Dean Smith & Co. took their first bows this week, and along with Christian Purslow, seemed to quite easily make a good impression all round. Well, Purslow seems a bit tightly wound, but you know what I mean. When he talked about Villa’s FFP woes being completely resolved? He made a pretty good impression. Richard O’Kelley seems likable and no nonsense. John Terry made all the right noises. And Smith? Smith managed to not say a whole lot other than promotion remains the goal.
The game against Bristol City tonight will probably be rather influential in determining Bruce’s fate. Should he get one of those bounce-back performances we often saw last year, he’ll likely be safe until Preston North End on Tuesday, where the team will have to produce again. Villa’s recent run of form—one win, two draws and two losses in the last five, and three wins in nine—just isn’t going to get it done.
Villa hosted Sheffield Wednesday looking to make it two in a row on Saturday, but were simply outplayed and bowed out 1-2 losers. Steve Bruce put out the same formation as he did Tuesday, with Kodjia and Abraham up top, but Albert Adomah got the nod over Anwar El Ghazi.
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.
Tuesday night, Steve Bruce taught all his critics a lesson by following their advice and picking an attacking side and formation. As one might have feared, it ended in victory.