You’ll never see a poor bookie; the wise words of my grandmother and if the current crop of betting miscreants are to be believed, at 1/6 Steve Bruce is the next Villa manager. He’s got a bit of baggage…
There’s no doubt that his experience of management is well-suited to this level. His success with Birmingham and more recently Hull City, tells you that he knows what it takes to get promoted. He’s experienced in relegation as well but that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. My old Nan was a veritable font of wise words.
Clearly the man has the attributes that we need but can he succeed at Villa Park? He favoured a back five at Hull, a tactic which we are familiar with. Bruce’s problem isn’t the ability of the personnel but getting them to believe in themselves. As a respected defender, he’s got the knowledge to solve the problem but walking into problems before has been the fastest way to get him walking out of the door in the past.
Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan; it’s like a tour of the working men’s clubs of the north of England. And it’s a managerial trail of destruction but he was young and foolish. And frankly, if Donald Trump can turn around and claim that 11 years ago, he wasn’t a mature 59 year-old man then it would be a pretty poor show by Bruce if he couldn’t make a more convincing argument about being a managerial rookie at the time.
To paraphrase The Tams, he was just being young, foolish and happy.
If it all goes pear-shaped – and let’s face it, the new regime hasn’t covered itself in glory with managerial appointments so far – who else is in the running. Paul Lambert is already being ridiculed for rejecting a role for which he isn’t being considered whilst Sam Allardyce’s redemption may come sometime in the future but even his staunchest media allies have kept their heads below the parapet on this one.
Harry Redknapp may fancy twitching his way off BT’s risible Soccer Saturday pastiche but the FA are looking to feel his collar after the Daily Telegraph expose of his dubious antics. Still, he fought off HMRC so the buffoons who run English football are no problem.
Which leaves quite a short list. Football is a bizarre business; it rewards failure. Few managers don’t experience the downside of their job during their careers and get a slim brown envelope from the chairman containing their P45. Skybet’s list of potential newcomers to B6 is desperate reading:
I despair. Look at that list; are there any who inspire? The thought of McLaren, McCarthy or Pearson is enough to put you in a straightjacket, banging your head against a padded wall. I’m surprised Tony Blair isn’t on the list to be honest as he seems to want every other job.
And if Allardyce or Bruce come with baggage, Ryan Giggs has even more. Can you imagine making Robbie Savage happy by appointing his mate from the Taffia? Bravo to Football 365 by the way.
As it happens, the longer I’ve typed this evening, the more convinced I’ve become that Bruce might the answer. The concern is whether we’ve asked the right question?