I won’t go into yesterday and the result. I don’t feel there is much need to. There is a toxic poison which appears to be growing by the week across what are supposed to be unified fan bases.
Having been struck down with the well publicised flu I missed the game and took the rare opportunity of locking myself in quarantine whilst trying to take in all the scores and read everything I possibly could on Twitter and other platforms.
Unfortunately, the comments, like the result, didn’t make for good reading. What is growing more and more frustrating is the manner of people and the in-fighting if people don’t share the same opinions.
Football breeds debate, it’s the reason most of us love the game so much. I watched former professionals arguing on Friday night over the Firmino vs Holgate incident. You could see Peter Reid shuffling around on his seat in a ‘clear the bar’ motion like he was ready to use the very seat he couldn’t sit on to get his point across. It’s passionate. It makes or breaks many people’s weekends. We pay a lot of money to have a right to complain and protest. I’m not dismissing any of that.
However, the knee-jerk, dramatic swing in opinions is causing more trouble and it’s becoming a daily occurrence where I’m seeing Villa fans publically slating and verbally abusing both fellow fans and people at the club itself. Most prominently Steve Bruce.
When Bruce first came in there was always going to be a reaction to the fact that his CV contained the name of our rivals down the road. Despite it being a while ago people can’t let it go.
Bruce’s style of football comes into question. I wrote last week about how younger managers with no previous promotion experience have gone up playing attacking football. The following day we won 5-0. Now I’d love to think Brucie read my article and I masterminded the best team performance in years down at Villa Park. Fortunately, I have a bit of sense and can joke about it.
Yet it appears there is a growing base of people that have all the answers and know how to fix every element of the club from what food is on offer to whether our formation gives players the best opportunity to play their own style of football.
It’s not about the debate, it’s the short minded arrogance which is splitting fans more and more.
Maybe the fact that society today craves for instant gratification and everything tailored to suit them means people are no longer able to listen to others opinions and ideas. But take a step back. Reading all things Villa is becoming embarrassing. I’m seeing people posting pleas of calm to stop abuse, I’m seeing people abusing fans of all ages just because they don’t fit in with them and their mates assessments of games. The most prevalent however is the #BRUCEOUT.
We sit at a point where we are fifth in the league, five points off second with the second half of the season to come. Sure, we would all love to be flying high without a worry. We have had injury upon injury, we have had players ultimately let us down like Ross McCormack, we have overspent on players which is affecting our ability to bring in players now and yes Bruce has made mistakes.
Yesterday, as soon as Peterborough took the lead, the Bruce out comments flooded in. He was scrutinised for team selection and yet some of the comments were from people who the day before had asked for the side he had picked!
What I’m trying to say is, you warrant an opinion, you get frustrated, we all do as we’ve been here before. McLeish, Houllier, Lambert, Garde, Black (remember him) I could go on.
You don’t want excuses.
Well now the injured players are coming back apart from Jonathan Kodjia and there are no cup competitions left to fight for, Bruce has the sole focus of promotion to fight for and maybe you shelve the debate until the end of the season. He’s pretty much said himself, if we don’t get up, he knows he’s gone. Cut him now and find one man that everyone will for sure back and expect to take us up without another in/out debate in the future.
Any manager coming in faces no budget, we pay out an early release of Bruce and we still don’t have our main striker available.
Bristol City at home was a marker of what can be done. Against a side that hadn’t lost away since August and we all know are flying high themselves. When that same team take to the pitch against Nottingham Forest next week, that will be the time to see what is in store for us results wise and style wise.
Back the team, hopefully the injuries subside and we’ve as good a shot as anyone for top six or maybe even the second spot.