Advertising

Comment: Aston Villa wasn't built in a day, and Steve Bruce can't rush the rebuild - WATCH

Sport | Published:

Rome wasn't built in a day - and football teams often run on a similar schedule.

As Aston Villa had their mid-season blip, fans were quick to back Steve Bruce. When that blip became a slump, the majority of those backers stood firm. But now that slump has become a crisis - an ever-growing portion of fans have turned quicker than a dodgy piece of chicken.

Boos have become a memorable chorus of late at Villa Park - and they're not without good reason. Villa have returned just a single point from the last 21 available to them. They've lost to a laundry list of teams that that younger Villa fans won't recall being anywhere to see on a top flight table. On top of that, a meagre return of just five goals in the entirety of 2017 so far hasn't been helpful.

These are all reasonable things for those in B6 to boo. But to call for Steve Bruce's sacking isn't just naive, it's downright idiotic, writes Luke Hatfield.

This campaign has not been one to remember fondly, but then again there's not been a season worth recalling since Martin O'Neill left the club to escape Randy Lerner's ever-tightening purse-strings - which eventually proved to be the noose which would end Villa's days in the Premier League.

But now, give Villa fans (myself one of them) a new owner with metaphorical bags of cash and suddenly they expect to be standing atop the Championship table with the bodies of defeated opponents cast down beneath us. This is the kind of thought process which has got Villa to the position their in.

The fact of the matter is that Villa haven't beaten the likes of Barnsley, Brentford or Preston just by walking out onto the pitch, which is what many fans seem to think ahead of games. In fact, Villa haven't steeled themselves for a Championship season to anywhere near the level their opponents have.

Fans seem to think the club on a pedestal compared to them, and the truth is that they're below each of them in the position that counts - the Championship table. The appointment of Roberto Di Matteo echoed that sentiment from Dr. Tony Xia, bringing in a man with a Champions League medal into a league where you can't even qualify for the competition.

Advertising

It's like bringing a Ferrari to a rally championship. You might look cool, but you're certain to find yourself spiralling off-course, something Villa's season has proven on more than one occasion.

The good doctor knew better, and by bringing in Steve Bruce he was lauded with praise from those in the know. He's the Subaru Impreza to Di Matteo's supercar, not as flashy but damn sure suited to the type of race he's in.

There's no questioning Bruce's qualities in this league, he's guided numerous teams to promotion and clearly knows just what's needed to get one of England's biggest and most historic teams back into the league which suits them - but that's not something which can be done quickly.

His beginnings were promising, probably too much so - giving those in claret and blue thoughts of a playoff success. That whiff of promise put Bruce in a position of expectation, and now that the honeymoon period has ended fans suddenly want someone new.

Advertising

The shocking slump has got fans looking behind them. The sour taste of last season still lives long in the memory, but the likelihood of relegation is low. With Bruce at the helm and the squad he's got, it would be a true shock to see Villa battling for their Championship lives come April. If Villa simply limp through to the end of the season, it should probably be enough to secure their position for the next campaign.

That's when Bruce deserves to be properly judged, give him time to acclimate to his surroundings at Villa Park, give him time to sort his team out and get it working effectively in the Championship. If the club are still in the same shape in a year's time, then maybe a change of management would be fair, but expecting Bruce to change Villa's fortunes in just four months is crazy-talk.

There are very few managers who can change a relegation team into one fighting for promotion in a heartbeat, and to think it would be any different just because it's at a club like Villa is wrong.

Sure, Rome wasn't built in a day, but give it a year and it might have been starting to take shape.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News