Aston Villa have appointed former Hull City and Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce as their new manager. Bruce takes over from Roberto Di Matteo who only remained in the job 5 months. Bruce becomes Villa’s 5th manager in under 2 years.

Right man for the Job?

It is my opinion that Steve Bruce is the perfect man for the job. Whilst his Premiership win record is not fantastic, he did lead Birmingham City to their highest Premier League finish. Bruce is known by many for the wonders he has worked in the Championship. With 4 Championship promotions and a win rate of 53%, Bruce could be just what the Doctor ordered.

It terms of who else was in the running, I suspect Clarke was heavily considered but no doubt Bruce has more pedigree and hopefully that will show over the next few months.

Blues connections

Being both a player and manager for Birmingham City is the only thing that can go against Bruce. Bruce spent a combined 8 years down at the Blues and whilst that plays no relevance in what I think of him, there will be those out there ready, waiting and probably hoping to see Bruce will fail. Villa are not known for winning games, in fact I believe we have won just 4 out of the last 51. This has to change fast and probably even quicker for Bruce due to his Birmingham City connections. There is no doubt that the pressure is going to be on Bruce’s shoulders from the very first game.

The good thing is that this is a totally different appointment to that of Alex McLeish, who literally left Birmingham for Villa. Bruce’s time was spent 9 years ago and should play no relevance in his efforts at Villa. I just hope the fans get behind him 100%.

Making an impression

The Championship kicks back off this Saturday with Villa up against local rivals Wolves. This is followed by an away fixture to Reading, home to Fulham and before the month end, an away fixture to rivals Birmingham City. How vital could these games be so early on in the reign of Bruce. If we can pick up out first away win in over a year and do the double against both our local rivals, there is going to be no further questions over the appointment. Lose these games and I fear that many will be on his back. It’s a tough one to call but if you want to make a statement, this is the way to do it.

UTV