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The Steve Bruce thread

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Dazzle on Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:21 pm

I’m confident there’s quite a few championship managers that could do better than Bruce with the tools at his disposal. We simply have to become a more dynamic, pressing team. We lack intelligence under Bruce. Wilder has actually done very decently with the clubs he’s been handed, but i don’t think the owners would be looking in his direction. Carlos Carvahal is currently doing nothing I believe? He’d likely be better than Bruce.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Army villain on Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:03 pm

According to remarks from players he has not been on the training ground, no wonder he has players playing in the wrong position, he has no idea, see who he picks for for the next game.surely we can get a decent manager in, fingers crossed.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:03 am

Well according to the Bham Mail RDL is off on loan to Melbourne City! Great idea Potato Head, let's get rid of our best right back!

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:18 am

@DelboyVilla wrote:Well according to the Bham Mail RDL is off on loan to Melbourne City! Great idea Potato Head, let's get rid of our best right back!

AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! What the hell does it take to play our best players for each position? He's looked great in the, what, two or three matches he's played in his correct position. Surely someone with even half a brain should be looking after football decisions now?
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:43 am

I work in a very similar organization where selection for the team seems to be based on who the bosses mates are? We need Potato Head to go before he causes more chaos!

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:46 am

@DelboyVilla wrote:I work in a very similar organization where selection for the team seems to be based on who the bosses mates are? We need Potato Head to go before he causes more chaos!

I can't agree more. I wonder where he'll squeeze in Elmo once El Ghazi takes over at RB and Tuanzebe takes the right wing position.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by achilles on Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:56 am

To be honest it is probably for the best, RDL won't want to play for potato head now so he is best out of here!

The decision also falls in line with most of Bruce's decisions, unfathomable!
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:02 pm

Wanted a young,modern and progressive track-suited coach in by now and felt sure Bruce would be shown the door during the international break but it seems not.
Lets see how we go at Blackburn. Will he 1) select a team which makes any sense (will Jedinak be at CB?) 2)take the game to the opposition and get a decent performance from the talent available 3) get a win?
Mowbray is no mug and will probably outsmart Bruce fairly easily so I'm guessing it will be as bad as at Sheffield However, the only consistent thing with Bruce is his lack of consistency, so who knows?
Hoping not to have my week-end spoiled again anyway.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:31 pm

We've just been taken over by some of the wealthiest owners in football, kept our best players, and brought in another bunch who probably shouldn't be playing second division football... Yet somehow at the moment my outlook on our short to medium future on the pitch is as gloomy as it's ever been, all because of Bruce being our manager... It comes to something when you can't even fully enjoy a win, or even a run of victories because you know all it will serve to do is to keep him in a job until we go on our next bad run.

I'm hoping that we at least bring in a DOF.


Last edited by deadbuzzardalive on Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Army villain on Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:35 pm

Bruce has been waiting for Terry so he can get back the dressing room, also a good leader, I just hope the owners and new man at the top, hold off on Terry, the next few games is the what is going to break the camels back , Bruce has lost the dressing room, and the respect of the players, lots of rumours coming out about training Bruce no show, tactics!?? Hoof ball, and now we have moving players out on loans who could do a good job for villa. Plus the big one playing players out of position, why are the pundits and news reports not asking Bruce the same questions all the fans are asking what's going on, sorry another rant. U T V
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:21 pm

This is an interesting piece on the Sky website that just about stops short of blaming Bruce:

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/12040/11496572/steve-bruce-under-pressure-jack-grealishs-dip-in-form-problems-facing-aston-villa

Some key quotes from 'Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe":

"I still think he's the best man to get them promoted but there are still clearly problems, some of which were there last season."

"Middlesbrough and Leeds have very differing styles but when you watch them play you can tell there's a clear gameplan. Villa's squad should beat anybody on paper but sometimes when you watch them play it can look like just a collection of players."

"So far only two teams have conceded more than Villa in the Championship this season, and no other side in the top 12 has conceded double figures so far."

"They need to get through to January and see where they are. Jedinak has a lot of experience but it's not his ideal position and he's struggling there. He's not a true centre-half and he wouldn't be my first choice to play there by any means."

"Per 90 minutes Grealish is down on, passes made, dribbles completed, shots taken, duels won, tackles won, interceptions made and recoveries made. One of they only key statistics he is up on this season is fouls won, which may prove that he's become more of a target for the opposition this campaign."

"From what I've seen his body language is still good," says Hinchcliffe. "But his issues may boil down to the Villa gameplan again. It's not just him that's the issue it's other players trying to get him into the game. They're not playing to his strengths to allow him the influence he can have."


What he's saying is Bruce is the best man for the job but we don't have a game plan and look like a bunch of individuals rather than a team, our defence is screwed and Sky's man wouldn't play Jedi in defence, we need to 'get through to January' (what, seriously, with the squad at Bruce's disposal? The players we don't play could make up a really decent Championship side with even a barely competent manager) and Grealish is being let down by the game plan and teammates. But yeah, apart from that (he also mentions Steer going and Nyland making mistakes, possibly because Bruce has fucked the defence on purpose) Bruce is the best man for the job, despite everything being a mess of the manager's making.

And yes, I do believe Bruce has fucked the defence on purpose. I don't know why, I can only think he wants out ASAP and wants a payoff because he's going to retire. He surely can't be both incompetent and blind to the extent that he can't see where he's gone wrong?
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am

This, however, is a good piece, it's interesting to read the opinion of someone who's taken a step back and taken a look at how supporting Villa of late hasn't been so good for his support of Villa:

https://7500toholte.sbnation.com/2018/9/14/17858208/xv-aston-villa-cant-defend-and-they-have-no-identity-which-are-both-bad-things

xV: Aston Villa can’t defend and they have no identity, which are both bad things

Aston Villa are outshooting their opponents by a decent margin this season, which is generally good, except when the defence is bad. Also, what is this team trying to be?

A quick personal note. It’s been a while since I wrote, and if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me chatting Aston Villa less often. There’s a handful of different reasons for this:

It’s college football season, so a high number of my Saturday mornings are now spent drinking cheap beer in parking lots. College football is the most entertaining thing in the world, and for three months, Notre Dame football is all I really care about. As a result, I‘m not always around watching Villa (and probably won’t be this week).
Villa isn’t fun any more. I‘m not sure I remember the exact thing that was the tipping point, but I’ve muted most Villa-related words on Twitter and it’s really been a wonderful thing for my mental frame of mind and quality of life. At some point, this club just became incredibly toxic on social media, with every little thing either being Steve Bruce’s fault or some thing that Steve Bruce is unfairly persecuted for. Against Reading, for instance, there wasn’t a place for a nuanced “sometimes things happen and you control games and don’t win them” take or even a “Bruce could’ve done some things better there, but the players also should’ve taken another chance and put the game to bed” one. It was either “this result is why Bruce should be sacked” or “you’re irrational for thinking Bruce should be sacked,” which is not at all healthy. Hell, even during the week, you’ll see fans bickering four days after a match, alternatively calling Steve Bruce a “dinosaur” or rolling out the “90 minutes from promotion” idea.
I suppose this is a general thing on the internet, because nuance was lost a long time ago through this medium. As a fan of nuance, I think it sucks. In fact, I’ll insert a quick nuanced take: Steve Bruce is a good manager, but a bad manager for the specific job at Aston Villa.


I’ve talked to a couple U.K.-based Villa fans, and I think this is a bit of a syndrome of only interacting with other Villa fans via social media, which is kind of toxic on the whole, and a little bit a syndrome of how football is when you’re in a promotion push, where every result is crucial. Most matches, I either walk out relieved that Villa won or upset they didn’t, which is not a healthy way to follow sports.

I’ve taken a bit of a step back with the level to which I care about or think about Aston Villa, which has been good for me. All of that said, I’m going to be writing on a weekly basis again at 7500 here, which I’m looking forward to. It might be a healthier place to chat about the club.

Anyway, to the analysis:

Villa’s defence is awful
I haven’t calculated the specific numbers here, but if you head over to Experimental 361 and check out the game xG logs, then add them up, you’ll notice that Villa roughly have the same number of xG over the course of the year as their opponents. That’s indicative of an average team, I guess, without getting into any adjustment for the opposition faced.

This is already not great, and it’s particularly not great when you recognize that Villa are outshooting their opponents by 3.5 shots per game, yet come out around level on the overall xG chart. That’s really bad! One of Villa’s strongest strengths last season was that they generally did a good job of limiting opponents to shots from outside, or at the edge of, the penalty area. The xG/shot disparity shows that generally isn’t happening this year (as does the fact that Villa have the joint-third-worst defence in the league).

Is this because they’re playing a defensive midfielder at centre back, a centre back at right back, and a right back at left back? It’s hard to say, Steve. Glad you let one of three senior centre backs leave on loan with no immediate replacement lined up, though. (Side note: Steve Bruce’s loyalty to letting first-reserve centre backs leave is absurd. Selling Nathan Baker to bring in an expensive one-year rental last season was absurd, and it’s directly led to the club’s crisis. We then exacerbate it by letting Tommy Elphick, the only recognized centre back not in most supporters’ starting XI, leave on loan.)

Good news: Aston Villa aren’t yet a finished product
Bad news: Under Steve Bruce, Aston Villa are never going to be a finished product.

This is the issue. We’re nearly two years into Bruce’s tenure, and there’s no actual cohesion to any of this. Why is Tammy Abraham at the club? He’s good. Why are Anwar El Ghazi and Yannick Bolasie here? The same, probably. Since Villa have dropped into the Championship, there’s been no thought put into the recruitment policy beyond “get good players and figure out the rest later.”

The problem is that Villa have never actually figured out the rest later — even when Villa have played well under Steve Bruce, it’s largely been because individual players carry them, not because there’s some tactical plan in place to build a team in a certain likeness.

Football isn’t like other sports, where there’s often a limited talent base to draw from. In basketball or Australian rules football or whatever, if you can get your hands on a really good player, you take him. You don’t have to do that in football. There’s thousands of players across the world who are good enough to play for Aston Villa, and the club only need to find, like, 11 of them each Saturday (and every other Tuesday). This is the benefit of a sport that’s played, often religiously, in the majority of the world’s 200-some countries. Going abroad to get El Ghazi was a step in the right direction, but it’s disheartening that Villa continue to build with “let good players do good things” be the actual game plan, because the squad could’ve been so much better (for less money) with a real plan.

I don’t know, maybe Bolasie and Abraham are the dudes that Bruce has been waiting on to actually adopt a style of football — literally any style of football. Somehow I doubt that.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Dions_Bald_Head on Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:35 am

It's good to circulate these articles because it hopefully means they make a bigger splash that my get noticed but the right people.

But I can't bring myself to read them anymore. It's like being unable to do anything about the water leaking into my boat and all I can do is marvel at the size of the hole.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by De Kuip on Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:52 pm

Just watched the presser on the OS. Usual bullshit about losing half the team from last year.
Not sure if it was the full presser and not sure who was asking the questions (Gregg Evans?) but Bruce might as well have written those questions himself.
Talk about avoiding the difficult questions ffs.
Looks like Tammy will start, Bolasie on the bench, Hogan 1-2 weeks away from fully fit.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by achilles on Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:29 pm

I have given up posting now as it is just repetitive, even a guy in America can see what every man and his dog can see that under Bruce we will just go around in circles, occasionally getting a great game interspersed with utter garbage!
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Boldfinger on Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:41 pm

I've just listen to his press conference. I am so bored he is full of 100 reasons to be crap.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by big ming on Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:26 pm

I think that Bruce has had enough but realises that he cannot just resign as there would be no compo. I accuse him of deliberately f--king us all over in order to get the bullet and toddle off into a well-heeled retirement, courtesy of a years wages from The Villa. He probably would not have come back this year, if we had not magically acquired a couple of new billionaire owners and the chancer saw an opportunity to further enrich himself and pad his retirement fund. I don't think Bruce gives a stuff about Aston Villa. Like many "managers" these days, they are only in it for the compo roundabout.
I hope the next guy is a manager/coach with a genuine love of the club, like Dean Smith.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by Army villain on Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:04 pm

The shit that comes out of Bruce is woeful, I agree with the comments that Bruce has had enough, and wants to be sacked. That's for the owners to decide after the antics he has got up to, he needs to go.
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by De Kuip on Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:22 pm

I swear to g.od when Bruce gets into his car he pulls away in 3rd, clutch screaming, puts it into 1st, then 4th, realises it isnt working, substitutes 4th for reverse, puts it into 2nd twice, back into 4th, stalls it, starts it up whist in gear, realises the handbrake was on all the time, ruins the clutch then drives home in 5th all the way.
Disappointed with the car "failing to put its tyres on", the next day he gets onto the manufacturer and orders 4 3rd gears, loans a spare 3rd, reverse and two 1st gears from a local garage, and puts the new and loaned gears in a big tesco bag for life.
He then removes the existing gear box with a fire axe and a 9 inch angle grinder, gives the bag for life a fucking big shake and pours the contents into the void left by the butchered removal of aforementioned gear box.
He then jumps back into the car, starts the engine and is genuinely perplexed by the resultant massive explosion.
He feels more than a little let down by the new gears, and his neighbour who works for Sky Sports is also mystified as he knows Steve is a great mechanic who has done this 4 times previously with great success...
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:16 pm

His four promotions all came when the championship was less skillful than it is now, things have even moved on considerably since he got Hull promoted, with more and more teams employing more progressive coaches and playing better football.

looking at that Hull team that he got promoted, they had Andrew Robertson, Dawson, Curtis Davies, Livermore, Huddlestone, Diamé , Snodgrass, Hernández, Maguire, and Clucas amongst others to choose from, and he could still only get them to fourth in the table, I remember watching the play-off final, and that was a game that could have gone either way, with the players he had he should have been getting top two.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:36 pm

The only media people who seem to be saying anything against him are Rupert Bell, 'The Domestic Violence Enthusiast' and Matt Law, what they all have in common is that they're all Villa fans. All the others just give him an easy ride, and never ask questions, all because they like dealing with him and he gives them soundbites, he's probabl an inside source for some of them as well. You can bet, if it was a manager who was less press friendly, then they'd be calling for him to get the sack, and piling the pressure on him.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:52 pm

@De Kuip wrote:I swear to g.od when Bruce gets into his car he pulls away in 3rd, clutch screaming, puts it into 1st, then 4th, realises it isnt working, substitutes 4th for reverse, puts it into 2nd twice, back into 4th, stalls it, starts it up whist in gear, realises the handbrake was on all the time, ruins the clutch then drives home in 5th all the way.
Disappointed with the car "failing to put its tyres on", the next day he gets onto the manufacturer and orders 4 3rd gears, loans a spare 3rd, reverse and two 1st gears from a local garage, and puts the new and loaned gears in a big tesco bag for life.
He then removes the existing gear box with a fire axe and a 9 inch angle grinder, gives the bag for life a fucking big shake and pours the contents into the void left by the butchered removal of aforementioned gear box.
He then jumps back into the car, starts the engine and is genuinely perplexed by the resultant massive explosion.
He feels more than a little let down by the new gears, and his neighbour who works for Sky Sports is also mystified as he knows Steve is a great mechanic who has done this 4 times previously with great success...

That made me laugh, pretty much sums it up perfectly!
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:12 pm

He's lucky that we have Rotherham and Wednesday both at Villa Park coming up, three or four points from those two, will buy him another five or six games, although if we lose on Tuesday, surely that has to be the final straw.

Like I said in the other thread, my only hope that we're going to get rid of him anytime soon, is that Edens and Sawiris have been waiting to complete a full takeover, before bringing in their own people, I know Purslow has come in, but that was to fill a vacancy that was empty, and he hasn't even said anything yet.

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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by FoxyAV on Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:17 pm

Wait, what? Bruce is blaming having to rebuild the squad? "We’ve brought in four or five players and it’s like starting all over again."

What the actual fuck? Steer would have done us proud in goal, but we've brought in someone else. Terry's gone and some fucktard got rid of Baker so we have Tuanzebe in because we didn't sort out anyone else and guess what? For his first match in the Championship at CB he looked extremely promising. And we replaced Snodgrass with El Ghazi, who apparently looked good at previous clubs on the right wing but Bruce wants to play Elmo there instead. Why are we starting again? Bruce is choosing to play McGinn instead of Hourihane. He's dicked around in pre-season and until today with his defence and midfield when he's had eight players he could stick in the same places as he played last season when we made it to the playoff final he keeps on banging on about. FUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK!

(This is why I don't listen to or read his press conferences. Sorry, I slipped up today)
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Re: The Steve Bruce thread

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:11 pm

He's not had to rebuild the squad, we lost a few loans, and a player who was only signed on a one year contract to begin with, so he knew all along that they were going to leave, of the players that actually belonged to us we didn't lose a single one.

Every team has comings and going each summer, yet Bruce has to turn it into an excuse, if we'd have kept the same squad from last season and not signed any players, we'd probably be in a similar position, because this bad form started towards the end of last season, and he'd be using the excuse that he wasn't allowed to freshen things up.

Huddersfield and Wolves changed most of their team and both managed to get promoted, Brentford lost about six of their better before the start of last season and overachieved yet again, and there must be countless other examples.

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