Steve Bruce is gone, now what?
After today’s news, the chorus (choruses? chori?) of “Finally!” and “Thank god!” will no doubt rain down across the aisles of Villa Park and beyond. His decisions to play midfielder Mile Jedinak at centre-back and his constant roulette wheel of creative midfielders in and out of the team was, indeed, insane to even the most casual of fans. The fact that he was almost replaced by Thierry Henry for a hot minute is also a testament to his acumen, or lack thereof. The crux of the issue is still the team and how wildly unbalanced it is.
Well, bringing in 35-year old tall dudes to maybe get a head to a cross only to be dusted by any single striker in the Championship is not the answer. Although, to be fair that was Aston Villa’s answer to that question long before Bruce took charge and is a hallmark of the club’s identity. What would we be without our charming glacier-like centre-backs? In the Premier League? (Too soon? Too soon.)
Unfortunately, the price for skilled men at the back has proved to be too high and loaned in short-term replacements are the order of the day. No matter what, skilled players are required for a shot at the playoffs. It’s time for the new owners/operators to cash in the 401k and take that 20% hit. The next manager will still have to contend with a mess at the back, instability within the walls of the locker room and a cadre of Villans that will accept nothing less than success. Good luck guy; try not to take it so personally.
Maybe we will get to see Thierry Henry holding up a Villa shirt. Just like my manager mode in FIFA 2006 foretold…