You know how the saying goes, ‘you wait for one Steve based Football story and then two come along at once’ and that is because both Steve Bruce and Steve McClaren have got themselves new jobs, well in McClaren’s case it’s an old job which he has regained.
The job in question is the Derby County managers job and it’s one that sees McClaren return to the IPro Stadium 17 months after being sacked for failing to get The Rams into the Premier League. In that time McClaren has also been Newcastle manager and lost that job too, so perhaps this appointment is somewhat of a marriage of convenience
It may come as a bit of a surprise as many felt that Chris Powell would be the man to take over from Nigel Pearson after his sacking last week but it seems as Derby have gone with better the devil they know in the form of the former England boss.
If that appointment came as a surprise then the one just a few miles down the road would not have as Aston Villa have announced that Steve Bruce is the man to take over from Roberto Di Matteo after Chinese owner Dr Tony Xia gave him his marching orders.
And Bruce certainly comes with some pedigree at this level as he has been promoted out of England’s second tier no fewer than four times and he will have been bought back to Birmingham to make Aston Villa number five in his list of Championship promotions
That may be the ultimate objective but will it have to be put on the back burner, as like McClaren the first one will be to get his side away from the Championship drop zone with Aston Villa and Derby sitting in a precarious position of 19th and 20th respectively.
A barren run of 9 games without a win was Roberto Di Matteo’s undoing as the new era at Aston Villa got off to a sluggish start. There’s now a chance for everyone there to hit the pause button and reboot this season. The important aim has to be don’t go down, the outside hope has to be making the play offs
And for both clubs there is still more than enough time for them to turn their seasons around, you certainly get the feeling that there is more promise from the appointment at Villa then there is at Derby. McClaren seems to be somewhat of a busted flush and the memories of winning a Dutch title with FC Twente are long since forgotten
For Bruce the hardest decision would have been whether or not to upset the Blue half of Birmingham. After spending just under 6 years in charge at St Andrew’s the appointment would have been somewhat of a sensitive subject, but perhaps Birmingham fans will see it as somewhat of a compliment that their arch rivals have decided to copy their approach of getting out of The Championship and that is by appointing Steve Bruce as your manager.
Cast your mind a few months back and Bruce was in the frame to be in the England manager, add to the mix his departure from Hull and it’s been quite the whirlwind period and in fairness I don’t even think Bruce himself would have expected him to be in the Villa Park dugout come October.
But as we know Football is a funny old game, McClaren races back to Derby while Bruce parks himself up at Villa.
There will be no rest for the wicked on Saturday as Villa play host to Wolves in a battle of two Midlands clubs while Derby play host to Leeds. Can the two Steve’s got off to the perfect start? we’ll have to wait and see.