The vicious circle

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I have been mulling over the issues at Aston Villa Football Club and have decided it is easier to call for the manager’s head than give him your backing. At the same time, asking for a manager to be booted out has become a vicious circle for Aston Villa fans.

I always like to support our managers to the very bitter end and that has been the case in recent times with Sherwood, Garde and Di Matteo.

After last weekend’s defeat to Nottingham Forest and this weekend’s loss to Ipswich Town, the Villans remain winless in 2017 and have slumped to the bottom of the form time. Despite this, I believe it is time to support Steve Bruce, not call for him to be fired.

Steve Bruce is on a similar run of form to that which Roberto Di Matteo was on when he was sacked late in 2016. With our current manager, I believe it would be totally wrong to look to boot him out now.

The former Hull City boss had a huge challenge and steep climb to make when he came to the club with the Villans eleven points adrift of the play-offs.

To start off with, he resurrected the sleeping giants and we climbed closer to the play-offs.

Since December, the performances have become less and less pretty. Since the bells tolled for 2017, he’s had no wins to show for some of the worst football seen by players in Villa shirts since… last season.

In January, he recruited incredibly well on paper but there were, of course, a few questionable decisions.

Nothing is truly impossible but if you’re realistic it’s quite easy to see why our play-off hopes look totally shot.

No manager wants to play another season in the Championship but I feel this could be of great benefit to Aston Villa. The belief is that once you’re down in the Championship it takes a lot to get out of the league, which is true, but the theory behind teams not going back up if they don’t do so at the first attempt isn’t so true.

Currently, we have a squad that is ready to challenge for promotion and it is certainly one of the best in the league on paper. It will take time to shape the team and get things right tactically to put the Villans in a position to challenge in a full season.

We have made wholesale changes again in the January window and this looks like the team that can do it once it clicks.

When the going gets tough we can’t just call for another manager’s head. I understand the football has been absolutely dire and that the squad selections haven’t been much to write home about. There are major flaws in the current management system but we really can’t stay in this vicious circle of constant hiring and firing.

This season has been as disruptive as last season, with wholesale changes in the summer and again in the winter. In reality, it was always a two-year plan to get the club back to the promised land that is the Premier League. As with Garde, Sherwood and Di Matteo, I am willing to give the manager time to put things right. It is a vicious circle to continuously lay the blame with the manager at Villa Park, even if it is understandable given that some of the football being played is truly appalling.

I have seen glimpses of hope. Perhaps I am too positive for my own good but let’s give Bruce until the end of the season to see what happens. If he can start to improve performances and pick up some results, he deserves a crack of the whip next season. If the form shows no signs of improving then in the summer we should consider a new manager.

The blame culture at Villa Park and lack of patience has long been an issue. With so many games coming up in the next few weeks, that has to stop.

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I'm Matt and I write on Mondays for Avillafan. I am currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. I was a finalist at The Football Blogging Awards 2015 for my work on the site. Twitter: @mattlyynch

1 COMMENT

  1. I think we need to be patient with Bruce, he’s brought in some better players but they need to gel. You can’t just throw a group of players together and produce a team, give them time. I am a bit confused by some of Bruce’s tactics though, why play 5 at the back at home against Ipswich?
    The bottom line though is that we are simply not good enough to go back up, not yet.

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