Championship

Aston Villa should replace Steve Bruce with 49-year-old title-winner following potential promotion

The Aston Villa supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been rather downbeat this week since their side suffered a disappointing 3-1 home defeat against QPR. 

The Villans had been making great strides towards closing the gap on 2nd place Cardiff City in recent weeks, and following their victory over league-leaders Wolves last Saturday, the optimism amongst the supporters reached new levels. However, such is the nature of football that a victory against a top side often precedes a poor performance against a more modest opposition, so it was no surprise to see Villa lose at home to QPR on Tuesday evening.

Vila’s bid to achieve automatic promotion was dented by the midweek result on a night when both Cardiff and Wolves took three points from their fixtures against Brentford and Reading respectively, however, there is still plenty of time for them to finish inside the top-two this season.

Even if Villa fail to achieve promotion via an automatic spot, they will certainly have a shot at the play-offs, unless they experience an almighty capitulation during the final 9 matches of the season.

In the short-term they are well placed to return to the top-flight, but in the long-term it is questionable whether they will manage to maintain their Premier League status with Steve Bruce in charge of the club. Bruce has plenty of experience managing sides in the top-tier of English football, but his success has been rather limited.

Considering Bruce’s managerial record, it would be wise for Villa’s owners to replace him with a new manager if they manage to clinch promotion this season, and one man that should be at the top of their shortlist is Fulham’s manager Slavisa Jokanovic. Unlike Bruce, Jokanovic does not have any experience of managing a Premier League club, but his attacking brand of football is one which should hold him in good stead to succeed.

Jokanovic has done a fantastic job whilst managing Fulham this season, and it’s fair to say that if anyone is likely to beat Villa in the playoffs this season, then it’s The Cottagers based on recent form. Also, Jokanovic won two Serbian titles in the past whilst managing Partizan Belgrade, so the step up in class is hardly likely to faze him next season.

Villa still have plenty of work to do in their bid to achieve promotion this season, but if they do eventually manage to achieve their ultimate aim they should consider replacing Bruce with Jokanovic to boost their chances of enjoying a prolonged stay in the top-flight.

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