On my spectrum of more or less disliked opposition clubs, Blackburn Rovers sit somewhere in the middle.
I found their purchased league win via Jack Walker’s millions in ’94-’95 somewhat distasteful, and in particular have a memory of their large blond central defender, Colin Hendry, spreadeagling himself across the bonnet of a promotional car being driven around Villa Park prior to our home game against them that season in a display of arrogance that was typical of him and his teammates (including the execrable Alan Shearer).
However, that is balanced by memories of some of the excellent players that they had in earlier decades – particularly wingers Bryan Douglas and John Connolly who were genuine wing wizards – and a centre-forward, Fred Pickering, who scored goals for fun.
So Villa’s failure to extract more than one point from this evening’s opponents was more tolerable than it would have been from a number of other teams in the division, although that doesn’t change the fact that Steve Bruce’s inability to pick, coach and motivate a team capable of winning this fixture was at the heart of this latest disappointment. Particularly given the number and quality of players at his disposal.
Previous succedinosaurs age of dinosaurs doesn’t equip this manager to take our club back to the Premier League and we need someone who can acquire, coach and select players and play in a progressive style (Dean Smith anyone?) rather than the unimaginative fare that we get most weeks.
I almost wish for failure over the next few games in the hope that it will get Bruce removed, although the pain of such failure will, as ever, be hard to bear.
Two home games to come in the next seven days – nothing less than two wins will do.