The 2015/16 season was a season to forget for Aston Villa fans; the worst team in the history of the club condemned the Midlands outfit to relegation. With the poor ownership of Randy Lerner, the lack of fight and ambition on the pitch, and no clear vision into the future, not many Villa fans were hopeful for the long championship season that laid ahead.
The Championship season started off with excitement – A new owner and a brand new manager by the name of Roberto Di Matteo. A champions league winner with Chelsea who brought numerous amounts of signings in, including the Championship top goalscorer, Ross McCormack. Finally, things were looking up for the club. However, it just never worked out. After conceding goals relentlessly and dropping countless amounts of points, Roberto Di Matteo was sacked by the new owner and he had the task of bringing in a replacement to save the season of this huge club.
After a couple of weeks of waiting, the news finally broke that Steve Bruce had been appointed Aston Villa manager. Finally, an English manager who had knowledge of the league and most importantly…How to get out of it! Faced with a monstrous challenge ahead, Bruce got to work down at the training ground and implemented a style of play which suited the players and the league. Slowly but surely, results began to turn in favour of Villa and the club finally got its first away in over a year which sent the fans into delirium at the Madjeski Stadium.
Not only did Bruce break the horrible away record, he turned the home form around; wins against Fulham, Blackburn, Cardiff, Wigan and Burton Albion brought the fight back into the club and the thousands of broken fans from last season began to fill Villa Park once again. In the space of a couple of months, Villa Park was packed on Boxing day and had a sell out crowd! Not only has Steve Bruce rejuvenated a broken football team and mentally fragile players, he also restored the belief in fans and that was the biggest turning point – life at Villa Park is so much better!
Although results have been inconsistent and not always positive, things are looking up for the Midlands outfit and normality is beginning to reappear. Players are now so much more respected under Steve Bruce and well managed and that really does help with the confidence of the fans. Now that Bruce is attracting bigger players, things can only get better. With Henri Lansbury already signing for the club and the likes of Connor Hourihane and James Bree imminent, Steve Bruce has been a revolution to Aston Villa Football Club.
By Jacob Furnell.
Featured Image Credit: Elliot Brown