Last summer was when this all went wrong. We put a poor manager into the Club and let him do whatever he wanted. What we needed then was a wise head to pick the right man to manage Aston Villa, identify two or three key players, go get them and then let the manager manage.

I tried to use the word manage as much as I could in that opening paragraph. And I wrote this at the time and several times since but you can't make as many changes as we did with a poor manager and expect things to be any different than what we actually have. What baffles me is that we've got an owner so successful in business and not afraid to tell us this, that didn't know this.

It also surprises me that we have a CEO with so much experience, that didn't know this. But I know I'm alone in my thinking, mostly because I don't pander to the owner or the Club. I don't follow, unfollow, follow back and then unfollow like a petulant child.

And this is going to surprise a few; I actually read something Stan Collymore tweeted today and I agreed with him. Or he agreed with me.

But now we have a manager with experience and he's like a kid in the sweet shop on a Saturday. This is why I believe he has accepted it's another season in the Championship but it's also why our comical owner should be allowed to tweet what he wants (he's gone past the point of trying to save him and Tony Xia is pretty much a joke to most outside of Aston Villa) but the CEO or someone at the Club has to very firmly limit the number of players we bring in during the summer that comes.

It's why I don't blame Bruce. He's done it before more times than I remember, but he has to do it with a maximum of three changes next summer and ideally one or two. But by all means spend the money as if it was six or seven players. You have to, to get the right ones!

We need stability. We need supporters to finally figure out that you don't fix things by making so many changes. The Clubs that bounce back straight away are the ones that don't make changes.

And it doesn't help when the players you sell are going to the Premier League and the players you bring in are Championship players. In the summer we should have enticed two or three players with very large salaries to come and play for us. We failed. We can't fail next summer.

And yes, you can entice players with money, that's how it's done these days. And yes again, I'm writing as if I believe we're stuck in the Championship. But, we just got spanked by Brentford .. how do you expect me to feel?

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Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • Even the compliment from a so called Spud fan is a back handed one...:):):)

  • Neggos lol.
    That's what you get when a manger couldn't buy a result for 7 games, doesn't fill you full of confidence for a win let alone promotion.

  • Windy wrong again we are ten points off you should know better than to think I'd give up until it's impossible. The reality at this point is we are not playing in a way or getting results that point to making the play offs. I hope we do but it's becoming exceedingly unlikely. You are hoping it gets better and it may,can hardly get worse

  • By the way I was expecting a reserved but solid display against Brentford, totally achievable except we went flat out with an attacking line up with new players. I know I have called for a more attacking approach but that was with a team that had proved poor at defending. All Bruce did was prove we are potentially worse. Hogan may prove more clinical but he will have to be when he only gets to shoot once or twice in a game

  • staggering to think he threw in a player that had not played for 6 weeks, whilst Bree who was full of confidence sat on the bench to allow Hutton to give his usual performance. Hourihane when picking the ball up deep gestured to Hutton to move further up the pitch but it fell on deaf ears and Hutton stood where he was.

  • Windy,our points ratio for last 7 games would see us dragged into a relegation fight rather than the play offs.That is FACT! Not wishful thinking.

  • I see Gil is tearing the Spanish league apart...highest assist rate alongside Messi, more then Ronaldo...can we get him back season end??

  • According to the BM...not checked the stats myself or seen him play there...

  • The Doc not even mentioned Gil! Veretout,Santhez,Kozak, will be offloaded end of season.

  • I work with a 60 year old Villa fan..

    he thinks we have NO chance of making play offs and Bruce style of play is outdated and he won't work at Villa...

    Said we are showing no sings in performances that show we cna turn this around..

    Villa fans are turning now IMO.. this board shows it..

    Its is easy to say we are in a minority.. BUT.. why.. is this blog called theantibruceblog..

    So i would think the views are across the board..

  • So from your point of view you need to hope the Dr reads this or is swayed again by fans opinions because having just sent what he has I dont think he will make a change anytime soon.

  • spuds line up and instructions:):)
    although were more likely to see Hutton retain his place and Amavi lose his to Taylor
    we might even see GG alongside Lansbury & Jedinak and Hourihane on bench
    I doubt he will go 4-4-2 thou unless we go behind so I see kODJA going out wide and Hogan iSolated

    Attachments :
  • RHM as signed a new 3 half year contract

  • yep now lets see if he gives the lad a chance

  • Well Ayew has gone, Gabby has torn a hamstring, Kozak aint gonna play any time soon, and Kienan Davis was only making the bench because RHM was in a stand off.

    Would be cool to see him on the bench tomorrow.

  • just quick look at his presser he said 2 or 3 new places tomorrow

    must dash have to see full presser later

  • What I would say is that now he has signed, we can hold Spud accountable and see if he is true to his word and gives him a chance...expect RMH at the very least to be on the bench - if fit - and play some part in the game.

  • Mon I think Gil has been injured for quite a while, has been every time I have seen reports on Villa loans

  • Lionheart

    I work with a 60 year old Villa fan.
    That youngster does not know what he is talking about!:):):)

  • mon 4-5-1

    On paper tomorrow should be a comfortable away win, we are playing a club who've lost their best player to us, in turmoil with a failed takeover and a owner who wants out. Now all they have left is a stop gap manager because the manager they approached turned them down. Is there any reason why we should be thinking otherwise?
    Not quite putting your head on the block but I think you should think otherwise. A narrow win is the best we can hope for unless the new boy really comes good.

    1 nil for me would be fine but as we can stop teams from scoring 2-1.;);)

  • Off to the bar early before the rain starts.

  • Getting a bit pathetic every 3 months calling for the manager's head any other manager and they would telling everyone to "back the manager" but I guess Bruce was never accepted by all here and so he will never be given a proper chance with the squad he has assembled himself I truly hope he rams your words down your throats not that half of you will have the guts to admit you were wrong if that is how it turns out. As a club we get what we deserve and are where we deserve to be not backing the manager is akin to not backing the team which we are clearly capable of given the treatment of Gabby and Westwood I have never known fans of any other club to be as disloyal as we are.I suspect even a win tomorrow wont convince some in fact I suspect even 20 wins wont convince many for reasons we all know too well. Sometimes being a Villa fan is embarrassing not because of what happens on the park but the attitude of fans off it.

  • so you backed RDM then mate? and Garde? "give them more time cried windy" err no.

  • And because I wanted Wagner you have rubbished him except he and Bruce at this point in time are making you look like a mug. I hope Bruce gets us up because I want whats best for the club and I do not Believe that is Steve Bruce and he has doen sod all so far to prove he is, so if he does its fine with me.

  • What is also unbelievable is you harp on about making January signings laud all of those signed then after one game where they all did not play and we lose the game start calling for the manager to be sacked - listen to yourselves, he picks his players the Dr does the business then you want hom out after a game why? so you can moan when the next manager comes in and struggles with the squad then you can continue to blame Bruce and use the "not his squad chestnut" until the next window.

  • Why? its not the players its the continued non-tactics and the fact he appeared to have no idea what to do with the players he has bought, new formation on sat apparently :):):)

  • That is funny coming from you Windy, just like you've backed Grealish...;);) and the bigger mistake is not fixing the mistake made in the first place, ask Swansea when they hired the waster in Bradley, realised they had screwed up and then got Clement.

    How many winless games should we back the manager whilst the football is the worse I ever seen?? sometimes hoping for the odd shot being on target as the highlight. You're calling it pathetic but I read zero suggestions from you on a plan of how you think it will go from where we are??

  • Just re-watched Bruces pre-Brentford presser and his comment about the midfield was he thought they brought something a little different and that what attracted him to those three players is they really wanted to come to Villa?? bloody hell :(

  • maybe they wanted to come here cause they knew they could cruise and be on vacation for high wages :(

  • Have a think windy when people are not backing Bruce who is that making angry? is it Bruce? or is it You? ;)

  • #336159 windofchange windofchange

    What is also unbelievable is you harp on about making January signings laud all of those signed then after one game where they all did not play and we lose the game start calling for the manager to be sacked - listen to yourselves, he picks his players the Dr does the business then you want hom out after a game why? so you can moan when the next manager comes in and struggles with the squad then you can continue to blame Bruce and use the "not his squad chestnut" until the next window.

    You seem to struggle reading posts or like twisting them - I suspect it's more a struggle. Who has complained about the players, more a case Spud putting out a player that had not played for 6 weeks - lol - or playing Hutton at RB when he had purchased Bree who was fully fit. Not making the tactical change when he could see infront of him his team and tactics being ripped apart - all things you'd conveniently like to hid under the carpet.

  • As for ramming it down our throats, did Huddersfield ram it down your throat last night...;);)

  • I can see it tomorrow, we score and Windy is ready to lash out at the so called fans who question Spud...;);)

  • Seven games without a win not giving Windy the opportunity to lash out at fans who question Spud must have built up a lot of frustration and anger...:):):););)

  • Bruce will be here all season.. So gonna be a long spud out lol

  • Well I'd suggest that rather than make the rooky error of a last minute appointment we move quickly if indeed he is going to go. Give the next bloke game time to access what he needs for the summer if lets say nothing improves in the next 6 games

  • He has his players now he deserves his chance lb

    I think last 5 games of season would give a new guy new time.. He deserves his chance like any manager does

  • I agree if it shows progress is being made, if it just flat lines then we need to move

  • If see RHM changed his agent and now signed a contract. Think that shows where the problem was. Not sure he should go straight into the squad,the likes of Davis and Green earned their place and
    don't deserve to be pushed off the bench. Let him earn his.

    Jedinak hopefully back tomorrow, should make a difference and give more freedom to the other midfielders. Kodjia apparently prefers to play a bit wider cutting in, though I'm personally not too sure about that. Playing two up front means a midfielder will surely miss out, unless he goes 4-1-3-2 and relies on the full backs for width. Most likely option will be 4-3-3, Bjarnason on the bench probably.

  • presser
    they will need time to settle into there surroundings

    sounds like an excuse to buy himself time

    mile jedinak is close just not close enough he wont feature tomorrow gabby torn hamstring

    he claims to have wanted Hogan when he was at Rochdale but thought the step up to PL was to much for him so he's monitored him ever since

    so Jedi out tomoz GG must be odds on to start

  • When he first arrived it was players need to get used to playing for a big club like Villa, how do all those players going to really big clubs Cope :):):):):)

  • he talking like they come from abroad it's a cop out
    sure time to gel as a team properly but not playing decent while gelling is a cop out on his tactics

    they came from championship just another city in Uk they know the league are up too speed with it one only from PL, only Birkir should need time to adjust to country new surrounding

    well we will see what develops but sounds like pre empt excuses

    he said he sold Gestede so he could have Hogan:):):):):):) when people was questioning why with ACN on he just thought Hogan even thou he chased Rhodes firstly - he's a billy bulla :):)

    oh 7 in 7 out 33 or close to that since summer have gone through doors there's been big change around

    yeah well he as the tools so he has to deliver now no more excuses - what excuses can he use -I just throw this one out there in case - oh yeah the players need to adjust to there new surrounding .

    Guys a fraud I use to like his honesty in presser and interviews but self preservation as already set in

    I don't know about the players having to get use to playing for a massive club he needs to learn how to manage a big club
    were not Blunderland Huddlesfield Sheffield wigan or small heath

    you need to evolve you fecking Dinosaur

  • On RHM Spud as said he wants him to work hard in training and he will get his chance like Green as opportunities will come

    Dr xai said this on RHM
    Dr. Tony Xia ‏@Dr_TonyXia 2h

    Dr. Tony Xia Retweeted  

    Just signed. It took me more than 20yrs 2grow up from a 'genius' boy2get some successes. Hope RMH knows how2turn talents to a great player.

  • I love the team to appear tomorrow as 4-4-2

    Kodja Hogan
    Amavi Hourihane Lansbury Adomah
    Taylor baker chester bree

    Look at the pace down the flanks both Amavi & Adomah would scare defenders to come forward both can cross a ball

    Taylor and bree can support when ever possible but mainly be proper defenders

  • Amavi playing further forward is interesting. I really dont think he has the defensive instinct to play left back. Wing back would be more suited to him. Puts a hell of a lot of responsibility on the midfield two though, especially as a lot of teams play three in there, so he would have to get back and work too. Hourihane did play in a 4-4-2 at Barnsley and it worked for him. Also Hogan will give us far more options when in possession than Kodjia did. The only real ball to the latter is in front of him, as with back to goal he is hopeless.

  • I think Amavi as to many defensive frailties at present and could be converted to LW/LM , and not being the LB last man on left side could actually take pressure off him when defending the left side of midfield

    plenty of players have been converted

  • Why would you play Amavi over Green in that role?

  • Good Question:)
    just so when I bring Green on there opposition fb are already Knackard from being run ragged with Amavi blistering pace then bring green on for his trickiness

  • He may well play, but play him and Adomah and it does become more of a 4-2-4, and the probability of the midfield being over run again

  • So i just saw Jedinak is not fit. Not good news. I did think we might bring someone in as back up in that key def mid role, as he has started to miss a few games recently.

    . Also Bruce says we will try something different tomorrow. Can't see it being three at the back, as we would be short on back up. Could well be a straight 4-4-2, have we got the midfielders out there to play it though? Would surely be Hourihane and Lansbury, Adomah and would have to be Bjarnasson on the left. Play another out and out winger and it becomes 4-2-4 again, and we alll know what happens there. Only other thing i can think of is to sacrifice the width and rely on the full backs pushing forward. We will see tomorrow.

  • Great news about RHM,ive seen the lad quite a few times and let me tell you this kid can play,been out injured for a while so not sure he will make the bench,would be a touch unfair to dump one of the other two youngsters.Unless Bruce has a master plan and can find a space for him for someone we wont miss that much,Westwood gone,Jedi and Gabby injured,so maybe he will be on the Bench.

  • WINDY...

    I don't want Bruce put for the sake of it.. even the VIlla fans i know don't see any point getting rid now..

    The point i was making is that the guy i work with doesn't think things will improve but it would be really nice if he got it wrong and Bruce did well...

    So if we win half our remaining games.. draw a few lose 3/4 then Bruce might merit another season..

  • Bruce took long enough to realise the system he and Calderwood uses is easy for other teams to counter.So he has said to be trying something different tomorrow,well,we shall see.Just one or two observations, 1.Against Brentford,Kodjia was on his own up front,his only support being Adomah.2.Massive gap between midfield and the backline,which Brentford exploited.3.Chester and Baker had there worst game without the protection of Jedi in front of them,4.Hutton despite his 100% effort is just not good enough.He covered for Baker and Chester,who were nowhere to be seen for Brentford's 2nd goal,but allowed the player to get in front of him and i would replace him with Bree.5. Amavi also was poor in that game,so maybe play him on the wing and Give Taylor his debut at left back,(Amavi has decent cross!) put Hogan and Kodjia up front. and play 4-4-2 and go for it.

  • That poor lady who was hit in the back of taxi,shocking! And the ,title cnuts git away with it,I fcucking hate this country too soft!

  • I wonder if this trying something new is winning:(

  • i guess we will see rhodes' 1st game today with wednesday - i bet he gets a hat trick lol

  • I didn’t think we’d be letting seven in and seeing seven go out – I thought it would be more of a quiet window.

    Bruce in the presser today
    Is he saying their not his players ? He didn't want new recruits ?
    You would have thought he would have been working with Round to bring in as many new players for him to use as possible, doesn't sound like it from this.

    The more I hear from him sounds to me like he's just going through the motions, I suspect these are more Rounds signings with a view to putting a squad together for the next manager. Perhaps the club are coming to the same conclusion as many of us that it's too late this year barring a miracle and we are building for the future.
    Xia tweeting patience ?

  • Reading the article i think he was just genuinely surprised with what he was allowed to do, considering the major changes in the sunmmer too. He also said how pleased he was with the additions. It is a massive turnover of players though. We cannot do that every season. Whatr we need now is stability, and give these players the chance to do well

  • See your point but he could have said something along the lines of being pleasantly surprised by the Chairman's backing. They will need time to gel despite anyone taking the p*ss from this statement, it is true.
    As far as stability goes he needs to get a starting 11 sorted and a preferred game plan implemented as soon as, changing every week is not going to help any of the players new or old and that's a 442 for me.

  • We could have gone back in for Rhodes, but chose Hogan instead for a similar price. At the time we tried to sign Rhodes, Hogan was not on the radar, as he was as good as gone to West Ham. So it wasn't at that time an "either or" decision. I think Rhodes would have been good for us, but got a feeling Hogan might be better. We will see.

  • Agree Hogan is probably the better option mush more of a proper No.9 by all accounts, looking forward to seeing Rhodes debut today regardless.
    Still begs the question is Bruce the right manager to get the best out of any of these new signings.

  • RHM signed is good news imo. pity we didn't use him while Kodjia was a away, didn't understand the logic of not playing him he's a Villa player regardless of contract issues. I expect to see him on the bench tomorrow.
    Bruce is hinting at a different approach, I think we have to play Hogan as CF with Kodjia slightly wide left of him, Kodjia was effective for Bristol City played on left side of a front 2 or 3. Bree needs to start, Thora Herd :) on the bench for me and possibly GG filling in for Jedinak if not ready.

    Expecting to see a 442 tomorrow in some shape or form but think Taylor signing also gives us the ability to look at a 3 at the back scenario in the future.

  • RHM is injured as far as i know, and has been for a couple of weeks or more. And even if not, i wouldn't bring him in in place of Davis (people who watch the U23s have told me he is actually the better prospect), who has shown commitment to the club and earned his chance. RHM changed his agent, which shows us where the problem was. He was badly advised and should have acted sooner. Bruce has shown with starting Green and putting Davis on the bench that he is willing to use younger players, as long as they commit and prove they are worth it

  • RHM is injured as far as i know, and has been for a couple of weeks or more. And even if not, i wouldn't bring him in in place of Davis (people who watch the U23s have told me he is actually the better prospect), who has shown commitment to the club and earned his chance. RHM changed his agent, which shows us where the problem was. He was badly advised and should have acted sooner. Bruce has shown with starting Green and putting Davis on the bench that he is willing to use younger players, as long as they commit and prove they are worth it

  • bfr94

    I think Hogan will be twice the player Rhodes is, just based on his the fact that he is a stronger player on the ball and a lot faster. Expecting him to hit the ground running tomorrow and bring back 3 points

  • bfr94
    Didn't realise RHM was injured, means him being overlooked for whatever reason is irrelevant really if he was not fit.
    I also read good reports regards Davis, ideally we should now have both up to speed and involved in case of any injury in the near future to Hogan or Kodjia.

  • Yep, problem is we don't want him playing that well ;)
    Ideally a Wigan win would suit us

  • If we do not score tomorrow Xia is going to go ballistic!

  • Two transfer windows and we do not win tomorrow or even score, rightfully so the owner should be doing his nut in terms of all the money that has been spent. I'd be going ape if its Aston Villa 0 against Forest.

  • It's only just over 30 mil net for virtually a new team, I know probably record for Championship.
    A few goals and a win would sure cheer everyone up after Tuesday.

  • I hope the players will be wanting to put things right after Tuesday and come out tomorrow to get a result. With Hogan playing tomorrow and, what looks like a 442 formation, then we should be taking this game to forest. I think Horahaine and Lansbury will start to build a formidable partnership if we now keep to a 442 as the ball should start sticking up front to bring in players like Horahaine to attack the ball
    I do feel that Hogan will make a major difference as he has strength, won't be bullied off the ball and has a good sprint on him

  • Lets hope its a good result. 4-4-2 could work, but only if Bjarnasson plays wide. If it's both Grealish and Adomah wide i will be worried. Hogan will give more than what Kodjia does, which isn't hard to be honest. Kodjia is a good finisher, but has offered nothing else so far. Lets hope they flourish as a partnership.

  • Thor came in for a lot of criticism on Tuesday as he was off the pace in the 2nd half but so were the rest of the team. Maybe the fact that he had not plays a competitive game for 6 weeks didn't help(it that is correct). But he will be give us some strength in the middle or out wide when he's fit

  • Good evening,

    Just got in after a night out and this again was not good news unless we are worried about relegation.
    Wigan Athletic 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    6th Sheff Wed 29 6 49 points
    7th Derby 28 9 46
    8th Barnsley 29 4 44
    9th Fulham 28 14 43
    10th Norwich 28 7 43
    11th Preston 29 1 41
    12th Birmingham 29 -8 37
    13th Brentford 28 2 36
    14th Aston Villa 28 -2 36

    A bridge too far?

  • Probably, but we can't just give up. All we can do is try and win matches and see where that leaves us. If those above us keep winning too, then fair play to them. Notts f tomorrow, then Ipswich and Barnsley at home. Going to need nine points from that.

  • 16 games left and 13 points behind 6th place, that s4 and a bit games to catch up, which means 1/4 of the games the 6th place has to lose for us to have any chance of us catching them up, plus the teams that are above us that are also going for that 6th spot.

    It all over.

  • Win the remaining 16 games and we still will not catch up. Probably

  • It is never all over till the maths tell you it is not possible. But it will incredibly hard. I did think those above us would fall away somewhat, but there is no sign of this at the moment.

  • bfr94

    You are right as the Fat Lady has not sung yet, however she is clearing her throat.

  • jonnah

    No, no; with 84 points and Villa would have finished 4th last season.:):):):):)

  • Predictions? Forrest 1. Villa 3 Hogan 2 Kodjia 1.

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