Think Bruce will start trying different things, and also needs to use his squad because of the Fulham game. I'm wondering about something like


Bree             Chester           Baker            Taylor

     Lansbury             Jedinak           Hourihane


                 Kodjia                Hogan

Time to try an attacking formation? Think Hogan won't play the whole match, so Green could replace him with Kodjia reverting to lone forward. Or RHM.

That leaves some solid players fresh for the Fulham game; Hutton, Bacuna, Adomah, Amavi etc.

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Same old... same old ... Disappointed to see almost the same team, with just Taylor (why?) dropped for Hourihane. And we payed for it. The players weren't sparkling in the previous games and we badly needed a refresh.

Wonder who he'll play against Fulham. Think today, at home, was the better opportunity to make changes, but as things are he can't, surely, use the same setup on Monday.

We need to use these last 4 matches to give the wider squad an opportunity and to try alternative formations.

Got to say very disappointed with that, although I had begun to believe we were better than we are.

The truth is we aren't that good in spite of having 7 new players in the starting line up. Bruce has a lot to do, when you compare Grealish with other young players such as Ali at Spurs then he needs to play or be shipped out, if he can't star in the Championship then he has no chance of starring in the Prem.

Still can't get over Bacuna being in the starting line up.

We lost 1-3 to Reading at home ffs surely puts us in our place.

Thought today was a good opportunity to start Grealish. Can see why Bruce stuck with the same squad when there was a hope of the playoffs, but we should now be putting the bits in place for next season, which includes developing the younger players. Green and RHM weren't even on the bench. At least Sarkic was.

It's times like this when you start questioning Bruce's judgement. We've been on a very good run, without looking that great, indeed looking increasingly leggy. He's talked this week about trying something new and giving the rest of the squad a chance, including the youngsters. So why didn't he???

Here is the reality of things at Villa.
Bruce is, I think, the right man but we have actually played well only TWICE this season (Forest at home and Brighton away). For the rest of the season we have been very poor. Even during our recent run of very good results, we were second best in every single one of those wins (even Wigan and Rotherham).
We have brought in 17 players this season and spent around £75m. Yet you have to say we shouldn't actually be anywhere near 12th place. We simply haven't performed well enough to be mid-table. It's true.
Which does at least tell us that Bruce is someone who can grind out results. His Hull team of last season were uncannily similar to Villa over the last couple of months. Even going back to his very successful Blues team of the early noughties, that team would grind out results, whilst conceding possession and being very pragmatic. Bruce's teams have never been exciting.
All in all, Bruce will turn us into a tough, hard to beat but unexciting team. The question is whether we supporters will accept that. In the first instance, probably. But we may have to look at Bruce as 'the man to get us up' and NOT 'the man to lead us in the Premier League'.
We have to support Bruce for now but I doubt he is good enough to make us a top team, whatever the investment.

What I still don't understand is why players like Lansbury, Hourihane and Hogan don't reproduce the form they showed at the previous club.

That's got to be down to Bruce..............
Yes, all Bruce buys and you have to question his January purchases. Johnstone, Bree, Taylor, Beddau, Bjarnason, Hourihane, Lansbury, Hogan. One is a teenager but how many have been a success?

Also, our three best performers this season (Kodjia, Chester, Jedinak) were all DiMatteo signings. Food for thought?

I cant blame Bruce for the players stupid errors again today. How many times has it cost us this season but we can blame Bruce for not trying out some new raw talent against Reading as the team has looked leggy, his words lately.

That's what scares me about Bruce, he never gives the kids a chance, always sticks with his trusted pro players. Typical old schooled English coach.

January was another example of his old boys club attitude by persisting with the failed Gabby rather than trying out one of the youth team players.

I'm sure he will, well he has to doesn't he, get us promotion next season. But we then need to look at can he take us any further, style wise. I cant see it myself. We would become like West Brom under Pullis,,, or another Stoke city, boring and pointless.

some might take that but id love us to be known for our flowing football, like under Big Ron, rather than the above.

but we have to get out of the Championship next season or we could get bogged down in this league for some time.

One reason that we made mistakes yesterday could be that maybe we tried to be more positive; 51% possession, way more than in other recent matches. In those matches Bruce set us up not to concede, and it worked. It's not a bad Championship way of playing; other teams doing the same earlier in the season have been the undoing of us. And it also restored the confidence of the players. But it's not what we should be doing long-term.

In young players like Grealish, Green, RHM and Bree we have talent which can help us evolve. It's no use sending out a team to grab 51% when the players don't have the talent or are too tired to make use of it. If Bruce had stuck a couple of those in yesterday it would have avoided the negative vibes even if we'd lost, and it could have given us a better result. Instead, only Bree and Grealish even made the bench. 

If Bruce continues to ignore the talent he's got and continue with the same players to the end of the season, we'll be lucky to get any decent results and he will take the flack, rightly so. We need to build for next season. Or perhaps those young players aren't on Bruce's radar for next season.

Wonder what Xia and Round are thinking.



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