Sacking Steve Bruce was 'a mistake' by Aston Villa, The Debate panel agree
Last Updated: 04/10/18 12:03am
Sacking Steve Bruce was "premature" and "a mistake" despite Aston Villa's poor start to the season, The Debate panel agreed.
Bruce was given the boot by Villa after winning one of their last 10 games in all competitions, having taken them within 90 minutes of promotion last season before a play-off final defeat to Fulham.
But after a summer dogged by financial issues, losing a number of influential loanees who were not replaced, and the "transition period" of a new regime taking over, Steve Sidwell and Craig Bellamy both agreed the decision to dismiss Bruce came too soon.
"In the summer, the infrastructure wasn't there, there was the news about Thierry Henry possibly coming in, the transfers and no one really knew what was going on with the club," Sidwell told The Debate.
"It filtered onto the pitch, which then showed itself in how they were playing. No one really knew how they were playing. There was no identity, which is what you need at a football club, especially a club of that size.
"I think it's a bit premature. If you want someone to get you out of that league, he's got the pedigree. He's done it four times, and with his man management and the players they have there I think they would have turned it round."
Bellamy conceded Villa's results had not been good enough given the quality of their squad, but said Bruce's four promotions from the Championship meant he would have been the best man to get them back in the top flight after three seasons away.
He said: "The bottom line is results. A week in the Championship is nine points - you can go on a run in this league, he could have turned it round.
"A lot of his teams have improved late in the past, even Villa last season. I think they would've been there or there-abouts.
"I quite like their squad, it's one of the best in the Championship, and if you're an owner who's not sure of your manager, you're looking at your squad and the run you're going on, it hasn't been good enough.
"But I think they've made a mistake, he's the man you'd want to take you up."