‘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.

Steve Bruce:

“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.”

  • anyobrien

    It’s great to see to big gobs suffering jt and sb…. . Oh and we all remember “sob on the Tyne”…… But on a serious note it shows yet again what a great achievement it was for us to get out that league at the 1st attempt.

    • Leazes Ender

      Stop slagging people off.

      • anyobrien

        And sleep.

  • Wor Lass

    The MAG`s obsession with Aston Villa and it`s determination to slag off Steve Bruce is pathetic, really. At least you didn`t use the old “plastic geordie” tag, whatever that is.

    • Leazes Ender

      I agree these articles are just an excuse to slag people off…

  • Wor Lass

    The MAG`s obsession with Aston Villa and it`s determination to slag off Steve Bruce is pathetic, really. At least you didn`t use the old “plastic geordie” tag, whatever that is.

    • Leazes Ender

      I agree these articles are just an excuse to slag people off.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    Pathetic article, why do you care?

  • Steve Pearce

    So who cares what the fat plastic geordie Chris Brunt has to say?

    Might I remind you that this is the MAG and not dedicated to shyte ex-Makem managers and their pathetic careers. By the way for the less perceptive readers – Chris Brunt is not an insult directed to that player but it rhymes with,,,,

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      So why do you consider Steve Bruce to be a …….? He’s always nice about us, he’s supposed to be one of the good guys in football, Villa helped us be champions.

      Personally, i’d rather Villa, Sheff W and Leeds come up than most of the others in that league.

      • Steve Pearce

        The simple reason he managed Sunderland! I admit he seems one of the nice guys, but for a Geordie to manage Sunderland is unforgivable – even if your name is Bob Stokoe..

        • Jezza

          Footballers and managers are professionals and have to go where the work is. It’s ridiculous to hold anything against Steve Bruce for managing Sunderland. Let’s look at it from the other side. We didn’t have any complaints when the likes of Alan Kennedy, Chris Waddle, Barry Venison and Steve Howey were playing for us did we.

  • Andy Mac

    It’s easy to say this now but surely I wasn’t the only one who thought Terry should have retired last season ?

    I thought it was significant Conte only gave him 26 minutes against already relegated makems before hooking him. Could have been embarrassing if he’d played the 90 minutes.

    • Jezza

      Terry should have retired years ago. He’s been past his hugely over rated best for a long time and he was a liability for Chelsea for years before his move to Aston.

      • mentalman

        should have gone abroad or taken up a coaching role

      • Albert Stubbins

        sorry Jezza but that is absolute nonsense. Terry has been brilliant for years – I can think of two poor perfromances in about 5 years. He has always lacked pace but has been key in helping Chelsea win the league- is it three times in the last 6 years? I think your being very harsh on one of the very top central defenders Ive had the privilege to watch over the years- a great captain who we could have done with on a few occasions. Top drawer.

        • Jezza

          Well. let’s agree to differ. Being a football supporter is all opinons and it’s not the done thing to denounce somebody’s opinion as nonsense because it differs from yours. As far as I’m concerned he has always been a very over rated defender and a thoroughly unpleasant person. I shudder at the thought of him ever coming to St James’s Park. I don’t see him as a great captain at all, just an ego maniac and a bully. He will destroy team spirit at Villa Park. Signing him will prove to be a disaster. Just watch it all unravel down there, it’s happening already.

          • Albert Stubbins

            you’re right mate-he is an unpleasant- but its nonesense because it doesnt make sense- Terry is better than anything(c-halves) with the possible exception of Jonny Woodgate, seen at St James in 35 years. Have you seen his honours list? No top professional would say he was over rated- non. The bloke is one of the top 5 central defenders to play the game in the premiership no question. An ar** as a man but a top player from what Ive seen over the years.

    • Albert Stubbins

      lol Conte gave him 26 minutes because that is his squad number- nowt to do with how much faith conte had in him. To expect one man to make them promotion contenders is just silly. Terry only played a bit part last season but when he did play he was effective. If we had signed him we’d all be putting a positive spin on it- especially those at the Mag!!

      • Andy Mac

        “lol Conte gave him 26 minutes because that is his squad number”

        Lol Stubbs do you think we didnt know that ? It was 1-1 when Terry left the field and Chelski were lucky to be drawing. The bloke’s legs went almost at the same time Fatman’s interest in NUFC departed.

        • Albert Stubbins

          ok- agreed- he’s still been far better than Ive seen at st james’ in over 35 years with possible exception of Jonny Woodgate so to be critical of arguably among the top 5 centre halves in the premiership era seems odd.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    we are in no position to take the p1$$ out of anybody

    • Leicester Mag

      Eye lobbing bricks when you sat in a greenhouse with half the glass missing ain’t clever

  • Grahame Johnson

    I’m glad where in the premier league as the championship is as mad as ever, also to the makems complaining about playing Norwich away then Sheffield Wednesday we played Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading in one week, also villa are proof of even if you know what its like its still hard,

  • Murphy


  • TwinFire

    I have sympathy for Villa Fans now – they were unreasonably harsh towards us yes, but then they repaid that debt by scoring against Brighton – and made us all feel amazing. Always bet on Bruce!

  • Leazes Ender

    For God’s sake they gave us the bloody title….. they’ve redeemed themselves!

    Let it go!

    • GToon

      Yeah, that’s true. We cud do worse than take Grealish off their hands too.

    • Mark Davies

      I cant believe im saying this but….fully agree with you settee

  • MadMag83

    To be honest when I saw the result last night I thought the same.

    The problem for Villa now is that they’re probably the biggest club in the Championship now, everybody will be up for it when they face them, especially with Terry in the team. Just highlights what a good job Rafa and the boys did in getting back up at the first attempt.

    • Jezza

      Signing Terry was always going to be a huge mistake for any club.

  • East Durham Mag

    Why is the Mag obsessed with Aston Villa? If it was our friends down the road I could understand it but Villa? Time to move on and as Leazes says let it go.

    • Jezza

      Agreed. We shouldn’t be obsessed with any rival club, not Aston, not Sunderland or anybody else.

      • East Durham Mag

        If it’s not Villa or Sunderland it’s ex players …. Sissoko. Now in the Joselu article above it’s Stephen Ireland. It’s getting sad.

      • HappyToons

        We shouldn’t even be obsessed with ‘NUFC’ these days as you end up on websites like this looking at what Villa fans,- who have journeyed all the way here to say something about toon fans who for some reason have had their say about lowly Villa ‘cos they had some dirty linen on display a few years ago. Then I read we are after a 35 year old keeper and a teenager from Hartlepool.

        What did we do before the internet? Ah, yes we were forced to buy the Chron’ and read about the likes of Terry Hibbitt, Tony Green, Malcom MacDonald, Jinky Smith in a squad that actually got me excited enough to want to be on the Leazes End 2 hours before kick off.

        Is it me or are others getting bored of modern football. I would take the four above. Stewie Barrowclough and John Tudor. Bob Moncur. Pat Howard. Clarke and Craig (or Nattrass and Kennedy).

        Probably wouldn’t stick McFaul in goal. Would get the above up to modern day fitness levels and they’d walk into the present team all ten of them. Shearer was the last reason to get out of bed and watch the toon. No wonder there is no atmosphere. Just stick Jinky Smith on and watch him nut meg John Terry twice and we’d all be on our feet. Supermac leaving JT for dust as a left footer screams into the top corner.

        I am bored of the toon. Most matches are just boring. The whole pre-season has been one big bore. It has been boring for a few years. Anyone else agree, or is it just my old age at 56.

        The games have the atmosphere of central league games from the 70’s. At least Bobby Shinton gave me a reason to shout. When did you last see someone nut meg a player and dribble past three defenders. Who would stand for 2 hrs to get an autograph of any of our present squad? Let’s be honest ‘Rafa’ is the only thing interesting about NUFC at present!

        • Jezza

          Excellent comment. I agree with every word. The whole match day experience was a million times better when you handed over a Pound note at the turnstiles and stood in the rain, leaning on a concrete barrier and peering through a steel mesh fence to watch 11 honest triers on 150 quid a week. I often think back to those times now. Even when Newcastle were at their worst, languishing in lower mid table in the second division, there was something magical about going to the football something you just don’t get any more. We just never realised at he time how lucky we were in those days. I do feel sorry for the younger generation of Newcastle fans who have only ever known an all seated, all covered St James’s Park. They have got no idea what they missed back in the 70’s and 80’s.

  • Guest 2

    Go easy on them. Best count our blessings when we recall how Llambias stated “In five years we would hope to be challenging for everything,” he said. “We hope to be like Aston Villa. But you need solid foundations. At the moment we’re knocking down walls and rebuilding.”
    Such are the giddy heights Ashley’s gang alluded to.s

  • Rich Lawson

    The job application is a bit early Steve !

  • Rich Lawson

    Terry as player/manager by Xmas with someone from Chelsea as no2 ?

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Is Johnathan Kodjia injured then? Decent player up front who has scored gobs of goals in the 2nd tear.

  • rhys

    Villa fan here. If you had actually bothered to do any research, you’d have seen we dominated the Hull game and took an early lead, match finished 1-1. So where on earth did you get Villa scoring a late equaliser from?!

    Yes, what is currently happening at Villa is pathetic, but it’s not even close to being as pathetic as this site/author’s obsession with us and having to completely fabricate facts to get your point across.

    • Albert Stubbins

      You’re clearly not bovvered then?

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I cannot see what is wrong with him using Newcastle as an example for moving forward because we did have a dodgy start to The Championship campaign.
    What you have to ask yourself is whether this article is being written objectively or raw emotion for past events getting in the way ?