Critics of the current regime would point at the style of football or perceived lack thereof. However, Steve Bruce was appointed with the sole purpose of guiding Aston Villa back into the Premier League.

I’m sure Bruce’s agenda was to get the best eleven players at his disposal onto the field to win a football match each week. That is what he is doing. There are often cries from the critics for more players from the Academy to be given a chance. However, the manager wasn’t employed to graduate the youth team, nor would his reputation allow it.

Younger players such as James Bree, Cal O’Hare, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy have all had a taste of being in and around the first team squad. There have been calls for these players to be given more of a chance but we have to trust that if they were ready or good enough then they would be given more opportunities.

Bruce has his criticsThere is often talk amongst pundits of how successful teams have the right blend of youth and experience. The signings of John Terry, Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak are offset by the promotion of Andre Green, Keinan Davis and Jack Grealish. Bruce deserves credit for assembling a squad of quality and experience with ambition and hope. Of course, he will be judged by where Villa finish at the end of the season but we are in a strong position for the business end of the season so maybe the critics should give him some breathing space.

What we also have to realise as fans are that we can’t and won’t win every game we play. What’s more concerning is the general trend of results and form. There will be dips in performance and results but it’s how we deal with these that counts for more.

Take December for example, Villa took just 3 points from the first 5 games of December. However, since Brentford won on Boxing Day, Villa have won 3 league games in a row, without conceding a goal.

There are plenty of positives and excitement around Villa Park. Scott Hogan looks reinvigorated, Grealish is controlling matches, Terry is adding confidence at the back.

We’ve also found a way to keep winning if Albert Adomah doesn’t score! Consistency is what every team is striving for. We may have another blip before the end of the season but I’m confident the team will respond well. Playing the Bruce way is achieving results and that’s what we need to maintain now. Maybe its time for the critics to keep their negative views to themselves until the summer?


  1. no i dont think so liam,,,, this is my club i have followed for over 40 years,, and i dont like bad management in fact i wont accept it,,, i am fair with my judgement and pretty tolerant and forgiving to a point,,,
    i dont like bruces football and to my mind this season has really shown his weaknesses as a manager,,
    i do however understand the pressure and constraints he is under and despite many many things that could be improved i do believe the appointment of agnew looks to be very shrewd,,,
    my main beef with bruce is it has taken far too long to get the side playing well,,, it always felt the side was cobbled together,,, and lets face it we have 5 right backs in the squad,,, greedy??
    and until christmas we had over 40 million pounds worth of players kicking their heels with their value and careers crumbling away,,, and believe me after the christmas farce we were looking at total meltdown
    and i really believe that virus saved bruces career,,,
    at the moment i see improvement,,, when the side was announced for the bristol game i thought i like that selection,,, no whelan, onoma or davis,,, the side had strength in all areas although my only concern was the service to hogan,,
    bruces big big problem is he wont drop players quick enough and he has had little trust in fringe players
    onoma, davis and whelan were all struggling and jedi is not a center back ,, elphick is,,,
    so now agnew is in place there is a fresh set of eyes that bruce trusts,, and it can only help,,
    i think the return of grealish has helped as we have started to play some better football,, were not there
    yet but i am pleased with the turnaround since agnews arrival,,,
    i still think we sit too deep at times and that we need to play through the middle more and i dont mean hoofball,,, although hoofball does have its place,,, just not when hogan is playing,,,
    so,,,,, at the mo im happy,, its up to bruce now to win the doubters back and i really hope he does
    and despite huffing and puffing to where we are now,, we are in pretty good shape for once and the team seems happy and confident,,, with the ability to get that second place if all goes to plan,,, and if we do lose out we have to be better for the play offs and i think bruce will do that


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