Steve Bruce has turned things around at Aston Villa which has resulted in just one defeat in the last nine games and although it’s not impossible it is looking increasingly unlikely that the Villans will make the playoffs this season.
That leaves us looking towards next season. We have already spoken over the past week about any potential transfers this summer but now I am going to turn the focus to the manager, Steve Bruce.
I still believe that the former Birmingham and Hull manager is the correct and quite possibly the only choice to help guide Aston Villa back into the Premiership but anything less than promotion next season will be a failure.
The owner Dr Tony Xia has backed the club this season financially enabling virtually a complete re-build and he will demand to see some progression. Equally the fans are putting their money where their mouths are as season ticket sales look to top those sold this season so the majority must be seeing something they like.
Let’s be honest, it is not pretty on the eyes at times but winning at all costs is the recipe for success. Just ask Chelsea supporters and Jose Mourinho. In fact, many times this season I have found myself having conversations while standing in the stadiums talking about just about anything other than football.
I don’t mean that as a criticism because I would rather see a boring winning side over an attractive losing side. I know not all fans would agree with that statement but I quite frankly don’t care.
What does Steve Bruce do now?
Steve Bruce has the experience and the tools at his exposal so he needs to put those two ingredients together and get it working on a consistent basis.
When something doesn’t go our way, he needs to know how to get the players to move on and not dwell too much. Our form in January backs this up.
He needs to find a system that means Villa don’t purely rely on Ivory Coast international Jonathan Kodjia. In Scott Hogan, we have a proven goalscorer at this level but he still hasn’t settled at the club so we could do with giving him as much game time as possible between now and the summer.
Overall we look pretty solid defensively but we need to get a permanent goalkeeper in to compliment the back four. A few tweaks are needed to the midfield in order to see us get the best out of both Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury and possibly Jack Grealish.
At the moment we don’t create anywhere near enough for my liking but as I already stated we have the tools available – we just need to get them functioning properly.
Ultimately Steve Bruce will know he will be under a lot of pressure to succeed next season. He has repeatedly stated that he has waited so long for an opportunity at a club like Aston Villa. Let’s just hope he takes that chance with both hands and guides our Aston Villa back to the promise land.