Yesterday saw yet another last minute goal rescue another point for Aston Villa.
Conor Hourihane’s 92nd minute free kick was hit with pace and precision to deny Blackburn Rovers another home win.
You can dress the performance up however you want. Improvement, more balance in positions of players and a lot of chances created.
You can come out and say we’ve only lost one game in seven in the league. That’s what Steve Bruce had to say after the game.
You can point out that we’ve lost a lot of players from our squad from last season too. That’s what Steve Bruce also had to say after the game.
You can also say it’s harsh to call for a change and the fans need stability and to be won over. That’s finally what Steve Bruce had to say.
All three points struck a major nerve with me when I finally sat down last night to reflect upon both the result, the form and the comments of a man who is starting to bite.
Firstly, the frank fact is we’ve not won in any of the last six games. Draws against relegation favourites in Ipswich and Reading, a draw against newly promoted Blackburn and a defeat to Burton Albion in the League Cup all culminated to mark a pitiful run. This without mentioning the 4-1 thrashing away to Sheffield United.
Secondly the squad that has been ripped apart from last season as publicly mentioned by Bruce on more than one occasion. Am I right in thinking it was full of loan signings likely to leave if we failed to gain promotion, which Bruce eluded to being his be all or end all? John Terry, Sam Johnstone, Lewis Grabban and Robert Snodgrass all departed following failure to gain promotion last season.
The current team is still a side that most Championship managers would snap your hands off to lead.
The next item on my agenda is that we as fans are entitled to an opinion and have had enough of the mediocrity and lack of cutting edge. Bruce may disagree and come up with his own reasons to cover himself but it’s becoming a sob story. The man is undoubtedly a nice bloke but frankly there’s no hiding in football. His comments regarding “who knows when or if I’ll win them over?” were unneeded and didn’t legislate for the latest dropped points.
He seems to forget we haven’t played a single side relegated from the Premier League or from last seasons top six in the Championship.
Also, he commented on the fact we were in the bottom three when he took over. Well, in fact we were 19th which we are currently 4 points off as it stands. Cardiff were funnily enough in 23rd and I wonder what’s happened to them since with their retrospectively small budget?
The comments regarding the supporters mark a sizeable shift from the rhetoric for Bruce. It’s not his normal routine but he’s clearly becoming rattled. We’ve seen all too many times what happens in the past when managers bite …
I also feel pretty confused by how Albert Adomah has been treated. Bruce was happy for him to leave two weeks ago, yet decided he was the man to do the job this weekend at the expense of Anwar El Ghazi.
Tammy Abraham worked hard and showed elements of his play that will excite Villa fans. However, he was ultimately left frustrated by the lack of support up front leaving him to create many of his chances by himself. Sound familiar?
I’m afraid as much as I like the man, enough is enough and I’m struggling to support Bruce and his beliefs.
As I said earlier, last season his remit was promotion. We failed however close we were.
Time to look elsewhere …