It was honours even in the big Brummie derby and I am sure that was the result the West Midlands Police were hoping for. I absolutely loved everything about the game from the pre match banter to the post match arguments and banter. The match stats and chances proved that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on new players if they don’t make a team. It is a fixture we as Brummies’ should be proud of.
However the game showed exactly how big a job Steve Bruce has on his hands at Villa Park turning a very expensive and talented bunch of players into a promotion challenging team. That is easier said than done and, despite spending in excess of fifty million pounds so far this season, Dr Xia may have to dig deep help him out again in January because the team has shown it’s not always about how much you spend but how wisely you spend it. Bruce has already made it clear the team are not fit enough for the rigours and physical demands of the championship never mind a promotion chase. However he also has to change a mentality around the club that just may be lingering from the Premier League days. He has to get the team in shape to win a physical battle in every game before their undoubted ability can win them games in other words as any great manager from the past would confirm you have to “earn the right to play”.
Steve Bruce comes across as the most affable of men on TV but I know he has a ruthless stream in him when it comes to players borne I am sure from his days under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Any player not giving 100% will find themselves out of the team and eventually out of the club. He said to me on many occasions no matter how badly you are playing you can still run around and get stuck in and give everything you can for the cause.
Across the city in B9 Gary Rowett will be purring with pleasure after seeing his cheap and cheerful but well organised and fit team, and I mean that as a compliment, do so well and in many peoples view should have won the game based on goal-scoring opportunities created. However Rowett knows it’s not about the chances you make but the chances you take that win games.
The new owners of Blues, Trillion Trophy Asia, were at the game on Sunday and will be reporting back to TTA main man Mr Suen confirming what Panos Pavlakis will have already told them and that is Gary Rowett has done a remarkable job and should be backed in January to give him a promotion playoffs push.
Birmingham have a bright young manager who has shown he can get the best out of, what are in the main, average players both individually and collectively and it would be foolish to not accept he will be on the radar of other clubs. Blues are to savvy not to be aware of this and consequently so will Trillion Trophy Asia. But I would say to them that in my opinion it’s not only money that would possibly tempt Gary Rowett but boardroom ambitions that match his own.