Date: 21st June 2018 at 7:00pm
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Trust is an important trait for a manager. You can prepare your teams on the training ground, outline your tactics before the match, but once the eleven players walk across that white line, the coach has to trust them to implement what he has been saying to them all week.

Yet, it isn’t something that all managers have to the same degree. Some like to have as much control as possible. Conservative managers set up their teams not to lose and limit the amount of self-expression their players have, limiting the number of mistakes and increasing the chances of their methods being implemented to the letter.

Others are different and some even put their full faith in young players despite their relative inexperience on the big stage. Sometimes their faith in youth comes off and other times it does not. Soon, Steve Bruce may have very little choice but to place his full faith in some of our most inexperienced and youngest players.

To be fair to the manager, he has put faith in some youngsters. Keinan Davis is a prominent example. However, it isn’t something that comes naturally to him. In the second half of the season, it was clear that the manager would only go for players he knew could be trusted to deliver his instructions on the field.

The absence of Keinan and Andre Green (who had returned to fitness by the end of the campaign) in the final stages of the season was telling. Bruce’s conservative instincts had taken hold once again.

With rumours of players like Robert Huth, Gareth McAuley and other old timers being lined up as potential signings, it seems the man in charge is still reluctant to change tack despite it being abundantly clear that there is a group of young players ready to be tried and tested in the Championship.

He may use players like Calum O’Hare, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Easah Suliman, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Corey Blackett-Taylor but will he show his full faith in them, and inspire them to excel in the league next season? It won’t be long before we’ll find out.

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6 Replies to “Can Bruce Change His Ways To Inspire Villa’s Bright Lights?”

  • If we do move on Elphick and, probably, Chester too, I think some centre back experience does become necessary. However, if feel Bruce’s inclination will be to stock the area with as many veterans as he can. To my mind, that displays no financial responsibility, which I don’t believe a manager can simply divorce himself from.

    Much of the manager’s overriding motive will be, naturally, team success, but also heavily self preservation. Past references to Bruce’s conversations with other managers suggests the loss of his position at the helm at Villa really concerns him. Perhaps he sees this as his last big chance?

    From a financial standpoint, large transfer fees are now no longer an option, but we cannot keep stacking up old players on premier league salaries, who offer no sell on value. Bruce has caused enough financial burden already on that score.

    Surely, the answer has to be a blending of experience and youth. Davis got his chance due to all the manager’s options being exhausted. Injuries had meant Agbonlahor was due a rare start, but he opted out with a niggle as soon as the call was made for his services. Enter the young striker.

    Green was shown a bit more faith, ironically at the expense of Adomah, who later went on to become top scorer.

    Perhaps, Bruce has to relax his overwhelming need to stock up with experience and give a little more thought to pace, mobility and the fearlessness of youth. Tactics wouldn’t go amiss either.

  • Just all too hazy at the moment to figure out what is going on. If we want experience, I can’t really see, on the budgets / loans we are talking about, that Elphick can’t do the job. He did well when Terry was injured last season.

    • I can still only think Elphick had a buy clause that is in force at the moment or it’s a relative wage issue? Otherwise surely stick with Elphick, he already knows the rest of the team and won’t need a bedding in period?

  • I believe Elphick is on a fairly chunky deal by championship standards, but whether that would be significantly more than Huth’s demands is questionable. A small credit would be achieved from, say, a £2 – 2.5M sale, but the player’s release would only represent small potatoes in Xia’s bail out plan.

    Elphick’s attitude and leadership credentials appear to get the thumbs up from everyone, so that must be worth something. Perhaps he was prone to the odd lapse at times, but did appear to pick up his form during the few games he played for Villa last season.

    All told, I would probably keep the Elph if Chester is on his way. Perhaps the old adage applies here ‘it is better the devil you know’. Jedinak aside, we might need another leader.

  • As long as Bruceosaurus is in charge it will be sideways sideways back HOOF. It will be ancient immobile mercenaries, it will be players so afraid of moving out of position that no-one is available to receive a throw-in, it will mean youngsters only as a very last resort – then run them into the ground. It will be moronic tactics, inexplicable decisions, idiotic substitutions. Good players turned to dross by playing them in systems that do not suit or just plain in a position they can’t fill. Take the hit you were stupid enough to ‘negotiate’ and get rid and get Dean Smith in …..if he’ll come now. Managers without a clue or a plan B we’re used to, owners this inept we’re getting used to. Come back Deadly….no you’re not forgiven but you were still better than these jokers.

    • Wow!! Did you actually watch any games at Villa last season. Your comments are incredible and wrong! Did you actually write this when Paul Lambert was in charge because what you are describing (sideways, backwards, hoof, idiotic substitutions etc…) are totally not applicable to the way Villa play under Bruce. We missed out on promotion by a squeak…what makes you think that a manager from another championship side with no pedigree & no success at this level would be better than Bruce. We have had a stream of ‘joke’ managers over the years and for you to compare the current one to any of them proves that you do not have a clue so shut up and back your team utv Oh by the way I agree about the owner!

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