In the end, the Aston Villa hierarchy could wait no more, Steve Bruce had to go. One win in the last 10 games and only eight wins in his last 24 games in charge, does not equate to promotion-winning form.
There was talk of Bruce having the Preston and Millwall games before the international break, but not winning the first game against the bottom of the table team and the supporters reaction to the Villa boss (including the cabbage incident), spelt ‘game over’.
That extra few more days before the Millwall game will be useful for the search for the new manager, that no doubt already begun weeks ago.
Who will the new man be?
Whatever the rumour mill is currently saying (the favourite will probably change every day), a sound bet at this stage, would be Brentford boss Dean Smith, who would definitely be worth taking advantage of a Betfair promo code to back.
There’s a lot of logic that stacks up in terms of Smith, from his well-established style and ethos to the fact he is a boyhood Villa supporter.
You’d expect a new Villa boss to come in during the international break at some stage.
A failure to reach the play-offs in Bruce’s first season in charge, despite it being his aim, and then coming up short to Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City in the automatic promotion stakes the following season, have hardly impressed.
The identity of Bruce’s Villa was encapsulated in the frustrating 90 minutes of last season’s play-off final at Wembley. A hapless first-half showing and the failure to force a single corner during a game played against 10-men for the final 20 minutes, were typical of the woe of watching Villa under Bruce.
There’s been little progression or signs of a cohesive style of play. Villa are arguably no better off now, than they were when Bruce first walked through the door, almost two seasons ago.
In short, considering the investment made and the needs of two sets of owners Villa have had since he’s been boss, anything other than promotion was failure.
Aston Villa have been in worst positions before in terms of needing a new manager, from Martin O’Neill walking out with days to go to the start of a new season to Roberto Di Matteo sacked so soon into Villa’s first Championship campaign.
This time round any incoming manager will have a decent enough squad of players, although the deficiencies in the goalkeeping position and at centre-back will be a concern until January.
Also, the team are only a win or two away from the play-off spots, in a league that doesn’t seem to have any real outstanding teams this season.
If the new Villa boss can keep Villa in touch before January, then it should still be game on during the run-in.
The realistic expectations now for any new manager would be the play-offs. If they turned the team around into an automatic promotion outfit, it would be a commendable achievement considering the current defensive frailties.
The Aston Villa Statement on Steve Bruce’s Dismissal
Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that manager Steve Bruce and his assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh are leaving their posts with immediate effect after having their contracts terminated. The process to appoint a new manager is under way.
A Club statement issued on behalf of the Board said:“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Steve and his team for their hard work and commitment. We wish them well for the future.
“The process of recruiting a new manager has begun. In the meantime, Kevin MacDonald, Aston Villa U23s manager, will be in charge of the team for our trip to Millwall on Saturday.”
Omg Moyes favourite! Since leaving Everton 5 years ago he has managed 4 clubs all disastrously. 50% win rate at Man United. Who couldn’t win with them and sacked. Since then a win rate of 25% with 3 clubs. His current record is far worse than Bruce, another yesterday man. I’d rather leave McDonald in charge. Rogers looks best on Paper. With the FFP that Bruce etc has left us with I doubt we can pay off another club. Not much left who’s put of work. But please Mr Purslow look at the long term not the short. A rookie like Henry should be able to take this squad into the playoffs I fear it is too late for automatic with a new manager.
Bruce did stop the slide & at least pointed us in the right direction. He brought in really good loan players & nearly got us up but his defensive mindset ultimately was his downfall. I’m grateful to him for restoring some pride. Cabbage man you should be ashamed. This bloke lost both his parents this year . I think he’ll be glad of the rest – good luck to him. Brendan Rogers or Dean Smith for me – good footy and a style please
And while I’m in mid rant, can we please rip Millwall apart on Saturday. There are a succession of ‘pundits’ ie superannuated pros who have never done a days work in their pampered lives slagging off the people who pay their wages, telling us we know nothing, we never gave him a chance because of the Blues connection, he was doing a fantastic job, only missed by yadda yadda, four promotions yadda yadda, 5 points off yadda yadda. If this same set of players perform to anything like their potential it will be the perfect riposte to the contempt this lot are showing us.
Why are we talking about champagne managers. We are in the Championship. We’ve got no money. We need to develop our kids and buy cleverly. We need to develop a style and philosophy so everyone knows where they are going and why and how. There is only one candidate who knows the division, plays brilliant football with f**k all resources, develops the kids. ‘Who else is there’ they cried, well, no-one if you go for stupid checklists. Dean Smith is about as perfect a fit we could get, he just isn’t a big name……yet.
Google Rafa Benitez and Christian Purslow – next to no chance
A sad end for Bruce who just ran out of ideas. Never a lack of effort from a decent man, and never lost the dressing room, but had lost the fans with muddled tactics and an overly defensive mindset. We have great attacking players (at this level) and we need a manager who will play to those strengths and impose our game on the opposition. Brendon Rogers sounds like a good fit, maybe Henry but he’s a risk given no managerial experience. please God not Allardyce or McCarthy, yesterday’s men.
imo its brendon rogers, the perfect fit for both parties. I think he would get us promoted this season.
A decent person but sadly yesterdays manager, he had to go and it was the correct decision. Albeit I don’t agree with throwing cabbages. All I’m hoping for now is that we get a high profile attack minded manager in, personally I think if Dean Smith was apointed he would do a good job, just a slight worry would be is the club too big for him. Thierry Henri not sure he would take the job but I think he would be a great appointment ok not that much managerial experience but he was a world class striker and who wouldn’t want to play for him, he also has top contacts throughout the world of football. At the end of the day we surely can’t do any worse than one win in nine.
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