Ross McCormack’s time at Villa Park is going to be remembered in anything but fond terms. Briefly the Championship’s most expensive player, it’s not quite been disastrous, but there’s still time for that to happen.
His return to Fulham is off after players told the manager they didn’t want McCormack back, which says a lot if you’re inclined to read between the lines.
QPR, according to the Daily Mail, are in contact with the club about him but will struggle to meet his wages. That’s the QPR funded by an airline magnet, not poverty-stricken QPR left in the doldrums while everyone gets a sugar daddy.
How much reliance can be placed on the Mail report is debatable. The sub-headline calls him a “prolific” Scot; he might have been previously but he isn’t now, and you get the feeling that Steve Bruce wouldn’t have bought him in the first place. That’s before he found out that McCormack can’t work out how to open a gate.
Bruce said at the weekend that,”Not in 20 years in management have I ever gone down this route but I feel I have to take a stance because I will not put up with it.”
Getting tough with a well-paid and underperforming squad is something the club needs. We can’t carry on with the same topsy-turvy form otherwise, our stay in this division is going to be a lot longer than this season and next.
At some point, Bruce will have to sell before he can buy again. There isn’t a bottomless pit of cash; economics will dictate his transfer strategy if they aren’t already.
The biggest issue is getting to grips with the existing squad. Bruce chastised the lot of them after the Preston draw,
There has been too much indiscipline at Villa.
That manifests on the pitch with our habit of conceding late goals and a general sense that there is a lack of concentration. Seeing a 30-year-old professional get away with murder is not going to have a good impact on the younger players, especially one as impressionable as Jack Grealish.
A new manager always has the feeling of a new broom coming in, and Roberto Di Matteo got rid of the chaff from last year, or a lot of it, anyway. Sadly, it’s turned out that he merely replaced chaff with different chaff. But Bruce has also got to continue the overall improvement in results. We’ve seen a tapering off in recent weeks. We haven’t won since beating Burton on Boxing Day and have slid down the table as a consequence.
But Bruce has also got to continue the overall improvement in results. We’ve seen a tapering off in recent weeks. We haven’t won since beating Burton on Boxing Day and have slid down the table as a consequence. He has been in charge for nearly three months, and the players are taking some time to adapt to him and his ways.
Mind you, if they are as louche as his “indiscipline” quote suggests, it’s not surprising it’s taking a while.
It’s also a lesson for Tony Xia. Spending money in the transfer window is easy; making a team out of it is an altogether different story.