Can Steve Bruce take Aston Villa back up to the Premier League?
When they were relegated to the Championship in the 15/16 season, it was expected that Aston Villa would be promoted straight back up the following season, despite finishing rock bottom of the Premier League. However this was not to be and they ended up finishing 13th.
This season, Aston Villa put their faith in ex Hull City manager, Steve Bruce. Bruce went on to lead Hull City to two Premier League promotions and an FA Cup Final in 2014. So who is to say he cannot do the same for Aston Villa?
Fans are eager to win the Championship at the bare minimum, and with their high expectations, they got Villa Park bouncing as usual for their first game of 16/17.
Aston Villa’s season started off with a draw at home to Bruce’s former club Hull City which was not a bad start. However, fans were left highly disappointed after their next two games left Aston Villa second from bottom of the table after two straight defeats. Things were not looking promising for Bruce’s future at Aston Villa with his future hanging in the balance.
The turning point seemed to be at the end of August when Villa got their first win in beating Norwich 4-2. Their run then went on to 3 draws and more impressively, 4 consecutive wins. From second bottom of the table in August, Aston Villa have battled their way up the table and ahead of the International break now sit in 7th, only one point off the play-offs and 4 points behind 1st place Leeds United.
Their next game is away to local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are currently in 2nd place in the table. A win for the Claret’s could take them onto level points with Wolves.
The real question is, can Aston Villa keep up their winning streak? Their next 5 games (excluding the trip to Wolverhampton) include Fulham, the Birmingham derby against 22nd place rivals Birmingham City, 6th place Preston and an in-form Sheffield Wednesday.
As long as Aston Villa continue to pick up points and not get complacent like last year, whether it be by winning the championship outright or going up via the playoffs, promotion is definitely on the cards for the Claret and Blues.