Oh yes it is: Hull vs SAFC is Newcastle-supporting Bruce’s revenge trip

Our former boss, their current one: bravo Owen Lennox, Sunderland artist and friend of Salut! Sunderland
Our former boss, their current one: bravo Owen Lennox, Sunderland artist and friend of Salut! Sunderland

The idiocy of much football reporting
is illustrated by what Sky Sports made of a simple, unconvincing question and answer with Steve Bruce after Hull’s penalty shootout defeat at Spurs.

From this:

But when asked whether Saturday’s game at the KC Stadium took on any more significance because of his history with Sunderland, Bruce said: “No. No. Not any more. It would be nice to win though.”

… Sky constructed a story with the headline “Hull boss Steve Bruce not motivated by Sunderland revenge”. The exchange and the theme were duly picked up by others, the Sunderland Echo included.

And I bet the opposite is the truth.

At ESPNFC.com I wrote this and reckon it is a lot closer to reality: “… he probably approaches Saturday’s game between his present club, Hull City, and his old one with uncommon strength of feeling. I would go as far as to say that other than matches affecting promotion, survival or the destination of cup silverware, there can be few he would be more keen to win.”

Here are two other contentious points from Salut! Sunderland‘s most recent outing at the ESPN site …

1) my refusal to give a hoot if we sign players or staff of the black and white persuasion (provided they do their best for us and their best is up to the required standard.

Without wishing to reopen old wounds about Senator Joe McCarthy’s approach to freedom of thought and expression, there is one question I would never dream of asking a prospective employee of Sunderland football club.

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of Newcastle United?”

2) the thought that if Steve Bruce’s record is viewed fairly, you need to go back to Peter Reid to find a manager who did a better job for us

Many readers will disagree with me on both points. I already feel the chill wind of anger blowing in from Ontario. Hell hath no fury like Jeremy Robson on all things Mag.

Jake looks for a second helping of winning
Jake looks for a second helping of winning

But I would add another snippet from the Sunderland Echo by way of balance. In an excellent column, Chris Young argues – correctly in my view – that Bruce would be less harshly remembered at Sunderland if he dropped his absurd mantra about the fans hated him because of his status as a Newcastle supporter.

“It was always,” Chris writes, “the same message, ‘They never took to me up there because I was a Geordie’.

“It was nonsense of course.

“While chants of “Fat Geordie *******, get out of our club” made Bruce’s position untenable in that vitriolic final game in charge against Wigan, it was only ever a bat to beat him with.

Results and poor signings were Bruce’s downfall, not that he could alienate potential employers by admitting that.”

'We'll keep the red flag flying high,' says Jake
‘We’ll keep the red flag flying high,’ says Jake
Monsieur Salut: the stripes are meant to be red
Monsieur Salut: the stripes are meant to be red


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Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off
Jake flags the new feature allowing you to have your say on topic or off

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11 thoughts on “Oh yes it is: Hull vs SAFC <em>is</em> Newcastle-supporting Bruce’s revenge trip”

  1. Bruce wasn’t sacked because he was a geordie. In the words of Sir Vic Reeves ” you wouldn’t let it lie”. Bruce was given good support by us the fans untill the last ten minutes of the Wigan game when the boo boys had their say. Im utterly sick of this man using he’s position in the media to blacken our name and why doesnt the local media when interviewing him dispute he’s version of events, is it really a magedia up here? I was listening to Total Sport last night and he’s still at it. Does he honestly believe that a hard nosed buisness man like Ellis Short would throw away potentially millions of pounds in premiership prize money and compensation by sacking a manager who was doing a good job? Does he honestly think that Mr Short, with respect,an American, understands or cares about our regional rivalry? The truth is , he was sacked because of results. He may argue that he was sacked to quickly and should have being given more time, that’s he’s perogative .What undermines he’s geordie victimisation plea is that O’Neill and Di Canio could say exactly the same thing, remind me where they were from and who they supported as young lads, especially O’Neill?. Bruce’s problem is that he’s not as smart or media savy as he thinks he is, I mean its was hell of a coincidence that in last nights interview he mentioned that he always has supported N2wcast1e and with him being a geordie managing Sunderland was a mistake. What a coincidence to mention all these things that would endear you to the average N0wcast3e fan when their current manager is under huge pressure and is not popular with the fans by any means . But then again Mr Pardhew isn’t a geordie is he? The only ones being victimised here are S.A.F.C and their fans, put a sock in it you bore.

  2. That’s right William. The unfortunate thing about this is that the media by and large seem to have bought into this nonsense that he continues to spout. They would have us believe he was doing a sterling job.

    I can’t remember how many games we won under him in his last 18 months, but he would have you believe that he was badly treated.

    I lost all respect for the man when he started this rubbish. Hull fans will see what he’s really made of come January when they’ve played everybody once.

  3. The whole point is William, that nobody cared about the fact that he was/is a Geordie. His results were terrible, and when he brought up the Geordie thing then a section of our fans thought, “Well alright then as you’ve mentioned it, we do think you are a FGB!” Nobody has said diddly about it until the FGB started it.

    I can’t wish Hull City well even though I like the club. Not while he;s the manager because he’s a fat Geordie something or other.

    • Jeremy – Actually that is the point I was trying to make [ possibly badly ] SB seems to be convinced that the sole reason for the eventual antipathy he experienced at SAFC was that he was a Geordie. He appears to have air-brushed results and performance from his memory.

  4. Watching the bloke on the news now, he still insists his being disliked by our fans had something to do with him being a geordie.

    Nothing to do with the fact he was taking us down after inheriting the best situation of any SAFC manager in the past 50 years, obviously. Or the fact he presided over what is surely one of the worst summer transfer windows in our Premier League history. Or approaching twelve months with just two home victories.

    I fail to see how being given a healthy transfer kitty with a club that was feeling as positive as ours was in 2009 only to have them looking very likely to go down within 3 seasons can ever equate to having done a good job, regardless of where you finished in the first two.

    He was rubbish, we’re well rid, Hull fans will find out in time why. Of course that won’t be his fault though.

  5. Bruce clearly still believes that his birthplace mitigated against him at Sunderland, and there was quite a bit of malignant comment around that toward the end of his ill-fated spell at SAFC.
    What I think he ignores however, is that fans had grown weary of the dreadful results, and the abysmal standard of football week after week.
    He made a couple of inspired signings, Bent and Mignolet in particular, but he signed more donkeys than racehorses, and his judgement toward the end was utterly flawed [ Wickham, Elmo and Ji for example ]
    In the brutal light of subsequent experience, he was probably better than O’Neill, and certainly better than DiCanio. Never the less we were regressing under his management, and in my opinion, he should have gone earlier, when it became absolutely obvious that he had lost his way [ much as Reid did ]
    I like Hull, and I wish SB well. I think it is more suited to his abilities than was Sunderland. They have started well, and might survive this season. I wouldn’t put my house on it though!

  6. I don’t think any of us would have minded had Brucie said “of course it is. I thought I could have finished the job I started”, but by saying “no, not any more” indicates (to the media at least – we;re not that daft) it doesn’t matter to him any more. And they’ll make the most of that, as headlines have shown.
    Any manager worth his salt will want to prove that the club that ditched/dumped/sacked/mulually consented him (or her) was wrong, and Bruce is no different. We’ve had much worse managers than him who’ve wanted to prove a point (or three) when with their next club.
    I was also rooting for Hull against Spurs in the cup, and was more than little miffed when one of our old boys failed with the vital penalty.

  7. The malaise that we still seem to be in was of course started by Steve Bruce by selling players that either should not have been sold at all or at the very least not until he had signed players of at least the same standard or better. Bruce was over dependent on loanees, and you can’t build any sort of a house using your neighbors bricks. Bruce undid his own accomplishments in record time and what looked like a decent job fell apart in an incredibly short time.

    O’Neill much to his discredit continued the bad work getting rid of players like Meyler, Turner, RIchardson, Ferdinand and co. PDC continued in the same vein but at least he shipped Graham out and to his credit so did O’Neill with Elmo.We should be at least grateful for that to both MON and Hull.

    • I strongly suspect and always have that Ellis Short forced the sale of Bent on purely commercial grounds. Bruce called it a “calculated gamble” , pointedly without saying whose. Of the others you list, only Meyler was – at the time of going – really disappointing to lose. But you are right to say he undid his own accomplishments; my limited support for him is based on the failure of too many to recognise that there were accomplishments there to undo.

      • Bruce also ultimately swapped Jones for Wickham , neither of who are a geordie I believe .We took a big hit in the pocket for that ” strengthening ” of the team, sums him up.

  8. I sat and watched the Hull v Spurs game and was impressed with Hulls approach and gameplan which saw them match an expensively assembled Spurs team in every quarter.

    I actually like Hull and would be more than happy to see them flourish in PL, a proper Club, with proper fans.

    Whilst watching the game and seeing Hull’s footballing approach, pass and play I started ruminating on why SB could not do this task at Sunderland, particularly with so many ex Black Cats on the pitch (Myeler was outstanding, we should never have let him go), and realised that basically he was just not the right man to get SAFC out of this malaise we seem to still be in. It will in effect take someone of extraordinary skill to do this.

    Hopefully (it springs eternally – never so true as in SAFC case) Gus Poyet is finally that man. I do not bear SB any ill will, now that he has shut up about us, and hopefully he learned from the whole situation at SAFC, life is too short. I just hope Poyet is given time and space to fix all that is wrong, something that was possibly not afforded to SB. However, I don’t miss his whining and bleating about this and that and how the fans the expect too much.

    Its our right to expect too much and any manager coming here should only have the highest aims with regards to what we wish to achieve, otherwise what’s the point.

    Poyet I think realises this, his approach to the derby and comments pre and post match indicate an understanding of the fans mentality, but, and this is more important to me, he is not taking his eye of the bigger picture which is to make SAFC pre-eminent in the PL. Yes supply the bragging rights but also give us a team that can achieve, I think we may finally be on our way with Poyet. He showed a tactical awareness, made substitutions at exactly the right time. When Borini came on I thought ‘oh no we are going for the draw’, but what a stunner. Poyet said that he was close to starting with him. The man has acumen, something that SB lacked at SAFC and something he lacked after his departure especially, SB gone but not forgotten, unfortunately for the wrong reasons though.

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