Bruce in: good news, but still points to prove (and get)

On a balance sheet detailing the pluses and minuses of his management of Sunderland, Steve Bruce is comfortably in the black.

So the SAFC decision to offer him a new contract, and his acceptance of it, should be welcomed by supporters.

It is not all rosy. Some gloom merchants have even suggested that a bad run, which the next few games could easily extend, could put us in danger of relegation. In our present position, that is surely nonsense.

Bruce has brought in some good players, plus one or two duds. The performances are unrecognisably better this season that last.

Yet he needs to get the team winning again, playing with greater discipline and consistency and showing an ability to defend or build on winning starts (witness our collapses too often this season, including the present losing streak of three games).

We could still finish roughly where we are now, seventh. But we could also embark on a run bad enough to make upper bottom half more likely.

Tomorrow at Goodison, we face a tough task and it has not been a happy venue for Sunderland in recent years. I fear the worst, but then I always do, while Pete Sixsmith fancies a win (he always does).

The discussion is open, but Monsieur Salut welcomes the following report from as good news:

Steve Bruce has been rewarded with a new contract which will see his tenure at the Stadium of Light continue until summer 2014.
The 50-year-old, who first arrived on Wearside in June 2009, has steered his side to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table this season as the club aims for a top half finish for the first time in ten years.
Since arriving back in the North East, Northumberland-born Bruce has overseen the purchase of 13 new players on permanent contracts, with 15 moving on to new clubs. Shrewd loan signings have also bolstered the Black Cats, who lost just twice at home in the top flight in the whole of 2010 under his stewardship.
Speaking of his new contract, Bruce said: “I’m delighted to have signed a new contract. It’s a magnificent club from top to bottom, with wonderful support and everything is in place here for a manager. We have the makings of a fantastic young team.
“It’s been a great challenge so far and one that my backroom team and I have relished so we’re looking forward to continuing with that over the next few years.”
Chairman Niall Quinn added: “It was hugely important to bring stability to this football club and I firmly believe that in Steve we have the man to do just that. In only 18 months he has re-shaped our squad beyond recognition, bringing in some fantastically talented players, many of whom are young and desperate to achieve and improve.

“He embodies the ethos of teamwork and the importance of camaraderie in creating a wonderful spirit of togetherness amongst the players and staff.
“As someone born and bred in the North East he fully understands the unique passion for football in this region. He has already raised the aspirations of not only the players but also the supporters and instilled a belief in everyone that we can go on to achieve the sustained success that we all crave.”

1 thought on “Bruce in: good news, but still points to prove (and get)”

  1. This is unquestionably good news. Bruce has settled to the job by the looks of things and is enjoying the building of a team and squad that has improved so dramatically.

    What we should be worried about in the wake of the club’s losses which were recently announced is the fact that we have a team that largely consists of players belonging to other clubs. It is worrying to consider that Mensah, Elmomuhamaddy (well, frankly less so when it comes to him!), Muntari, Onouha, & Welbeck all belong elsewhere and the reported losses do not include transfer fees for half the team! It is worrying because we have lost so much despite transfer fees not having been paid for first team regulars, but more significantly it begs the question of whether we are going to be able to sign the more effective loanees on permanent deals. The Egyptian lad can go back to Egypt as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t want him for nothing to be brutally truthful, but the rest will command huge fees. A conservative estimate would put the purchase cost of this lot (including Elmo) at over 30 million. 30 million is required just to stay where we are with no further additions. That should be a worry. It also explains Quinns indelicate outburst about “despising” fans who are down the pub instead of inside the ground, and the wider view of the club’s financial situation suggests that this may have been borne of desperation, as projected revenues have started to fall short. The real source of the problem may not be in the pubs of Wearside but closer to home in the boardroom.

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