The Villa Rant: Another “Rude Awakening” for Stuttering Villa

‘I want to see consistency but consistent failure is not acceptable.’

Why Can’t We Be Happy?

The new season brought with it an opportunity to be positive and optimistic. Some good link-up play in the opening game against Hull, gave hope that this team may finally be improving. A week later and Villa turn in an embarrassing away display once again.

The biggest criticism of Bruce to date has been that the team appears to have no discernible game plan. The assumption was that after his first few months and a full preseason he would have time to get the team playing in some recognisable style.

Watching the Cardiff game though, it was clear that there is still no identity in this team. It’s not just the fans that aren’t seeing a system in place. The players appeared to have no idea what they were supposed to be doing, which led to regular indecision and surrendering of possession.

There were some truly awful displays. The Villa boss summed it up astutely himself.

“It was on the edge of embarrassing,” declared Bruce, after the game.

Bruce’s substitutions confirmed that there was no structure in place, with a striker being brought on for a midfielder, adding no solidity to an already struggling team. This is a massive worry.

The Villa Way?

There has been plenty of noise from within the club about creating ‘The Villa Way’ but I challenge anyone at the club to answer the following… What is Villa’s game plan? What style

What is Villa’s game plan? What style are Villa trying to play? Answers on a stamp addressed envelope, please.

Being no closer to answering those questions after all this time is inexcusable.

The excuses that may have previously held some weight are no longer applicable. No longer do we have a manager who was plunged into the deep end mid-season, who has needed to overhaul the squad majorly, or who hasn’t had a full preseason to build and prepare.

Those who say that all is fine as we are only two games in must have forgotten about the previous 35 games, and the full preseason.

We all know that a good start is vital this year and if Bruce can’t get Villa firing soon, that the usual division and civil war among fans will heap pressure on the club.

I want to see consistency but consistent failure is not acceptable. I’m sure Dr. Xia’s patience won’t last forever considering the money invested in the team without return.

I would be more willing to put this down as a bad day at the office if it wasn’t for the reaction afterwards…

Manager Under The Spotlight

After today’s lame showing the players are not without blame, with several inept performances, but it is Steve Bruce who has caused me the most headaches with his interview at the final whistle.

Let me paraphrase Bruce’s post match comments:

‘I’ve been here for six months. I haven’t managed to address our problems or away form. We don’t have the ability to change things. Maybe I need to change tactics again? Maybe we aren’t ready to play two up front? It’s disappointing. Our shape and organisation is littered with mistakes.”

This is one of the most worrying interviews I’ve heard to date. It’s outrageous that we are getting the same Lambert-esque ‘we go again’ sentiments with absolutely no hint at a solution. More outrageous is the admission that he doesn’t even know what the problem is.

Much like under Tim Sherwood, we’re just hoping that in changing the lineup repeatedly we will stumble upon a magic formula.

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The loss was described as a “rude awakening”. How the hell are we still asleep? Have we still learned absolutely nothing from the last few seasons? What was the point in being given time last year and an entire preseason if there is still no idea of the issues or how to address them?

I’m not a massive fan of Neil Warnock but when you compare what he has done in more or less the same amount of time Bruce has been at Villa, with a smaller budget,
the comparison is not flattering for the former Wigan and Hull boss.

Bruce is already walking a tightrope. There’s only so many times a manager can get away with trotting out, ‘it’s not good enough’ without offering any solutions and expect to carry on with the full support of the club.

Fingers crossed Bruce’s Villa can shake off this early rust and get on track, starting on Tuesday. However comments and performances today are far from encouraging.

Can Villa finally step up and put a smile on our faces on a regular basis again?

Good luck Brucey, judging from reactions today you’re going to need it.


We try to work out Bruce’s plans on the latest podcast episode…

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  1. IT WAS EMBARRASSING! It wasn’t “on the edge of embarrassing”. And Finn’s point that this isn’t just two games in, it’s the previous 35 and a full pre-season is absolutely spot on. We keep being told we now have players with experience and character to do what is required to win this league. Still no sign of it. And still no sign of the manager knowing how to kill a game off at 1-0 up, or how to get back into a game at 0-1 down. Or who knows how long he has been at the club (maybe he’s being a bit clever. If we think he’s only been here six months instead of the ten he really has, maybe we’ll give him more time). I’m not panicking yet. But he really needs to put out a team tomorrow that delivers a result and the belief that he knows what he is doing.

  2. We need to win against Reading for sure. But the comment “losing our best players”? Who are our best players? I like the kid from Spurs but he’s a loanee and will return to Spurs. Sam in goal is worth his pay check but he’ll be off to Man U at the end of the season. Kodgia’s great but crocked. The last player I was sad to see leave was Gil and before that Benteke. Yes it really has been that bad over recent years.

  3. i said bruce will go down in the clubs history as one of if not their worst ever manager i feel im right if your manager says he cant fix it he should go take fat boy with you he somehow got back in the squad and we are shite again he has an average of one shot per 6 games yes games not goals and bruce thinks that should lead the line utterly clueless the pair of them we need a manager in now to take us forward and up next year as it aint happening with dopey in charge as for losing our best players we dont posses any so no worrys there another dull ridden excuse filled season to look forward to when is it going to end

  4. Excellent article absolutely nailed it. Yes players need to take some blame but the team are rudderless no idea what they are supposed to be doing and that is straight down to Bruce he hasn’t a clue and makes ridiculous statements, I don’t rate Bruce never have but I would give him one more game Reading on Tuesday and if we don’t win he has to go now before it’s too late. If we don’t get promotion this term we will loose our best players and we will be stuck in the lower league for years,

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