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In short, the last 20 months have been absolute nightmare for Aston Villa supporters, largely due to the incompetence and/or overall disinterest of Randy Lerner, now the club’s former owner. (Spoiler: If you go back even further, to the start of this decade, you’ll find more of the same.)
Now under the direction of new owner and chairman Tony Jiantong Xia, the tradition of firing managers not long on the job continues, with Di Matteo shown the door on Monday after just 12 games in charge.
Perhaps understanding a manager with a great deal of experience in promotion and/or relegation fights is what his club needs, Xia has reportedly held talks with Steven Bruce, who’s been out of work since leaving Hull City, whom he had just won promotion to the Premier League, three weeks before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Bruce has spent the majority of his managerial career in Premier League-Championship limbo, bouncing back and forth between the two at some of England’s most notoriously unstable clubs (Hull, Sunderland, Wigan and Birmingham City, among others) — which sounds an awful like describing Villa these days. If hired, Xia would do well to give Bruce a full season, perhaps — gasp — even two, before dragging a giant club like Villa through the mud yet again.