Opinion

Could Steve Bruce repeat his Hull departure at Aston Villa?

While we are all enamoured with the World Cup as of late, matters at Aston Villa have become increasingly quiet from the club itself. It seems every other week that another transfer rumour involving Jack Grealish pops up to agitate the fans of the Claret & Blue. The financial constraints of the club have now seen the light of day which makes it a very easy topic to report about. No Aston Villa supporter wants to see Grealish shipped out. There is no doubt about it. But, what if the sale of Grealish or other Villa stars forces Steve Bruce to resign?

Steve Bruce took over then Championship side Hull City in 2012 . In his very first season at Hull, he led the Tigers to promotion to the Premier League on the very last day of the season finishing 2nd on the league table. The next season in the top flight saw Hull City finish 16th on the table, but Bruce also weaved the club into the FA Cup Final and therefore into the Europa League. This would be the first time that Hull City have ever reached a European competition. Sadly for Bruce, the next season in 2014-’15 would be damning for the club and Hull City would once again be relegated to the Championship after a multitude of poor performances.

Bruce would be lambasted for some of the performances of his players, including annual Aston Villa transfer rumour favourite Abel Hernandez. Both Bruce and Hernandez would come back in the 2015-’16 season strong, with both men winning individual awards for their achievements in January 2016. Steve Bruce would once again lead Hull to promotion, this time via playoffs. After the Championship Playoff Final win, Bruce said he would hold talks with prospective new owners to talk about his future at Hull after news emerged that Hull City were up for sale.

That’s when the real trouble began for Steve Bruce at Hull City.

Hull City owner Assem Allam didn’t seem interested in solidifying the club with transfers after the club gained promotion to the Premier League. Reportedly, Steve Bruce was given every reassurance that Allam would allow him to bolster the squad for the new season in the top flight. These reassurances would come to be one big lie. Add that to the possibility of Hull City being sold via takeover bids, and Steve Bruce had a decision to make for himself. After his future at Hull was branded as uncertain, Bruce would interview with The Football Association over the vacant England national team job, which eventually was handed to Sam Allardyce. Three days after the meeting with The FA, Bruce handed in his resignation from Hull City.

The Decision Steve Bruce Could Have to Face

With all of the aforementioned information considered, are we going to see somewhat of a similar situation with Steve Bruce at Aston Villa? Obviously the club need to sell some players to gain financial backing. That is one thing the club cannot run away from. Villa have a pretty high average age of players on their books at the moment and a few of Bruce’s’ favourites may be shipped out.

If that is the case, it would not be a surprise to see Bruce resign as Aston Villa manager. The equation of missing out on promotion, Villas’ financial turmoil, supporters feeling in the dark and the last tiny bit of a parachute payment would make any manager want to rip their hair out. It will not be an easy task for Steve Bruce to bring in talented players through transfers or loans this coming season.

While Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has addressed the Villa supporters through a statement, there were far more questions asked after the statement was released. Only time will tell if Steve Bruce has the courage and mindset to stick around through what can only be described as a tumultuous time for Aston Villa. But, his history of walking away from a bad situation cannot be ignored.

Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH) // Follow us on Twitter @claretandview

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