‘I want to see consistency but consistent failure is not acceptable.’
Why Can’t We Be Happy?
The new season brought with it an opportunity to be positive and optimistic. Some good link-up play in the opening game against Hull, gave hope that this team may finally be improving. A week later and Villa turn in an embarrassing away display once again.
The biggest criticism of Bruce to date has been that the team appears to have no discernible game plan. The assumption was that after his first few months and a full preseason he would have time to get the team playing in some recognisable style.
Watching the Cardiff game though, it was clear that there is still no identity in this team. It’s not just the fans that aren’t seeing a system in place. The players appeared to have no idea what they were supposed to be doing, which led to regular indecision and surrendering of possession.
There were some truly awful displays. The Villa boss summed it up astutely himself.
“It was on the edge of embarrassing,” declared Bruce, after the game.
Bruce’s substitutions confirmed that there was no structure in place, with a striker being brought on for a midfielder, adding no solidity to an already struggling team. This is a massive worry.
The Villa Way?
There has been plenty of noise from within the club about creating ‘The Villa Way’ but I challenge anyone at the club to answer the following… What is Villa’s game plan? What style
What is Villa’s game plan? What style are Villa trying to play? Answers on a stamp addressed envelope, please.
Being no closer to answering those questions after all this time is inexcusable.
The excuses that may have previously held some weight are no longer applicable. No longer do we have a manager who was plunged into the deep end mid-season, who has needed to overhaul the squad majorly, or who hasn’t had a full preseason to build and prepare.
Those who say that all is fine as we are only two games in must have forgotten about the previous 35 games, and the full preseason.
We all know that a good start is vital this year and if Bruce can’t get Villa firing soon, that the usual division and civil war among fans will heap pressure on the club.
I want to see consistency but consistent failure is not acceptable. I’m sure Dr. Xia’s patience won’t last forever considering the money invested in the team without return.
I would be more willing to put this down as a bad day at the office if it wasn’t for the reaction afterwards…
Manager Under The Spotlight
After today’s lame showing the players are not without blame, with several inept performances, but it is Steve Bruce who has caused me the most headaches with his interview at the final whistle.
Let me paraphrase Bruce’s post match comments:
‘I’ve been here for six months. I haven’t managed to address our problems or away form. We don’t have the ability to change things. Maybe I need to change tactics again? Maybe we aren’t ready to play two up front? It’s disappointing. Our shape and organisation is littered with mistakes.”
This is one of the most worrying interviews I’ve heard to date. It’s outrageous that we are getting the same Lambert-esque ‘we go again’ sentiments with absolutely no hint at a solution. More outrageous is the admission that he doesn’t even know what the problem is.
Much like under Tim Sherwood, we’re just hoping that in changing the lineup repeatedly we will stumble upon a magic formula.
The loss was described as a “rude awakening”. How the hell are we still asleep? Have we still learned absolutely nothing from the last few seasons? What was the point in being given time last year and an entire preseason if there is still no idea of the issues or how to address them?
I’m not a massive fan of Neil Warnock but when you compare what he has done in more or less the same amount of time Bruce has been at Villa, with a smaller budget,
the comparison is not flattering for the former Wigan and Hull boss.
Bruce is already walking a tightrope. There’s only so many times a manager can get away with trotting out, ‘it’s not good enough’ without offering any solutions and expect to carry on with the full support of the club.
Fingers crossed Bruce’s Villa can shake off this early rust and get on track, starting on Tuesday. However comments and performances today are far from encouraging.
Can Villa finally step up and put a smile on our faces on a regular basis again?
Good luck Brucey, judging from reactions today you’re going to need it.