dream once again, this notion could be wishful thinking and not misogynistic in nature or it could turn out to be another weapon in our armoury that will aid the club in traversing the long path ahead where we may hopefully dine once again at the top table of English football.


Follow Liam on twitter here –@Sir_Scatman 



  1. Firstly, NO ONE has any right to assume anything on my behalf, and to attempt to assume for everyone is tyrannical. Though I notice this particular turn of phrase is showing up more and more in daily usage.

    Secondly, half the team is injured. That alone tells me there is a bigger issue. For instance, why is training so intense pre match that one of our players can injure another one? Oh and why again has Hutton been extended, same as the last extension, was poor for ages, had three decent games before his contract renewal, and now is injured (tho I think that might be new behavior, can’t recall if he went sick last time). We have now 4 1st team right backs, of which two are injured and one who thinks he is a central defender. Oh and how is that person still at the club, hasn’t played and is on some of the highest wages.

    Certainly not a half full glass, but certainly a half full sickroom.

  2. Promotion ? some folk are onlt too eager to throw in the towel before such things become mathematically impossible . But reality does suggest that it might be better to spend another season in the Championship and get the club onto a more stable base . As for tonight I suspect it might be interesting ,given what is becoming an injury crisis who wil actually be in the starting 11 & who will be on the bench . As whether we could actualy break another Villa record & win 4 on the trot let’s not count chickens before eggs have hatched
    However a win tonight could mean the mathematicians need to get their calculators out to predict the possible outcome of a long run of success for Villa

  3. This s my opinion, because we have won three games on the bounce does that give me confidence that we have turned the corner, sadly no It doesn’t I do however stand to be corrected and if we get a result tonight I might just start to hope, for me Bruce naked too many tactical errors, his team selection at times beggars belief. After three wins at least we should be safe from relegation but we are still playing rubbish football and unless there’s a dramatic turn around I see the same old same old next season.

    • whilst i agree that the football hasn’t exactly been easy on the eye and that some selections do leave me puzzled, you have to remember that, for the first 3 months of Bruce’s reign, he was playing with another managers toys. January came and he still hasn’t had the opportunity to field what he would consider his best team due to a horrendous injury list, suspensions and one or two playing not playing to their capability. Add to this, players learning to play with new teammates then you can understand why we haven’t yet settled into a decent style of play. I’m still convinced that Bruce is the right man to have and the last thing we need is another change. Having said all this, I would expect that by Christmas next season, we should be seeing a more “attractive” style.

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