Steve Bruce on being devoured by Wolves: and a sharp riposte

“If the season had gone on a couple of games more . ..” said a sports editor of my acquaintance. We can all fill in the rest. Otherwise, words fail me just now. I didn’t expect to ease to victory but nor did I think we’d put in a second half display worthy of the humbling nature of yet another dire home defeat. Let Steve Bruce do the explaining, and then let one the recipients of these messages respond …I’m going out for the day

Dear Colin (and Ian),

We didn’t have enough in the locker to sustain it, we seemed to run out of juice.

It’s a shame because the first half performance, just like against West Brom and just like against Fulham, was very, very decent.

We huffed and puffed through the second half and we didn’t defend properly – we were all over the place.

We had a right back playing at left back and a right back in the centre of defence. At this level you can’t get away with that and unfortunately we’ve been punished for it.

The frustrating thing is we created chances in the first half and we got a foothold in the game, but we just couldn’t sustain it.

In the Premier League you only get five or six chances and that’s it, if you’re lucky. We had a couple in the first half but didn’t take them.

There were no outfield players over 19 on the bench that shows the problems that we’ve had with injuries. But I was delighted with the lads who came on.

Now there’s one game left. We’ll approach it like we have to, like we did last week. Nobody gave us a chance against Bolton and we went on to win it, so lets hope we can go down to West Ham and do the same again.

The fans were out in force today and they’ve been superb all season. I must offer my sincere thanks to them on behalf of myself, the staff and the squad.

All the best,

Steve Bruce

But that is not the end of it. Ian Porter composed this response, posted at the Blackcats list:

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your weekly post-match email, but there’s a couple of points in it that seem to concern me …

You mention that the defence was poor, well I think 30K supporters will agree with you on that one. Interestingly, you cite playing a right back as left back being a problem. Now 30K of us were under the impression that Bardo was your favoured left back for 3/4 of the season & been one of the few successes throughout this season ? I’m sure things will improve once you get your 1st choice left back fit again & we’ll see the best of Richardson eventually. I’m sure you’d agree that we’ve waited long enough for a natural left back to materialise.

Our otherwise poor defence also had your recent signing Elmo playing in his natural position, or at least that is the impression that 30K of us have ? 30K of use were also under the impression that Ned’s natural & favoured position was in central defence, maybe we got that one wrong as well ? Alongside Ned was Mensah, who on his day (and not injured of course) is World Class, but played like a Sunday league player at times, admittedly against a not too dissimilar strike force of Wolves. Anyway, I’m sure he’ll be better once he gets a permanent contract next season. Presumably he had a serious injury when he was subbed because he went straight down the tunnel & didn’t shake hands with the young lad coming on to make his debut?

Obviously, we 30k supporters don’t possess the depth of football knowledge that you & your staff do & we have to bow to your experienced eye at spotting a talent that represents good value, or is even free, which is why we’ll patiently wait for Riveros & Angeleri to discover their true natural International qualities & set the Premiership alight.

I read this morning speculation that you’re after signing Jay Bothroyd on a free soon. Well, it’s not for us 30K amateur managers to question your abilities, especially with a track record of managerial successes like you have, so good luck on that one as he’ll no doubt fire us into a European place next season, hopefully off the backs of Riveros & Angeleri.

Thanks for another great season Steve, 30k of us all appreciate the progress that we’re making up the table, which obviously doesn’t come cheap, but given another 500M & 10 seasons or more, we can all see we’ll be rubbing shoulders with Man U & Chelsea.

Bring it on Steve, we’re all behind you & can see where you’re taking us.

All the best,


Monsieur Salut

18 thoughts on “Steve Bruce on being devoured by Wolves: and a sharp riposte”

  1. I’ve got some good news for you on that front Martin, well sort of anyway…………

    I was out with Cheryl last night and she was telling me that she has a thing about “Robsons.”

    I’ll send her over when I’m finished. Just to let you know. It could be a while.

    You could be having that pint with Birflatt Boy before we get done.

  2. By the time your wish list is complete I dare say that the Exhibition if you poured it already will be lukewarm, rather like my enthusiasm for another season under the leadership of the man from Wallsend.

    In the improbable event that my assertions about Mr Bruce are found wide of the mark, then I should be highly delighted. At this point however, the portents are firmly in favour of the Birflattian.

    I wish you well with your sojourn to lure the comely Ms Cole into frisky frolics, but I suspect such aspiration may wither in the same way that Mr Bruce’s management has during winter chill.

  3. Nice one Colin – I’m not appealing my yellow! Hold back on the red though – I’m having too much fun. I’m no Lee Cattermole.

  4. It does help thanks – Mr Boy. I’m contended by my ability to get under your skin! Settle down you large oaf!! – This is friendly fire! An amusing debate fuelled by difference of opinion.

    I also remember Syd the manager, whom I’m sure you would prefer in the role of SAFC coach. Woe betide him if the whole team gets injured though. I’m not angry Mr Boy, just a little indignant.

    As for my sole purpose in life . . . . I want to see Sunderland playing like they did for the first part of the season, and see us play in Europe. I want to see the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. I want Cheryl Cole to realize her big mistake in not choosing me to take to her boudoir. And I want to take you for a pint of Exhibition – I’m buying – and I want to be there when you say “I was wrong about Steve Bruce”. “I was an impetuous, impatient, unfaithful oaf who reacted brashly when he was under the cosh with his whole team injured”. “Sorry Mr Martin – you were right and I was wrong”. Then when I wake up, I will clean my teeth.

  5. Time gentlemen please. There is something very entertaining going on in this thread, and there is nothing wrong with robust debate, but it is turning personal, albeit between strangers, and is now on a yellow card.

  6. You are increasingly reminding me of the character from the Steve Wright show from many moons ago; ‘Mr Angry,” who started all of his calls with “I’m so angry.” More recognisable for his anger, than the source.

    If not already lost, then your argument loses further ground by insulting people. My remarks considering the Bruce and Black charade are far from impetuous, although your remarks about my age are not entirely inaccurate. Shakepearean, retired Engiish teacher and Spitifire pilot. You consider that a wild guess (but an educated one). I will most gladly differ with you over that rather trivial point as there is nothing remotely educated about your speculation, tone or notion.

    You may have your pound of flesh on some issue. Your rant suggest this may serve as your sole purpose in life. It won’t be a pound of this “sausage” though, rest assured. It may be pig’s liver, an effective means by which to encourage any dysfunctional septic tank.

    “Mawl a man when he’s down.” Marvellous stuff. You might consider checking out you local adult literacy programmes. They can do wonders for some people. although perhaps not you. Maybe anger management would be more beneficial.

    Hope this helps Mr Martin!

  7. Maybe we should give the job to Birflatt- who seems to have swallowed all 154 of Shakespear’s sonnets.

    He’s no hero of mine. I can just sympathize with his plight, unlike you – you sausage.

    Mawl a man when he’s down – great philosophy. Your courage knows no bounds. As for your loyalty – how many times have you been divorced? If your wife falls and snaps her cruciate, do you give her the boot, too? Or do you simply taunt her relentlessly?How many friends do you have? Not many I’m guessing given your supreme smugness and impetuosity.

    You starting to sound like a cross between Hamlet and a Spitfire pilot. How old are you? – late 70’s I’m guessing. You are a retired English Lit teacher, with not a lot going on. Just a wild guess – educated albeit.

    Next season I’ll have my pound of flesh – mark my words. Refer to this thread boys coz I’m comin for yer.

    Footnote: I just read that we’re in the hunt for Doyle and Vaughan. If that’s true Steve, myself and BB will become blood brothers.

  8. SB had Bardsley playing there all season despite the claims that Richardson was going to make that his favoured position. Now he tells us that it’s a problem.

    The fans have just voted Bardsley as Player of the Season. Maybe we should all just keep quiet and leave it in the hands of the professionals.

  9. “We had a right back playing at left back”

    strewth you’re right Steve, you just can’t do that at this level.

  10. Your pulse is rising Mr Martin.

    Which bandwagon are you suggesting Birflatt has joined? None; other than the band of wise men who see the multiple failings of your hero. Praise be worthy when due and criticism also when it is just and deserved. A man more deserving then Mr Bruce of such comment is scarce to find, even within the relatively recent history of SAFC. That is how fairness is reached; a state of balance.

    Fair comment does not produce a hypocrite. but blindness to the faults and failings and the staunchest defence make thee but a fool Mr Martin.

    Darren Bent announced his desire to leave in the heady days of summer. His mind left some time before his treacherous and mercenary shoes, but advance warning was ignored. Remedial options were not explored or advanced and we have a situation where the methods of training and fitness in use, are being increasingly questioned by the wisest of followers. Coincidence will not be found, and the truth lies in the methods of the Cribbins clone, no less. Flesh and bone perish as one in the wake of his outmoded concept of training.

    Your dedication would be admirable, were it not for the rancid and unremitting stench of incredulity with each passing missive you send. Volume gathers neither followers nor acolytes.

  11. Nice bandwaggon jumping with your reference to knighthoods Senator Birflatt. I’ll take your “piggybacking” as a compliment.

    Let’s see next season then shall we, Mr Bombastic, Holier-than-thou?

    I have a question for you. And let me first say this. If there had been only a couple of injuries I would be right with you.

    Do you give any consideration to the injury situation at all? No matter wjhat you come back with, all the evidence suggests you are wrong pal.

    Darren Bent flew the nest without his approval. He had two flippin weeks to find a quality replacement in a vastly inflated market place. He wisely chose not to, and the concensus (when we were doing well) amongst Salut readers was one of agreement.

    Before Bent betrayed us all, and before the injury crisis, we were flying high – and you were a big Steve Bruce supporter. Doesn’t that make you a hypochrite? Doesn’t it Birffy Boy??

    Like I said before – you defend the manager when times are good and you roast him when they’re bad, even when circumstances are out of his immediate control. Sorry – but you’re a turncoat. You represent the impatient faithless. I can’t possibly perceive what good you are doing by shouting your mouth off about how incompetent he is, when the evidence reflects otherwise.

    He has given us the best football we have EVER seen at Sunderland, and you want to hang him after the appalling luck he’s had. It’s like mass foot chopping day.

    He got us up to 6th playing some magical stuff before things went south. Give him another season of support, and if he fails, then bitch about him as much as you like. But the way you are down on him is spectacularly unfair. You’re chucking your teddies because we’re losing, and paying no intellegent attention to the circumstances, and quite frankly it’s a sad indictment of you, and your henchmen!

    What if Man U had sacked Fergie after his first two unspectacular seasons? Ponder that righteous one.

    In fact nobody denies SB’s had dreadful luck, and those of us with a tad more savvy could see how pee’d off he was when Bent dropped the bombshell. That was no “act”. He was shattered. More recently, he had to field a team minus TWELVE first choice first teamers, and a bench full of “pre-teens”.

    What’s wrong with you lot?

    I’ll tell you what. If next season Steve Bruce is anywhere near as bad as you are saying, I will give you my wife. But give him a chance will you lads?? Absolutely astounding.

  12. Birflatt can only ponder whether you worship the sun and the wind Martin.

    There is no riposte that I can possibly offer which would awake you from this dream like state of yours. Defeat, after defeat, or shall I say drubbing after drubbing, more correctly, and the louder you protest Mr Bruce’s corner. The worse it gets, the finer qualities Mr Bruce displays. I would expect recommendations of beatification, or perhaps a knighthood, from you Martin, had relegation been achieved.

    Arise Sir Steve!

  13. A great post from Ian which echoed my thoughts. Before the season started most of us identified signing a decent left back as a priority. Bardsley has done well since moving there and scored more times than most of the midfield. Onuha was signed as a centre back and we wee told filled in at full back. It seems strange that Nedum becomes a right back because he plays there a few times, whilst Phil is not seen as a left back despite playing there for the majority of the season. The excuses are beginning to sound even more desperate Mr Bruce.

    Riveros I thought played well on Saturday until his lack of match fitness showed in the second half. He showed more commitment than may have been expected.

    Should Bruce go? In the first half of the season the side were looking like genuine contenders for a top six finish. Since the turn of the year they look like they’d struggle in the Evostick League. This fact alone (and despite the injuries) lead me to question SB’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

    I’m not one to advocate chopping and changing for change’s sake, but neither do I have Martin’s unswerving belief that Bruce is the man we need to take us on. I was interested Mark Lawrenson’s comments on MOTD that ot sacking Grant in February played no small part in West Ham’s relegation, whilst West Brom sacked Di Matteo around about the same time and have never looked backed.

  14. Two things to say on this.

    Martin; your remarks on this are sounding as predictable as those of Mr Bruce.

    To Mr Bruce; Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

  15. I hear that Steve Bruce will get another season with us. That is fantastic news for me. How many other teams could put up the kind of performances we have in the last 4 games – WITH twelve (12) FIRST TEAMERS OUT OF ACTION. Despite the laughable, undescribably ridiciculous amount of serious injuries we’re carrying, we’ve won two games, and arguably could have won the others on chances created. I salute Steve Bruce, for everything he has done for our club. He sacks the driftwood and buys decent players. And Ian – (I am biting my lip right now Jeremy) who would have argued that Riveros was a decent signing on the evidence of the world cup. Some just can’t cut the pace and physicality of the premiership. Some can’t adapt to a different culture. Some are too small and too weak.

    Next year Steve Bruce will show you why Niall has faith in him – and I will be deserving of some brown nosing from Salut Sunderland and Her subjects!

  16. Listening to SB this morning and this time its all the fault of John Mensah. I really have had enough of Bruces’ moaning and blaming others, enough is enough, I am certain that if even Mick McCarthy had the sort of money that Bruce has spent what kind of side we might have had now. I just hope the Niall and his guvnor have finally seen through all the bluff and the blaming and go full on and try to get a real manager at the club which it surely deserves. Naturally, Matrtin O’Neill comes to mind.

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