Opinion

Who Villa Fans Seem to See as Steve Bruce’s Likely Successor

We delved into other fan sites, Facebook groups and Twitter circles to see the most mentioned names to potentially replace Steve Bruce.
Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH)

Steve Bruce is undoubtedly under surmountable pressure after Aston Villa find themselves in pretty lacklustre form as of late. Their last fixture against Sheffield Wednesday did not go to plan as Villa yet again put on an unmentionable and forgettable performance, barring a wonder goal by John McGinn. The poor run of form hasn’t been indicative of the standard to which the AVFC supporters have had in their minds for the campaign thus far after serious investment from new owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris.

The fact of the matter is that Aston Villa have only managed to win 3 games out of 9 so far in league play this season. The Villans sit 13th on the Championship table and have an upcoming game Friday night against Bristol City that will be a big test for the Claret And Blue. All throughout social media, AVFC supporters are begging, pleading and hoping for change of gaffer much sooner than way later.

While continuity isn’t a bad notion for the current state of affairs at Aston Villa, one has to wonder just how much longer that Steve Bruce will stay employed if he can only muster last-minute draws and uninspiring wins.

But, the main question remains… if not Steve Bruce at the helm for Aston Villa, then who? Here at The Claret & View, we took a dive into the fan websites, the Facebook groups, and a few Twitter circles to see who Aston Villa supporters have in their minds as a successor to Steve Bruce in the event that he gets relieved of his duties.

Dean Smith

The current Brentford manager seems to be a name that gets thrown around a lot in Villa conversations when talking about replacing Steve Bruce and for only the most positive of reasons. Smith has proven over the last few years that he can turn a team on a small budget into an attractive footballing side. This notion would definitely excite Villa supporters as many of them have the opinion that current manager Steve Bruce plays a ‘negative’ or ‘boring’ style of football after spending a treasure chest full of money.

Smith secured a 1-year contract extension with Brentford in February of this year after showing that he can change the dynamics and maybe even the future of the football club.

Brentford may have only finished 9th on the table in the 2017-2018 campaign, but there is no doubt that The Bees were one of the more entertaining sides to watch in the Championship. Smith has shown to have the brass to give young players a chance to solidify their place in a starting eleven, something that Steve Bruce has seemed to not give much thought to. There is no doubt that Smith would be a very good appointment for manager at Aston Villa if there is a sudden changing of the guard, but all signs point towards the manager continuing to build something special at Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers

The claims of Brendan Rodgers abandoning his post at Celtic and willfully joining Aston Villa may seem a little too ambitious for most.

Alas there are plenty of Villa supporters who would like nothing more than to get a younger, experienced and attack-minded manager in the door by any means necessary. Rodgers has been in charge at Celtic since May 2016, and has won the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Cup twice. No wonder Villa fans want him being the man in charge for obvious reasons, but would the success he has enjoyed in Scotland translate to the second-tier of English football?

There is no doubt that Rodgers has a fine collection of players at Celtic that are fit for the standard of play in Scotland. It may be a much more difficult challenge for the former Liverpool boss if he would ever take up such a challenge at Aston Villa. The idea of Rodgers jumping ship to take over a mammoth job at Aston Villa may seem to be a little too good to be true, but stranger things have happened in football.

Thierry Henry

We’ve heard it all before on this one, Villans. The man who has heavily rumoured to replace Steve Bruce after the Championship Play-Off Final loss to Fulham last season seems to have found himself back in the saddle of plenty of AVFC supporters as a managerial successor. 

The facts are that Thierry Henry has never managed a club before. He has been a coach on an international level with Belgium, being a forwards coach and then promoted to an assistant coaching role after rejecting an offered head coach role from French side Bordeaux. At the present time, BirminghamLive is reporting that Theirry Henry has 5/1 odds of being the next Aston Villa manager.

The idea of Henry coming to Villa has a lot of intrigue and mystery surrounding it. There is a tangled web of emotion and knee-jerk claims made whenever Henry’s name is thrown about in Aston Villa circles. How would he line up? Could he get the very best out of the core group at Aston Villa? What would his tactical acumen be? Would Villa perform as attacking as when Henry played for Arsenal? These are all questions that do not have an answer at the present time. If the new Aston Villa owners would be willing to take a massive gamble on Henry in a managerial role, the mystery would only intensify. Not to mention, would Aston Villa supporters bite their lips and temper their expectations as Henry learned and gained experience? The answer to that question would most likely be a firm ‘no’. Aston Villa supporters want attractive wins solidified by a tangible chance to return to the Premier League where the club belongs.

A poor start from any manager at Aston Villa could see a repeat of the Roberto De Matteo saga that Aston Villa supporters were subjected to. 

And no one wants that again.

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