Following Tuesday’s return to winning ways, Villa will look to make it two in a row as they host a Sheffield Wednesday side missing several players, including Fernando Forestieri.

From the team sheet, it looks as though Bruce will go again with the Rotherham set-up, but Anwar El Ghazi will make room for Albert Adomah.

Elmohamady, Chester, Jedinak, Hutton
Adomah, Hourihane, McGinn, Grealish
Kodjia, Abraham

Bruce has reiterated his belief that Mile Jedinak’s future lies at CB. In terms of horses for courses, he pointed to the Owls’ two big men as the reason Jedinak stays in the backline today. Wouldn’t argue with that kind of thinking, though it’s interesting that James Collins will be back around Bodymoor again.

Anyway, it’s good to see Villa going with the new formation again. How well will it work? No idea, but as you know by now, I think it’s a way forward that Bruce has to explore.

So…most will expect a win against a weakened Wednesday side, and I wouldn’t argue with kind of thinking either. I’d really like to see Bruce rewarded for the change in set-up, and a second straight win after four draws and a loss would do that.

Let’s see how it goes.

Over to you.

Comments 93

  1. Thanks JC- I’ve just realised you look like Mel Gibson on the p*ss 🙂

    Adomah for ElGhazi so all those much needed wingers on the bench and no Forwards. Hogan has had ten sessions and Davis two now, quite looking forward to see Hogan with Abraham and And mcginn.

  2. Bit surprised to see Adomah back, though the way referred to El Ghazi in his presser (in the context of players adapting to the Championship), I probably shouldn’t be.

    Good that Davis is training…That’s been quite a spell out for him. And can’t hurt having Hogan healthy.

  3. If Bruce thinks Jedinak is a good CB then that shows just what an utter kok he is. Jedinak is awful in any position. Turns slower than milk, can’t pass, hoofs the ball anywhere…
    Bruce has never managed a good team and never will as long as he has a hole in his ar$e

  4. I have no video stream here but I am confused by negatives from Paul and positives (?) from Haggis. I must say I have always said Jedi is NOT a CB and if SB a former CB can justify his inclusion there he is in cloud cuckoo land. Not blaming Jedi he never claimed to be a CB.
    What happened to Tuanzebe?
    Is this Bruce’s swansong?

  5. Mark Glad I’m not watching… I might not even bother to watch highlights on Quest tomorrow morning. I’ve been up since 0130 and it’s now 2243 – why did I bother?

  6. Since we went down a goal. We’ve finally kicked up a gear and it’s been great to watch. Shame the side on now didn’t start except for Jedi at CB. We’ve been unlucky not to equalise so far.

  7. But that’s the problem under Bruce, Haggis. Why can’t Bruce send a team out at 3pm to play with energy and purpose. They’re always huffing and puffing to play catch-up. No shot on target in first half.

  8. What a way to celebrate 100 games in charge. What baloney will spud come out with square pegs in round holes again Hutton Jedi.hutton getting plenty of stick .Elmo a donkey sorry

  9. Hey fellers, imagine the misery at Leeds! Leeds (to Small Heath!).

    Brentford and Boro dropped points too.

    Nah all we need is good strong player in front of defence. Maybe the Jedi.

    And from midfield I’d leave out Jack. Too much powder-puff from that quarter I’m afraid.

  10. My suggestion (subs in brackets)
    Nyland (Bunn)
    Hutton (El Mohammady) Tuanzebe Chester Adomah (Taylor)
    Hourihane Bjanessson (Jedi)

    McKinn Grealish
    Abrahams Drogba (Bolassie)

    But what do I know. Cannot sleep now watching Brighton v Spuds

  11. Only thing we need is a decent manager one that plays players in proper position not his mates .Hutton started few weeks ago playing right back behind Elmo today he played left back in front of albert

  12. Just got internet for the day!

    Yea gods!!!!!!!!
    Glad I didn’t watch it either, just feel sorry for those at the match [again].
    About time the worm turned…..

    Who was responsible for the 2 goals?

  13. JC- Teams pressing us has been a problem for a long time we don’t move the ball quick enough to cope.

    if we put a player in front of the defence we lose two up top which Bruce declared he likes after playing one practically through his time here. Didn’t see the game so don’t know how individuals played. Jack is nigh on undroppable due to being the golden goose come Jan maybe and so are McGinn and Hourihane. We have a situation where we have three playmakers in our midfield.

    Teams like Blackburn have a structure which allows Bradley Dack to float and cause havoc, sounded like Bilbo bannon was the same today, from that respect we have good players but to many of the same type, you can add Lansbury to that list, all have assists in them but not one is dominant, its like the Lampard, Gerrard England argument, they should be able to play together but can’t as they want to be in the same place and dictating things so cancel eacjh other with hesitancy.

  14. IanG

    I think Chester got pipped to the cross on the first one, Jedi wasn’t really aggressive enough on the second (though get in front of the original shot), held back when the ball fell instead of closing up quickly.

  15. Overall, though, I wouldn’t really lay this one at Bruce’s feet (apart from the defense being what it is). Kodjia was pretty poor all day, couldn’t get the ball to stick, lot of misplaced passes, telegraphing others.

    Hourihane unlucky to have the one cleared that would’ve gone in, missed another he’d like to have back.

    But mainly Wednesday just kept after us, and we didn’t show enough composure (movement, quickness, as you were saying, MK).

  16. JC- yes mate because the poor buggers are watching the Grass grow waiting for the ball. For one match I’d play two wingers and Thor and McGinn or Hourihane in the middle see if it quickens up.

  17. No, not happy, and he was right about his criticisms of the play…Don’t like the “work on defending” bit, though. Would rather see them work on playing faster, patterns, breaking faster, and getting more compact when needed to help each other out.

  18. Mark. I was thinking the same. Would love to see Hogan and Abraham up top with more of the football played on the ground. Personally would drop Grealish and keep McGinn and Hourihane with either Jedi or Thor as a DM. Nokia’s and El in the wings.

  19. I’m thinking it was a good job Wednesday had those players out. I mean we can make excuses all we like but we are at full strength really, can’t blame it on to many games its the same for all.

  20. Bruce’s quote on the club website:

    “We just didn’t play well enough – individually or collectively.

    We gave the ball away far too regularly and didn’t move it quick enough at all.

    We were slow and static in our movement against a team who put five at the back and four in midfield.

    We found it very difficult.”

    Every game, every week could be summed up by this yet this abject failure has been in charge of the club for 2 years….when is an owner of this club going to take action and get a team who can put the club on an upward trajectory. I don’t expect an overnight transformation but this is going nowhere. The “Bruce gets teams promoted” strategy has failed. Imagine what other younger managers could have doe with the cash that Bruce has spunked away.

  21. PW- this does seem very apt

    “A familiar script. There will be days like Tuesday against Rotherham where that is enough and days like today where it’s clearly not. This is who we have been and this is who we are.”

  22. PW: “Every game, every week could be summed up by this yet this abject failure has been in charge of the club for 2 years….”

    When I read statements like this – and there are always some, though to be expected – I feel that someone’s writing on this blog who’s got an interest in the pharmaceuticals industry and who particularly wants to sell anti-depressant tablets! 😀

    When we had that lovely run during the latter half of last season, culminating in that lovely 4-1 over Wolves (when those same would-be ant-depressant sellers were predicting that Wolves would maul us), these same bloggers went completely quiet. Only when not-such-glorious days returned did the voices of darkness return.

    Villa fans are all-weather fans, not selective! The kind of fans that will sit freezing in the stand amongst 17 or 18,000 others during a boring 0-0 draw and also be cheering Vila when they beat ‘Pool 5-1.

    Bruce himself is not happy with the kind of performance yesterday (apart from that patch after we scored and when Conor’s goalbound-shot was deflected away from goal because of a defender’s heel), but what we tend to forget also is that how Villa play is dependent on how the opposition play, and boy did they do their homework on how to stop Grealish, Codger and Abraham.

    Some clubs come to Villa Park especially all-fired up because VP is their cup final occasion for the season. And little Bannan always does well when he comes back to VP.

    No, things are not yet going right. But with the players Villa have to me it’s a question of time before it all clicks. Just a few more weeks.

    Meanwhile, some of the leaders didn’t do too well either yesterday, so we’re still very much in contention.

    “Smile and the world will smile with you!”

  23. Another day, another deflating performance. My thoughts beforehand were that if we played like we did against Rotherham then we may get beaten. We did and we did. Except for about a 10 minute period after SW’s first goal, the same lack of shape or system, lack of pace and some players operating “out of position” was clear for all to see. For all the lack of entertainment displayed, McGinn’s missile got bums off seats. I’ll never forget that one. Goal of the season in any league.

    I believe the big gate had more to do with support for our new owners than anything connected to SB. Fans became aware of the club’s dire situation in the weeks after Wembley and are extremely grateful to the new owners and indeed Dr X for doing the necessary.

    So I’ll give them time to make the right appointments. We are looking for a Director of Football next it seems. How about Arsene Wenger? Then the replacement of SB will follow but it may take some time to land the right man so SB could be with us for a time yet.

    This squad of ours should be bombing on. It’s certainly good enough. Once we get the right conductor things should get very tasty.

  24. Haggis: “Personally would drop Grealish and keep McGinn and Hourihane with either Jedi or Thor as a DM.”

    Exactly my thoughts. Jack is not doing a lot for Villa though I don’t say he’s not trying. Too much powder-puff stuff from him really.

  25. Love the way some people will slag grealish off yet defend clueless Bruce to the hilt.with the way team is set up lined out it’s a bloody miracle anyone can find form

  26. Jl – wolves looked like a turning point but proved not to be. Good teams don’t usually have the odd good spell and the rest poor, we are performing way under the clubs investment and capability, even the manager with his reputation in this league is.

  27. Hi all, thanks again JC for your great leader. Well my glass half empty, left sided brain, non philosophical, uneducated, unconsidered, & probably miss spelt view is that SB has had plenty of time & still can’t put together a cohesive team to challenge for the top 6 let alone top 2. Time for him to hit the road.

  28. MK<

    You're only repeating what's been said before.

    We all know that the team should have moved on and upwards but somehow it didn't.

    But – as usual, sadly – you miss the point of what I was previously referring to.

  29. Sheff Wed deserved to win which say how poooooor The Donkey in charge is. HOW CAN HE SURVIVE THIS SHOCKING DEFEAT? Villa have a much better team! Some ratings out of 10
    Nyland 2, Jed is much much better
    Jedi 0
    Hutton 9
    Hourihane 8
    Kodjia -5
    Jack 4
    Bolaise 8
    El Ghazi 2

    Why is RHM not starting? Give James Bree a run at CB. I’m not qualified to be a manager, but I’m also not a dummy. Our defense is sh$%te. Chester looks like he has given up. Only Hutton cares.

  30. For next game I would change
    Bunn for Nyland
    Bree for Jedi
    RHM forKodja
    Bolaise for Jack
    The Viking for Adomah

    Murphy needs a run of games….assuming hes notout on loan!!

  31. JL- I could say the same JL, And if the point rings true then what else can I say? we can all sit here and go with the flow hoping that it all turns out all right but that just feels like your watching from a distance with little consequence or interaction. You may feel its sad but I don’t and I do have a choice do I not? that choice is for me to make not you to make for me. If I were to go that way I’d stop watching and look at the score once in a blue moon.

    Thank you for caring about my mental/spiritual health but seriously I think we I’m ok. Continuing down that vein just does not work, you have been at it a long time now, you can lead a horse to water etc.

    To take one of your other points,

    “but what we tend to forget also is that how Villa play is dependent on how the opposition play, and boy did they do their homework on how to stop Grealish, Codger and Abraham.”

    Of course teams want to stop us and play their game, thats the point of tactics but when do we do that? That just says to me that Villa are going to be out smarted under Bruce (history backs that up), He did not even know their best player was suspended and was talking about him in the presser!? does that not make you think just a little bit that Bruce just picks a team and sends it out? it does me.

    His one nod to tactics was playing Jedinak as they have a “certain physicality” IE two big blokes up top (one didn’t even start).

    Bruce not being happy with the performance does not absolve him from his part in it.

  32. VillaMD- RHM has been resigned to the stiffs, we have Hogan and Davis coming back too but they will struggle to get past Tammy wynette and Kodjia if Bruce is true to his colours. Youth players only get a chance when we are desperate and all else fails or players have died from 3 games in a week.

  33. MK, i think ur right on youth. It needs to change. Look at other clubs. A 19 year old is ready. I think Jack has gotten complacent. He was just looking to be fouled yesterday vs having a real go. I felt he almost slowed down to draw a foul

  34. Bided my time after yesterday’s debacle….

    So in Bruce ewe trust….Which means we have Jedinak as a centre back, El Mohamady as a full back, Hutton as a left back, and a captain who is so fed up, he can’t be bothered to participate, and has his worst game that I have personally watched. He will be gone in the January window, so will Jack Grealish, and maybe several more.
    My summary of the game is that for the first half we didn’t bother. Not a single shot worth mentioning or on target. Second half not a lot different until Adam Reach, Sheffield Wednesday’s man of the match, provided the assist for their first goal. Then oh wow! Villa actually wake up and come to life, and I have the privilege of McGinn scoring one of the best seen at Villa Park in recent years certainly. We carry on being a little more adventurous until once again Bannan and Reach show the skills and commitment that Villa should be displaying and Steven Fletcher gets his goal at last.

    The game ends with boos from the crowd and chants from the Holte End of “Bruce Out” and the strains earlier after McGinn’s goal of ” Steve Bruce’s Claret & Blue Army” rather weakly sung have long since faded. Barry Bannan approaches the Holte End he loves and claps the crowd, and in return the give him a standing ovation, knowing what he could have meant to Villa, if only we had kept our faith in him. From the programme Notes: Gerard Houllier likened Bannan to Barcelona’s Xavi and Andres Iniesta……We will never know what would have happened to Villa under Houllier if he did not have his heart condition and forced into retirement!

    On other fronts, Villa fans looking to Brendan Rogers…..Celtic have had their worst start in 20 years since Joseph Vengloss….name rings a bell….

    Edouardo Macia about to be named as Director of Football, formerly at Liverpool with Christian Purslow (our ne CEO), and now Head of Recruitment with Leicester City.

    For my part I would be making an offer to Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock, that he can’t refuse, but for a couple of poor refereeing decisions, Kilmarnock would be top of the league in Scotland, and Steve knows all about Aston Villa..!!

    See Bruce’s recruitment of Bolasie will put us in serious problems with FFP, due to agreeing to pay his full wages of £70,000 per week… what a tosser…!!! Means a 12 point deduction next season!

    There is also a rumour that at half time yesterday Bruce and his squad had a bust up and some of the players walked out…..Monday morning could be very interesting.

    Bruce has stated that he will not walk…He intends to stay until he is sacked..!!

  35. PP, great post. I find it hard to believe the ffp 12 point deduction based on the new owners.

    MK, i thought Jed Steer was amazing in pre season. Am i wrong? Yeah, he made one mistake but otherwise was perfect

  36. I’ve slways rated Vorm as a goal keeper and unless I’m wrong he is just warming the bench at Spurs. Really sad when I think about how us and Spurs have moved over the last 10 years.

  37. Good comment on Villa and Spurs…. They got rid of Sherwood and never looked back….We took him on, and look where we are now….but must not blame poor Tim…another meddler who could not organise a settled team.

    Please can we have Steve Clarke, Thierry Henri, or someone with an ounce of a football brain…

    Blogs now are 100% after Bruce’s blood, especially after the revelations about us paying Bolasie’s wages, when it may have been better spent on Terry.

    Bruce is probably a very nice person, but perhaps with the tragedies that befell him last year, he should have gone on leave, as he has failed to cope with his role at Aston Villa. He really needs a break from football. Perhaps, he should have resigned after his failure at Wembley and things would have been simpler for and for Villa. He certainly did not need the money. Life and family are far more important.

  38. As far as I’m concerned it’s all Bruce’s fault. The moaning about half the club changing over is his problem to carry. All the ffing loaners left, no bringing on youth. And he’s done it again this year. Time to go.

    JL you were saying the same things last year and told us to wait things will get better. Well it’s not happening is it?

    I just need more time—Bruce—more than 100 games more time I guess. My favourite is “I’ve only lost 6 at home in 100 games” except half of those were away games. Wanker. How many 2 pointers were p*ssed away at home?

    Not my fault—sun in my eyes

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