‘Thin’ is not a word you would usually associate with Steve Bruce but he is clutching at very thin straws after leading his Aston Villa side to yet another defeat on Tuesday night.
Villa started the season with a late equaliser and point against Hull, which has then been followed by a 3-0 hammering at Cardiff when the visitors had only one shot on target, then last night saw Reading completely dominate with 67% of possession and an 87th minute consolation made the final 2-1 scoreline look more respectable than it should have been for Steve Bruce and his players.
After giving him a fortune to spend in January, Tony Xia once again backed Bruce this summer when allowing him to pay Premier League wages to the like of John Terry, Glenn Whelan and Elmohamady, who all featured in the top tier last season.
Amusingly, the lumbering John Terry has actually made Villa’s defence worse this season, playing all three matches the former Chelsea player has helped his side leak six goals and fail to keep a clean sheet so far.
Never one short of excuses, Steve Bruce has blamed the Villa fans for getting carried away with the ‘euphoria’ of signing John Terry, claiming their expectations were then raised too high. This at a club which massively overspent Newcastle United last season and had a flirtation with possible relegation rather than promotion.
Grasping at the thinnest straw, after going to second bottom of the table last night, Bruce points to Newcastle United and their ‘tough start’ last season.
After narrow one goal defeats to Fulham and Huddersfield (who both ended up in the top six), Newcastle then beat Reading 4-1 (rather than losing 2-1…) in their third match and that set in motion a run of 15 games with 13 wins and only one defeat.
Fair play to Brucie if he can inspire a similar run for Aston Villa but no doubt Nigel Clough, manager of Burton who are the only club below Villa, is no doubt also telling his players ‘look at Newcastle’.
Steve Bruce and John Terry struggling together – a perfect script.
“We obviously signed JT (John Terry), people got carried away with the euphoria of it all.
“We are where we are and I’m convinced I’m the right one to turn it around.
“There’s still obviously a load of work to be done but judge us when all the players are fit and ready and at the minute we are having a tough time.
“We have had a tough start, Newcastle United had a tough start last year, we have to batten down the hatches, still believe in what we are doing and get that win which will obviously give everyone a lift.
“The club has been in constant change round in every transfer window for the past five or six, there is no denying that.
“At the minute we are all disappointed with it but that is where we are, so we have to accept it, take the flak that comes your way in getting beat these days, and that’s what any manager of a club like ours has to put up with.
“I am not shy in my belief we will turn it round and we will make a fist of it.”