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.
There 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?