Date: 8th October 2018 at 9:32am
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Written by Villa historian John Lerwill:

Just thought I’d trawl through the BBC stats to see how Steve Bruce’s record looked.

These are some conclusions covering the 10 league matches before the PNE game:

1. Villa had 55.4% possession on average and the only 2 games when Villa had less than 50% were in the two opening games (49% and 48%)- which we won!

2. Villa had an average of 14.2 shots per game, with an average of 5 on target.

3. In the heavy defeat against the Blades, we actually had 61% possession and sent in the same number of shots as United (9) – but they put 6 on target to our 2.

4. In the 2 successive home draws against Brentford and Reading we had 57% and 59% possession and 17 and 21 shots, compared to their 13 and 10. In both cases we had 8 shots on target compared to their 7.

5. In each of the 3 away draws against Ipswich, Blackburn and Bristol each time we had substantially more possession and more shots, including shots on goal.

6. In the home defeat against Wednesday we had 54% possession and 18 shots compared to their 13, but 4 shots on target to their 5.

Bruce’s failure in results seems to hang mainly on those 5 draws (items 4 and 5) when it clearly shows we should have won them all.

Why didn’t we win ’em? I put it down to (a) inaccurate shooting and (b) defensive errors.

Therefore the *main* reason for lack of success: the players, as KMac suggests.

We would have had 10 more points if we had won those games which, based on stats, we should have won. We’d have been top of the division with those points.

John Lerwill, Historian and Author.

Forum discussion thread on Steve:


3 Replies to “Aston Villa Historian Looks At This Season Under Steve Bruce And Says Where It All Went Wrong”

  • The analysis is spot, except for one thing terrible planning and no tactics inept
    The transfer policy was laughable as the new incoming manager will find out.
    No wonder Mendez wants a new director at AV named “Jesus” we need God’s divine intervention asap

  • I take your point, Laudrup, but if we were talking about the objective being just “getting promotion”, I’d say the stats above show the players have fallen short in helping the club to achieve that. My feeling is that Bruce was kept on for two reasons: (a) to create stability and (b) to get promotion (based on his c.v.), no matter how it was to be achieved. Ergo, Bruce was sacked because the players haven’t done a professional job. The “terrible” planning has certainly not been helped by the summer events and that virtually all the football management team had been sacked before Bruce’s uppance. Well, that’s as how I see it.

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