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The Steve Bruce thread

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:42 pm

Our throw ins are rubbish full stop, it's usuall pretty much pot luck as to whether we even retain possession from them, whereas most normal teams nearly almost always keep the ball. It's been like that since long before Bruce though. A series of hoofball managers has somehow had it's collective affect us on us, and things like that and poor football in general have become deeply ingrained within the club's football culture, again unlike pretty much every other club these days, we still haven't moved on from nineties football.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:50 pm

I wonder if the new owners have taken Bruce's reasoning into consideration:

1. He did take the team last season to the playoff finals. That team was scuppered early on by the loss of Grealish and Kodjia.
2. Villa was in trouble over the summer, with the transfer ban, FFP problem hanging over us and so on.
3. Our squad of last season has been torn to shreds and has to be completely rebuilt with four players missing. That'll be the striker (Abraham), right wing (El Ghazi), goalie (why the fuck did we send Steer on loan?) and CB (Tuanzebe). They might be convinced that Jedi needs time to fit in at CB, Bolasie needs to settle and so on.

On the other hand I still believe McGinn was brought in to replace Grealish because everyone thought he'd be off. He didn't go anywhere, and while playing both McGinn and Grealish in the middle and effectively cramping the latter's style, McGinn has fared better and been allowed to keep a slot in the middle while Grealish has been moved wide.

What Bruce hasn't done is play either new winger or the RB correctly. El Ghazi has started on the left for one match, where we already have Adomah!

We all know Jedi is not going to work. If, as been's suggested, Jedi is there because the goalie has made some mistakes then sort out the fucking defence! We have more than enough attacking talent to let Taylor play at LB. Tuanzebe and Chester at CB. Hutton, Elmo and even Bree at RB. Leave them like that. If we need a DM then bring in Jedi. If not then don't. Three out of four defenders out of position to accommodate a nervous goalie. I'm not surprised he's nervous. Even Chester is starting to make mistakes, covering everyone else! And then, and I know this is a shocking suggestion, we would probably see more goals from Adomah on the left wing as he wouldn't have to waste most of his time defending. But no, Grealish is there because we can't drop him, McGinn or Hourihane, and now Thor too.

All the problems, all the discord, all of it is caused by Bruce. He didn't cause the issues over the summer (well, some of the financial problems can be laid squarely at his door) but equally he didn't do anything to settle the ship with the best players we had in their best positions. He retained most of the squad from the playoffs last season but has chosen to mess it all up and try new stuff. Well, until they all start creeping back in and he realises he had most of it there all along.

I despair.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by STO67 on Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:03 pm

Most of our players have multiple international caps at either full or (current) youth level. I can't be bothered to look them all up but clearly, Bruce is unable to get them organised or get a tune out of them. I dismiss talk of losing the changing room because they are a group of professional players and that simply doesn't happen. However, they DO lose motivation and faith in a Manager and I think that's what's happening here. Two years on and we seem to be back at the start. Time to make a change.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:07 am

@deadbuzzardalive wrote:Meanwhile Birmingham Mail are saying that Bruce doesn't have two games to save his job, but his position will be reviewed in the international break. That seems quite contradictory to me, unless they mean that his job will be reviewed whatever happens. They also that Dean Smith will not be considered, they've been more reliable than Alan Nixon recently to be fair as well.

Bham Mail have now changed their minds and admitted that Dean Smith is one of the names to be considered if the new owners decide to sack Potato Head!

At the BM they really hate the way Potato Head is being put under pressure and are constantly posting the Potato Head excuses as fact and keep on digging up quotes from fellow Potato brained managers/failures like Ian Holloway to tell us 'stupid' fans how Potato Head is the man to turn things around 'eventually'! No wonder that amateurish rag went out of print and become a collection of sado's posting/rehashing crappy stories online. However it does seem that for all their brown nosing round Potato Head he occasionally throws them a biscuit?

Just go away Potato Head! You have had enough chances and the backing of all the fans so far but now you are found out so F#ck Off! #Bruceout

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:16 am

Bruce has been unable to find a way to overcome the tactics now being deployed by all the opposition managers so far this season. Namely, they are doubling up on Grealish to effectively keep him out of the game.With Grealish out of the game, the Villa threat is much reduced.
Of course, this should mean more space for others. Bringing Grealish in just behind a single attacker (Abraham) should mean wingers an be more effective in a 4 - 4 -1- 1 formation. We should do away with the defensive midfielder and play McGinn and one of Hourihane/Bjarnason as box to box (they all like a tackle and have the motor to get forward).
Bruce will not do this because his instincts are all defensive, even though we are shipping goals for fun.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:41 am

A five year old that has being playing FIFA 19 for a week is more tactically aware than Potato Head! He is so worried about losing yet every week chooses to play Calamity Jedi at the back who basically guarantees the opposition a one nil start!

The guy has lost it! F#ck Off Potato Head!

#Bruceout

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:07 am

@big ming wrote:Bruce has been unable to find a way to overcome the tactics now being deployed by all the opposition managers so far this season. Namely, they are doubling up on Grealish to effectively keep him out of the game.With Grealish out of the game, the Villa threat is much reduced.
Of course, this should mean more space for others. Bringing Grealish in just behind a single attacker (Abraham) should mean  wingers an be more effective in a 4 - 4 -1-  1 formation. We should do away with the defensive midfielder and play McGinn and one of Hourihane/Bjarnason as box to box (they all like a tackle and have the motor to get forward).
Bruce will not do this because his instincts are all defensive, even though we are shipping goals for fun.

While I agree with you about the midfield, I think Bruce's best way forward is to put Jedi as DM again and Tuanzebe at CB. Both in their natural positions and Jedi gets to do heading. I spent half of last season wanting Thor in at DM position but whenever he played and did well he was rewarded with the bench. Let the goalie settle behind a fixed defence.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:57 am

@FoxyAV wrote:
@big ming wrote:Bruce has been unable to find a way to overcome the tactics now being deployed by all the opposition managers so far this season. Namely, they are doubling up on Grealish to effectively keep him out of the game.With Grealish out of the game, the Villa threat is much reduced.
Of course, this should mean more space for others. Bringing Grealish in just behind a single attacker (Abraham) should mean  wingers an be more effective in a 4 - 4 -1-  1 formation. We should do away with the defensive midfielder and play McGinn and one of Hourihane/Bjarnason as box to box (they all like a tackle and have the motor to get forward).
Bruce will not do this because his instincts are all defensive, even though we are shipping goals for fun.

While I agree with you about the midfield, I think Bruce's best way forward is to put Jedi as DM again and Tuanzebe at CB. Both in their natural positions and Jedi gets to do heading. I spent half of last season wanting Thor in at DM position but whenever he played and did well he was rewarded with the bench. Let the goalie settle behind a fixed defence.
If you play a DM you cannot get Grealish in behind Abraham, unless you play a back three or a single floating winger. We need to win games, not draw them. Grealish is wasted on the left and can too easily be pinned in against the touchline. Oh! and I forgot to say..... bench Kodija unless Abraham is injured.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:41 am

Its a case of who is worried the most about a f#ck up the goalie or Jedinak? Both are creating a nervousness to the defence! Let's just play Steer and Elphick? Oh sh*t!

No way for Jedi back to DM, waste of a name of the team sheet! May as stick a blow up doll in there! We only need Jedi in there when we play Cardiff and the likes as most teams don't play hoof ball like Potato Head and actually keep the ball on the green stuff?

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:22 am

@DelboyVilla wrote:Its a case of who is worried the most about a f#ck up the goalie or Jedinak? Both are creating a nervousness to the defence! Let's just play Steer and Elphick? Oh sh*t!

No way for Jedi back to DM, waste of a name of the team sheet! May as stick a blow up doll in there! We only need Jedi in there when we play Cardiff and the likes as most teams don't play hoof ball like Potato Head and actually keep the ball on the green stuff?
Perhaps we could get special EFL dispensation to play twelve! Then we could have a back 4 plus DM plus one in the hole and 2 wingers.
Even better if they would let us board up the goal and dispense with a keeper.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:09 am

@big ming wrote:
@FoxyAV wrote:
@big ming wrote:Bruce has been unable to find a way to overcome the tactics now being deployed by all the opposition managers so far this season. Namely, they are doubling up on Grealish to effectively keep him out of the game.With Grealish out of the game, the Villa threat is much reduced.
Of course, this should mean more space for others. Bringing Grealish in just behind a single attacker (Abraham) should mean  wingers an be more effective in a 4 - 4 -1-  1 formation. We should do away with the defensive midfielder and play McGinn and one of Hourihane/Bjarnason as box to box (they all like a tackle and have the motor to get forward).
Bruce will not do this because his instincts are all defensive, even though we are shipping goals for fun.

While I agree with you about the midfield, I think Bruce's best way forward is to put Jedi as DM again and Tuanzebe at CB. Both in their natural positions and Jedi gets to do heading. I spent half of last season wanting Thor in at DM position but whenever he played and did well he was rewarded with the bench. Let the goalie settle behind a fixed defence.
If you play a DM you cannot get Grealish in behind Abraham, unless you play a back three or a single floating winger. We need to win games, not draw them. Grealish is wasted on the left and can too easily be pinned in against the touchline. Oh! and I forgot to say..... bench Kodija unless Abraham is injured.

I'm afraid you're disagreeing with what I've suggested Bruce's best option should be for Bruce, not what I want him to do or what I think anyone else with half a brain would do. He's flailing around and if he insists on using Jedi as a defender, we're better off with him as DM to give that extra layer of defence. In Bruce's eye that would probably be:

Elmo - Tuanzebe - Chester - Hutton
Jedi
El Ghazi/Adomah - McGinn - Bolasie/Adomah
Grealish
Abraham

Or something like that. A 4-5-1 or a 4-1-4-1. It gives an extra layer of defence, extra height in the middle, a tall goal threat from corners from Jedi and so on. The goalie can concentrate on what he does, we have more than enough in attack there to try to score goals. I stress again though this is what I see Bruce needing to do using the players he wants to play and the style he wants, not what I want or think is the best line up. We have a big hole in the defence, Bruce is losing us points failing to fix it and sticking with it because he doesn't know what to do.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:43 am

Foxy,
If Bruce were to select as per your last offering I would probably be happier than I have been with his most recent selections. The only thing is that this means no place for Hourihane who has already had a hand in most of our better results (dead ball specialist/freekicks around the box) and also requires Chester to be on the left of a centre back pair when he is clearly better on the right.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:52 am

@big ming wrote:Foxy,
If Bruce were to select as per your last offering I would probably be happier than I have been with his most recent selections. The only thing is that this means no place for Hourihane who has already had a hand in most of our better results (dead ball specialist/freekicks around the box) and also requires Chester to be on the left of a centre back pair when he is clearly better on the right.

Tuanzebe is right sided, and when he's played at CB (twice?) Chester has moved to the left to accommodate him. It's unfortunately a sacrifice. Elphick plays on the right and never looked convincing on the left.

Stick Hourihane on instead of McGinn then, it's much of a muchness and it seems Bruce bought both of them (although I'm not so convinced he's the one buying all the players, he certainly seems to play some more than others!). My logic for what I think Bruce is doing is that by trying to score more goals than we concede (and what seems to be Bruce's insistence on playing any player who scores a goal) we can't waste a midfield position on someone who isn't an attacker, so therefore we move the DM into defence. But then Bruce said he'd wanted to play a 4-4-2 for ages but we didn't have the players. Now we have the players he doesn't want to play them.

Basically he's desperately scrabbling around. I find it amazing none of us knows who he'll play from game to game, or which formation he'll use, or which players he'll play in the wrong position when he has really good players available to play there or whatever else. So El Ghazi is shit at coming back to defend when he's played out of position on the left, let's not start him on the right but put Elmo or Kodjia there. It makes no sense.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by achilles on Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:47 pm

Foxy, you are absolutely right. It is utterly ridiculous that we haven't got a clue what team Bruce will put out or what system he will play except BruceBall!

I am trying to remember if it has always been like this as the last few years just seems to all merge into one!
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:30 pm

@achilles wrote:Foxy, you are absolutely right. It is utterly ridiculous that we haven't got a clue what team Bruce will put out or what system he will play except BruceBall!

I am trying to remember if it has always been like this as the last few years just seems to all merge into one!

I seem to recall Hourihane lost his place early on in 2017 and was frozen out until the middle of August last season until the Reading match away, where he scored a goal and looked really good (he was in because Lansbury I think was on a red?). Adomah meanwhile missed something like the first 10 matches last season until Green was injured and he was tried on the left, where he apparently played for Boro, even though Bruce played him on the right throughout the 2016-2017 season.

When Bruce talks about being allowed time, what he means is he needs pre-season and a quarter of the season to go by until a starting 11 picks itself. Actually, thinking about it, if he does play McGinn, Bjarnason and Hourihane in midfield, that does reinforce my theory that he's playing the players who are scoring goals (and then add Grealish because he can't be dropped and Kodjia because, er, he's scored too and tends to drift wide to the right a lot of the time anyway?) and then having Bolasie and El Ghazi on the bench as impact subs. Kodjia does drift wide when he's played as a striker, leaving a hole in the middle where we should have a tall striker, so what if he's being played on the wing so he can do just that? But he can't defend, so that's surely a great big hole in the thinking? And I wonder if Bolasie and El Ghazi have been brought in because they're good at attacking, only for Bruce to discover they can't defend, so are useless to him? Uncle Albert does get back to defend (as does Jack) but it makes him less effective as a winger.

I honestly cannot work out any of it. The more I try to think why Bruce choses the starting 11 and formation the more I get confused. Do the players wake up the morning after the latest draw or defeat and wonder a) if they'll start the next match and b) which position will they be asked to play this time and surrounded by whom, or does Bruce train them for a few days and then drop it on them at the last minute (think how he used the pre-season friendlies to try lots of different players in different positions - i.e. without a clue about what he was doing)? How can you build up partnerships when you don't know who will be where? Say Tammy gets used to having Grealish behind him but then finds those passes are coming in from the left wing, and McGinn is there, but in the last match he had McGinn behind to the right by now Hourihane is there, and on the right wing he's had El Ghazi followed by Elmo and then Elkodjia...

The player I feel for the most is the goalie. I'm pretty sure there's a really good goalie in there but he would have come to us knowing we're a big club and properly run and he'd have a good defence to work with.

Which leads me, meandering as I do, onto the transfer policy. If Bruce doesn't know what his best starting 11 or starting formation needs to be (buys Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury then plays them all wrong up until the point he stops playing them, for example), why is he given money to spend on players he doesn't want to play?

It does my head in. It really does.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:01 pm

Whatever he does in the short time remaining is immaterial. It would have served him better if had chosen a basic style/ formation and first choice players (in their most natural positions) at the outset this season and stuck with it to give the players a chance to gel.
With all the inexplicable chopping and changing, it's a wonder we're not a bigger shambles than we are.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:16 pm

I thought we would have heard more about a technical director by now, for me that position is key for us, as it will give an indication as to the direction we're going in on the football side of things and as to the kind of manager we'll appoint after Bruce... Hopefully it's not another Steve Round type appointment.


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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Army villain on Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:15 pm

Agree with all the post, Bruce needs to depart, lost the dressing room a long time ago, players not playing for him, cannot blame them after the remarks he makes. We need a technical director so he has some say on the new manager, or will the owners just gat rid and get in the manager the fans want? UTV.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:58 pm

I know it's a pipe dream, but...... Technical Director- A.Wenger. First team Coach - T.Henry.
Almost guaranteed attractive,progressive football. Plus,what a statement by the new owners.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Dions_Bald_Head on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:58 pm

@deadbuzzardalive wrote:I thought we would have heard more about a technical director by now, for me that position is key for us, as it will give an indication as to the direction we're going in on the football side of things and as to the kind of manager we'll appoint after Bruce... Hopefully it's not another Steve Round type appointment.


For me, this is what's holding things up regarding Bruce. Trying to put a positive spin on it, the longer it takes the more I like to think that the owners are being meticulous in their process - which would bode well for the long term future.

But I've seen enough false dawns not to my optimism on a tight leash. Sleep
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:41 pm

According to Percy, Bruce has the next two games to save his job (kind of obvious), he also says that we're close to appointing a 'Technical Director' and an 'Head of Performance' Here..

A complete guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if both the technical director and head of performance, both came from Brentford, which of course would lead to speculation on Dean Smith.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:02 am

Yes the Technical and Performance Director appoints will lead to loads of speculation especially as Percy stated Potato Head has had little or no involvement in the process?

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by achilles on Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 am

Unfortunately time is something we haven't got a lot of, it has to be all sorted by the end of the next international break otherwise this season is another write-off.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Dazzle on Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:47 am

I’m becoming more hopeful that the next 2 games are Bruce’s last, regardless of results. The press attention on Bruce is becoming more prevalent. Fingers crossed we can pick up at least 4pts from the next two games and then come back from the international break with a new man at the helm, which in turn will hopefully give us that new manager bounce to propel us back into the mix at the top of the table.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:27 am

I'm hoping we get six points from the next two matches and the new owners have already recognised Bruce is still not good enough and bring in someone else. I don't know that we will. Any manager worth his salt is going to have their players focus on pulling Jedi out of shape to get in behind him or to force Chester to commit to cover him. Keep the ball on the ground and Jedi's main strength is neutered, get players doing a Weimann on the goalie and they could be in with a chance. I do have a horrible feeling Bruce will play Whelan just to give Jedi some cover!
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