All eyes will be on the players as caretaker Kevin MacDonald takes up the unenviable task of leading Aston Villa down to Millwall for the club’s first game without Steve Bruce at the helm. Stepping into a mess is not an unfamiliar spot for stalwart MacDonald, who has had seven games in charge over the years, leading Villa to a 2-2-3 record in those outings.
The Steve Bruce era at Aston Villa came to an abrupt if not surprising end after 102 games, and just as it was for Roberto Di Matteo, Preston North End was Bruce’s ostensible undoing. For the record, I don’t condone the throwing of vegetables. Unless it’s a festival-related activity like pie-eating contests.
Depending on reports, Steve Bruce might well be living on borrowed time, making tonight’s match with cellar-dwellers Preston North End sort of a must-win just 11 games into the campaign. Seemingly, key milestones determining just how much time he has are the imminent appointment of a director of football and the October international break. That’s what the papers are saying, anyway.
This summer’s latest installment of Turmoil Villa Style has perhaps been the most incredible episode to date. Just when it looked to be a tragic tale of epic proportions as we discovered how helpless Messiah Tony was in taking Villa forward after his massive gamble failed, Villa get new owners in almost out of the blue. So Villa can now pay the bills. But what about the rest of our problems?
The most interesting tidbit of the last few days has been Milan Mandaric who, instead of leading a takeover bid, appears to be advising a potential bidder. Whether or not this has anything to do with Xia returning to England at long last is anyone’s guess. I’ve seen speculation that Tony is maybe wrapping his head around the fact he can’t retain control of the club. True? Who knows. But I hope it is.