Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Bruce’s Playing Record This Season

Just thought I’d trawl through the BBC stats to see how Bruce’s record looked.

These are some conclusions covering the 10 league matches before the PNE game:
  1. Villa had 55.4% possession on average and the only 2 games when Villa had less than 50% were in the two opening games (49% and 48%)- which we won! 
  2. Villa had an average of 14.2 shots per game, with an average of 5 on target. 
  3. In the heavy defeat against the Blades, we actually had 61% possession and sent in the same number of shots as United (9) – but they put 6 on target to our 2. 
  4. In the 2 successive home draws against Brentford and Reading we had 57% and 59% possession and 17 and 21 shots, compared to their 13 and 10. In both cases we had 8 shots on target compared to their 7. 
  5. In each of the 3 away draws against Ipswich, Blackburn and Bristol each time we had substantially more possession and more shots, including shots on goal. 
  6. In the home defeat against Wednesday we had 54% possession and 18 shots compared to their 13, but 4 shots on target to their 5. 
Bruce’s failure in results seems to hang mainly on those 5 draws (items 4 and 5) when it clearly shows we should have won them all.

Why didn’t we win ’em? I put it down to (a) inaccurate shooting and (b) defensive errors.

Therefore the *main* reason for lack of success: the players, as KMac suggests.

We would have had 10 more points if we had won those games which, based on stats, we should have won. We’d have been top of the division with those points.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Bruce's First Name Is Certainly Not Robert

Another manager bites the dust. Having said that, Bruce has had an extended run compared to those four or five before him. But was this the correct answer to the situation?

From the owners' point of view it was probably the kindest thing they could have done to Bruce as the relationship between he and the fans was going sour. But how unfortunate was he? 2-0 up at half-time last night, Villa perhaps should have finished 4 or 5 goals to the good, but the fans took the view that Villa came out second-half to just hold what they had, and then a mini-disaster hit Villa as their skipper got sent off for being the last man in a clear penalty decision. A foolish act on the skipper's part as the keeper may well have saved the forward's attempt. But the penalty was easily converted and that left Villa with ten men and with two relatively inexperienced centre-backs to face the music.

If Villa had lost - as appeared to be case as Villa entered injury time - then opposition to Bruce from the fans would have been a logical outcome. But they didn't lose as an equaliser came after Villa belatedly pulled themselves together and fought back. And then Villa might have won it at the death with a penalty kick, but it was saved. Preston would rightly have felt robbed if Villa had won.

Bruce - to my mind - is desperately unlucky. Yes, some of his decisions in terms of player selection have seemed strange, but, hey, he was the manager and was just trying to find the right permutation. Sometimes it worked - last season at least.

Not the perfect manager at Villa, but given the state of things as they were in 2016, he was not a bad answer to the Villa's needs. He wasn't that far away from succeeding in my opinion and he certainly turned around a bad attitude in the dressing room when he arrived.

Now, the question is clearly who will be appointed now? The next question is: will he last as long as Bruce?