A great post by The Yank in our Steve Bruce Forum Thread (contains adult language!)
It’s clear the man is not the man to lead Villa in the dressing room or on the pitch, the results show that beyond a shadow of a doubt. The number of times of Villans look on in the 60th-80th minute thinking “oh god it’s time for a change, we look knackered, we need some pace on the wing, need to bring on another striker to hold the ball up” is crazy. That said, it’s also clear that the man is extremely well respected and well connected. He managed to convince John Terry to drop to the Championship and captain our club. He’s managed to get highly-touted young players in Tammy Abraham and Axel Tuanzebe in on loan.
Many say that he’s had a huge miss in terms of his transfer dealings with central defence, and to that, I cannot disagree. That said, on the whole, he’s managed to bring in exciting players, keep a hold of Jack, and no one has a bad thing to say about playing for the man.
If you look at Steve on the touchline during matches, he looks tired, he looks confused, he looks like he’s hanging on by a thread. Many will say that he should just resign and that by sticking around here he’s just looking for a payoff. There is where I will disagree. I don’t see a man looking for a payday, I see a man who is genuinely out of ideas on the sideline, but who wants with every fibre of his being to be successful in the biggest job he will ever have. He’s a man who has been through hell and not given up on the Villa, and who I don’t see as ever giving up on the Villa.
Now, before you label me a Bruce apologist, know that I think his football is horrible, his squad selection is baffling, and his inability to influence a match is quite shameful. But, it’s human nature to revert back to what you know, and what you’re comfortable with when things aren’t going well. That is why we see him reverting back to a defence first, don’t get caught upfield style of play. Unfortunately for Steve, the state of our defence dictates that the only way for us to succeed is to play the game upfield and hold the ball up there as long as humanly possible. Bruce doesn’t want to take that risk, because he genuinely believes his style of play (as it has done for what 4 promotions?) will get the job done, and he doesn’t want to risk making a change that could lose him the biggest job of his career. I can’t fault that, I’d probably do the same, and if you say you would actually walk out on the biggest chance of your career, well you’re just downright lying to yourself.
I do see a way forward here though if you just move Bruce upstairs to let him utilize his connections in the football world, relieve him of the stress of 46 games that all demand results, and bring in someone who can make things work on the pitch. Who is that manager? Not a clue to be honest, but I’d rather take the risk on a new one than continue down the path we all see leads nowhere.
I think everyone agrees that with our squad, we should be running the Championship. I think there is a way forward that utilizes Bruce’s strength, rewards his loyalty towards the club, keeps him from getting slagged off on a daily basis, and puts Villa in a position to move towards a bright future.
Hoping Bruce has a slip in the shower, bumps his head, wakes up with the tactical mind of Pep and leads us up the table. Doubt it though.
With thanks to The Yank