Through three league matches very little has come correct for Aston Villa in what was billed and expected to be their promotion season. Behind the promotion spots by eight points and seven goals behind in differential is amounting to pressure on the players, management and ownership. That pressure leads to consternation from the fans and chirping from the media no more evident than the snide comments like those of Leroy Rosenior on The Totally Football Show podcast reported by Mat Kendrick at the Birmingham Mail which is an article you should read, and listen to.
Bruce basically does what a manager has to do to defend his player to the press—especially John Terry, the apple of Bruce’s eye. After shamelessly—though not entirely unreasonably—pushing to sign Terry to come to Villa, after giving him the captaincy, after sending out Nathan Baker (only a third of the most reliable threesome that Villa fielded last year between he, James Chester and Mile Jedinak), Steve Bruce has been chips-in-the-middle-of-the-table-while-unfastening-his-watch all-in on Terry for this season. To have a reporter questioning his captain would show yet another crack in the facade of what Bruce has aimed to build and Bruce needed to shut it down.
And let it be said that John Terry continuing to live in Surrey is fine. John Terry continuing to be friends with his old teammates is fine and John Terry spending some of his free time with them is fine. However, if John Terry is passing Bodymoor Heath on the way to Cobham, getting any sort of training or working with the physios there it’s hard to see how he’s not done with Aston Villa and it’s hard to see how Steve Bruce remains in charge even a day longer. If that’s the situation we’re in the team is right where they should be and should remain in the Championship standings.
There is no star in Bruce’s Villan cap, no notch in his bedpost, anywhere near the scope of his eighteen year seduction of John Terry. After the fete that Bruce gave the courting and introduction, he’s since turned it back on the fans to say that Villa faithful have been “carried away.” For anyone with a memory going back three weeks the fans expectations are a reflection of Bruce’s own work to raise them and the blame has to fall on the manager here.
Steve Bruce has already found it necessary to revise history with regards to John Terry, and Alex Carson has pointed out how he’s begun overstating his choices and impact when it comes to match day decisions and tactics. Unless we start to see some decisiveness from this team on the pitch, we may be reaching a point of no return with our head man, and our captain. We can hope we haven’t arrived there yet.