I have to say, I`m struggling with the recent quotes from Steve Bruce.
In an interview with Gregg Evans at The Birmingham Mail he admits the players must do better. Ok, that`s kinda an obvious part so I agree there! But then he goes on to imply, as he did last season at points, that some of the players go into hiding because of the size of Aston Villa.
Now come on… really?
Bruce said “The enormity of Aston Villa also comes into play. I`ve quickly learned that. Unfortunately, at the moment, I`m not getting the best out of them because some of them have shied away.”
Shied away from doing their job? With the time Bruce has had now, can he not be accused of doing the same IF he really can`t get the players doing what he is asking? And what are the coaches doing? The only people that haven`t shied away are the fans. 5000 at Cardiff City, sold out v Reading on a miserable Tuesday night and all to watch utter garbage. It`s an amazing fan base. It`s not an amazing team at the moment though and that`s the key. We don`t play as a team. There aren`t many players I`d swap from Cardiff or Reading but both outplayed us because they are a cohesive unit.
Isn`t that the managers job to make us the same?
We are a big club but come on folks, we aren`t that big so as to frighten our players! We`ve not had frightened of the club players before, why are we meant to believe we have that now? The football pitch is a great leveller, it`s not as if they can even blame the weight of expectations at Villa Park yet, our two defeats were on the road.
He goes on to explain, “They`ve found it difficult to get established. They`ve found it difficult to find the form which is why they`re at Aston Villa. They then have to grasp the nettle to and go forward with it.”
I bought this last season as he was trying to get a team settled and new players came in at quite a dramatic rate. But they`ve had half of last season and pre-season and are still finding it hard to ‘grasp the nettle`?
They`d best grasp it pretty damn quick otherwise the fans will turn totally and there won`t be a hope in hell of promotion. If we don`t go up this season, with the way the parachute payments massively drop and the FFP rules are so tight in the Championship, we could find ourselves there for quite some while.
He adds: “They have to improve and I have to help them improve.” The time to do that was throughout last season and in pre-season Steve. The pressure now is massively on them all, including the manager, in our home game v Norwich this weekend.