It isn’t too difficult to set the scene in the Aston Villa boardroom right now. A chairman with his head in his hands, looking at an embroidered leather wallet that, just one year ago, was one hundred million pounds heavier. A chief executive pounding his fist against the table, pondering that famous seat and the end of the home dugout. And a very broken Steve Bruce, sitting on the other side of the desk, wondering why nothing seems to be going his way at Villa Park. Well, he may have learned nothing after 6 games and 6 points, but the Claret and Blue faithful most certainly have. Here are 5 things we learned from this afternoons stalemate.
1. Sam Johnstone is BRILLIANT
Many fans are fuming after a draw against league minnows Brentford, but things could have been much worse for the Claret & Blues had it not been for the Manchester United loanee. Having returned to Villa Park following a successful loan spell last season, Johnstone made some brilliant saves, including two fantastic dives into the top right hand corner and a brilliant 1-on-1 stop to keep Brentford out of the Villa net. He’ll be one to look out for when the player ratings come out!
2. Working hard or hardly working?
A well known phrase that I would not recommend saying to any of your colleagues – unless you are an Aston Villa player. There was very little energy, very little desire, very little passion and very little respect on show from the players today – and that has got to change if we want to ever compete in the Premier League again. The backwards passing drew whistles from the crowd – but nothing changed on the pitch. The lads didn’t even seem too bothered by the booing at the end of the game… and that, quite simply, is disgraceful.
3. Snodgrass has quality- but can he show it?
We saw glimpses of what new boy Robert Snodgrass could do today, after he came on for Andre Green in the second half. But unfortunately, glimpses were all we saw. The West Ham loanee seemed void of confidence, and preferred passing the ball back to James Bree to taking on the Brentford defenders. Very poor debut for a player we have high hopes for.
4. Mile Jedinak will be licking his lips
When Glenn Whelan was signed from Stoke City in the summer, Mile Jedinak would have been fearful of his place in the starting lineup at Villa Park. Judging by today’s performance, however, Jedinak should be straight back into the team against Middlesbrough on Tuesday. Whelan made a complete shambles of controlling the midfield, and the Brentford players ghosted straight into the box as though he was still in the Potteries. For his teammates, it must have been like playing with 10 men.
5. Hasta la Vista, Brucie?
Enough is enough – that is the message on Twitter tonight, as many of the Claret & Blue faithful send tweets to Dr Tony Xia, with the simple request that Steve Bruce is sacked.