By Mark Goodwin

Reality Check

After the disappointment of losing to Fulham last Saturday, I think there has been a total over reaction to the situation. Suddenly its all doom and gloom and we are heading for the abyss.

Yes, we’ve lost John Terry, but was he really going to stay another season, and was he good enough for a year in the Premier League ? I think not.

Jack Grealish is obviously our star asset, but haven’t we been there before? If a Big Club comes knocking I don’t think anyone would begrudge him a move (but please not Manchester United!). I think he’d be great at a club like Spurs,Liverpool or Arsenal who play football the right way.

I’d like to think we could keep him until Xmas at least, and see how things pan out.

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I’m more concerned at the fact we can’t seem to get rid of McCormack and Richards and get those two wasters off the wage bill.

Leftovers

The Squad we have left should be more than capable of sustaining a challenge on the Top Six, and with a bit of momentum the Top Two. A lot of people point to the QPR, Bolton and Norwich results last season that cost us, but winning one out of the first seven games was probably the ultimate reason.

Look at Wolves and Cardiff, who had blistering starts and gained momentum from that. We were always playing catch up, and only briefly spent time in the Top Two after seven straight wins culminating with the win over Small Heath.

Team Bruce

I’m definitely in the Bruce camp. I’d keep him at least for another season. He’s managed to turn the ship around, given us belief and put some smiles back on our faces, after six terrible years. Ok, sometimes the style of play hasn’t been great, but he has ground out some decent results when we needed them. The 1-0 wins at Middlesbrough (twice) and Sheffield United spring to mind.

I do though think he needs to bring in some of the kids to inject a bit of pace and youth. The only one we really saw last season was Kiernan Davis, and that was more by luck than judgement, as we had a few injuries at the time.

When you look at who we could have in the squad at the start of the season, then this lot should be able to maintain a decent challenge: Bree, Chester, Hourihane, Jedinak, Whelan, Green, RHM, Davis, O’Hare, Kodjia, Hogan, Adomah, Lansbury, Bjarnason, De Laet and possibly Hutton, and I’ve not even mentioned Grealish.

I’m sure we will also get a few loans in as well (Tuanzebe i potentially coming back). The only thing we need is a decent Goalkeeper, although Jed Steer did well when called upon last season.

More Swagger Please

I just hope Bruce will unleash them and play with a bit more swagger and attacking intent.

Although, if we keep losing games 3-2 or 4-3, I’m sure the moaners will start again.

Its not all doom and gloom, disappointing yes, but certainly not doom and gloom, and once those fixtures come out on June 21st, we’ll all get our belief back, especially if Jack stays as well.

Like I mentioned earlier, get a good start and the momentum will build and with our magnificent support both home and especially away, the positivity will return.

Keep The Faith!

VTID

Follow Mark of the AVISC Sutton Coldfield Villans on Twitter here: AVFC_Hatchet

These supporter opinion pieces are not necessarily the views of My Old Man Said

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Bruce out -No time for sentiment we are the mighty AVFC thanks Steve for your efforts all the best for the future.
    We could not do it this season with no ffp restrictions and how many Villa fans are happy with his style of play and tactics or lack of!.
    Sideways backwards and hoping Grealish sparks us to life … one up top at home come on. Trying to stifle the opposition when it’s Man Utd or Liverpool in the prem is one thing doing it at home against Preston and the like is just embarrassing. The playoff final was predictable and as much as I told myself we would attack and make a good show of ourselves on the journey down it proved my inner voice was sadly correct. We were playing Fulham not Barcelona and with two up top and a positive approach the result could have been different.
    A younger manager and a positive approach is what we require right now and let’s see what Davis O’Hare and Green can do.
    UTV VTID

  2. It wasn’t just the poor start that cost us. Three points from five games in December left us way off the mark. The cautious approach against Milwall at home, playing Jedinack at centre back away at Derby, then keeping him there against Sheff Utd (one point from six). All down to team selection and tactics. Add that bad run to the poor start, and then add in the losses home to QPR and away at Bolton. Then consider the over cautious negative tactics in the play-off final, and once again his inability to change things. None of this gives me any confidence that he is the man who can provide the change of direction DrT was suggesting.

  3. Missed out on going up by one game and one goal. Definitely the 6 points from first 6 games than stopped us. That and chronic luck with injury is what did us. Fulham, Cardiff and Wolves had no injuries,

  4. Bruce out for me
    He’s neve going to change his tatics or bring in any of the talent in the u23
    Dr Xia statement was saying goodbye to Bruce and if that is true, then let’s get the new man in and give Dean Smith the chance to,put is footballing stamp on this team

  5. Good article but there were a few names on the current squad list that were not mentioned namely Doyle -Hayes ,Lyden & Sarkic who possible could well be a replacement for Johnstone given a bit more time with the team . And perhaps the doubters need reminding that a few wanted rid of Johnstone after his 1st few games
    As for Jack leaving perhaps folk need reminding that we won a few games without him
    And Bruces critics need reminding that senior players need to play if they are fit as they quickly become discontented if they do not play . And it was unity of the squad that got us to Wembly & lack of it why the club has struggled since before relegation . But that unity is fragile and needs building with rapport between team & coaching staff

  6. I am not particularly worried, but I do think Grealish could well be on his way. He is the only player that will generate a big financial return because we don’t have to discount a proportion of his original purchase price for FFP purposes. I reckon he could generate a similar contribution to Kodjia, Hogan and Adomah collectively.

    Chances are, a couple or three of our bigger names will go plus some more minor deals. McCormack won’t fetch much because his re-sale value has plummeted do to his own poor behaviour and Bruce publicly bombing him out. Morally, you might not blame the gaffer, but commercially it was (dare I say it?) a gaff.

    We have very few that will interest Premier League sides. Perhaps, only Grealish and Chester and, maybe, Green, based on potential, rather than record. You never know, one of the sides going up or dropping down might fancy Adomah. Or Boro, if they sell on Traore.

    I am not sure about more Brucie staying on. I think he has one way of playing and is tactically limited, but he does have experience and can build decent team unity. I would likely opt for a change if we a looking to gradually integrate the younger lads and work on better collective play through the middle, rather than the current rudimentary approach we adopted this season.

    There is a lot to be said for not disturbing things more than necessary, so I can understand those getting behind Bruce. If he does remain, I think he would have to adapt, but can he?

  7. His style of play as been awful we need to rebuild with the youngsters.If we lose Jack, we’ve stood still for nearly two seasons,and have to start the merry go round all over.

  8. Its over Mark,Bruce has failed, he must either resign,or be sacked now
    Time after time,his band of Dads army mercinaries,never showed up. He
    had no tactical solutions, when it mattered. If Xia continues with this worn
    out idea,he’s heading to another disaster . Wolves Fulham and Cardiff
    did with a lower budget what Bruce couldn’t do. Only a fool would continue
    along the same course. Remember the Lerner circumstances. BRUCE OUT.NOW.

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