This week Aston Villa got a new manager – a man who was linked with the England job just a few months ago. Also this week, Villa old boy Gareth Southgate oversaw a pathetic display from the national side that ended in a 0-0 draw with Slovenia.

Before the managerial appointment but after the England result I was filled with a real sense of profound exasperation at football. It seemed really unfair that those of us who are unlucky enough to be England and Villa fans should have to suffer so much.

However, as is my problem, I have once again found something to give me reason for hope.

So it was that after it was announced that Steve Bruce was to be our new manager I engaged in the what feels like six-monthly ritual of getting excited because a new man is in charge.

That is what I have discovered this week. That for me, and I am sure it is the same for a lot of others, when it really is bleak, it doesn’t take much for a new start to bring the illusion of palpable hope. That is what I once again feel and I am having to contain myself.

The man has only been in the job a couple of days and I am already starting to convince myself everything will be okay. The most frustrating part of that is that there is absolutely no evidence that that will be the case. It has only ended up getting worse with the last five managers.

So it is with cautious optimism that I view Steve Bruce’s appointment. Although this is the same emotion I feel towards every manager, I feel I am kidding myself less with this appointment. Deep down I was not convinced by De Matteo’s calibre, knew nothing of Garde, thought Sherwood was seriously lacking and had no idea why McLeish was employed. Bruce’s appointment seems to fit and he is a man with a track record. Let’s hope the stars will align and that we actually will get a few wins under our belt and start moving up that league.

Being English and a Villa fan is not easy. All the signs suggest I should never get my hopes up yet I can’t help but do just that when a change is made. I just desperately want to see the club I love back performing to how it should be.

Let’s hope we put up a proper fight against Wolves tomorrow.


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