The Reality of Steve Bruce’s Sacking & Who’s Next?

If Steve Bruce’s dismissal proved anything, it was how many ex-player pundits and media are stealing a living. Many were happy to pass judgement on Bruce departing, despite having very little insight on what happened in the two-year duration of his management or seeing little (if any) of the 102 Villa games Bruce had managed.

The lazy accusation of Villa supporters not accepting Bruce, because of his previous time as Birmingham City manager was banded around. A patronising notion, highlighting such an inane grasp of the reality of the situation and the low frequencies that some people in the media operate on.

When he came to the club, Bruce was seen by many as the most likely to succeed, in terms  of promotion from the Championship. Any reservations about him, were mainly down to his approach and his team’s style, but his critics knew, that in the case of getting out of this league, results ultimately would be king.

Whether he was the ideal Premier League boss for Villa was a debate to be entered into, if and when promotion was secured.

The Blues issue was for the vast majority of supporters never an issue, especially the match-going ones, who were largely patient despite being disappointed at the performances they were witnessing over the years.

‘It just goes to show the clowns that run some clubs haven’t got a clue !!!’ cried former goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, on Twitter.

On the contrary, the new majority owners could have axed Bruce as soon as they came in. Instead, they chose to give him a chance, since he was willing to stick around during a period when the club were financially going up in flames.

In terms of the remit for Bruce’s Villa job, it was simple – promotion. Anything else would be considered a failure. He had failed twice before and when promotion this season looked to be under threat, despite soft opening fixtures, that was what he was judged on.

All the issues surrounding Bruce leaving are discussed and considered in a thoughtful manner in the latest episode of the My Old Man Said podcast and we also look at the incoming manager picture. It’s well worth a listen, if you fancy something a bit more informed (and humourous) than the usual dross out there.

Plus, there’s an interesting take on what’s happening with Jack Grealish.

Listen Now

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Show Notes

After one win in his last 10 games, Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has been given the Villa Park guillotine. My Old Man Said’s David Michael, Dan Rodgers and Chris Budd discuss the reality of the situation, considering all the mitigating factors and whether it was the right decision and why.

Also, as well as looking at what went wrong for Bruce, we also digress to look at the issue of Jack Grealish, the current problems he’s having on the pitch and how he could improve. Events of the Preston North End game are also covered, which typified Villa’s problems under Bruce.

We also look at the kind of new boss Villa need in and some of the candidates that are in the running, and if they are the right kind of managers.

In other news, the show is now available on Spotify.

Enjoy & UTV



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David Michael – @oldmansaid 

Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr

Chris Budd – @BUDD_music

Producer/Editor – David Michael

Voices – Dan Rodgers

My Old Man Said –

Villa Underground –


  1. I always love the “he stayed during difficult times in the summer mantra” like its not like he wasnt getting paid, basically he got paid over the summer, for going on holiday and watching the world cup, and we should be greatful that he stayed on his 40k a week wages?

    No thanks,

  2. Regarding the lack of criticism from pundits, I can empathise why people are still so fond of dinosaurs. Agree Bruce needed to go and it’s unfortunate this decision wasn’t made at the start of the season. If Cardiff can achieve automatic promotion, then Villa are falling well short of expectations, particularly given our superior resources over pretty much every other team in the division. Play-offs are too much of a gamble for my liking and I worry that the automatic slots are now beyond us already. The new manager is going to have to hit the ground immediately. I’m finding the reported pairing of Thierry and Terry intriguing and I would suggest it’s quite a good outcome on balance.

    Despite the dinosaur jests and the significant payoff, I wish Bruce well. Bereavement is tough at the best of times and I hope he can take some time off from the stress managing a football club.

  3. Well said, ridiculous comments from Kirkland and a load of other pundits.

    Personally I’m concerned about Henry as manager but hope having Terry with him adds some championship knowledge, Villa knowledge and steel. It is a gamble though, which could pay off spectacularly or crash and burn.

    I would prefer Dean Smith or, my favourite Chris Wilder but will get right behind whoever’s in charge and ride that rollercoaster.

    No disrespect to them but very relieved we appear to be avoiding McCarthey, Warnock, Allardyce, Moyes etc although the media loveys would love us to go that route for some reason.

  4. Lampard is doing well so is Gerrard so why not Henry I think this is the way to go and apparently so do our new owners, in any case what have we to loose it’s looking like another year in the Championship so why not give it a go, you never know. I have personally been a Villa supporter for longer than I care to mention and Henry and Terry together if that’s possible might just be the answer and I would be happy to see it happen. On another subject if it’s true that Jack Grealish is sulking and playing rubbish because of Bruce just drop him, the club comes first.

  5. I have never had the conversation with any other Villa fan who wanted him out because of his connection with Small Heath. In the days following Bruce’s dismissal, I was constantly frustrated by ignorant pundits in the media, expounding their thoughts on his poor treatment. Hardly any of them addressed the real reasons. Two years, four transfer windows, the most expensive Championship squad in terms of wages and transfers. Yet still mid-table going nowhere fast. Add to that his increasingly bizarre decision making on formation, tactics, player positions, substitutions, and he had to go. I know he was probably under pressure in his personal life and it was a difficult close season professionally for him, but he gave the impression his brain was scrambled by it all. He was given a chance by the new owners, but for whatever reason couldn’t take it. So, onward and (hopefully) upward. Whoever is appointed next, I shall start off as always being hopefully optimistic. Maybe more so this time, after two years of increasing pessimism.

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