Steve Bruce, hysteria and the case for his defence


Has Steve Bruce every right to go on the offensive in his response to the fierce criticism he has endured since losing at home to Newcastle and then away at Brighton in the Carling Cup? Well, yes and no: the calls for his head may be over the top, for now at any rate, but supporters have a right to voice their opinions on what went wrong in two games, crucial to them and the club.

I am on record as stating here my belief that sacking him this early in the season, after what was then one bad result and is now two, would be absurd. As you can see from the comments that have appeared at Salut! Sunderland all week, that is hardly a universal view.

It hasn’t changed and it won’t change even if we lose tomorrow; three or four games in just doesn’t seem the right time to be contemplating such a dramatic move and change.

This is what Bruce has said today, and he doesn’t mince words:

“It shows you how difficult it is up here. The mass hysteria, I find some of it pathetic, to be honest. It engulfs you with two results, which I find disappointing.

But I have to accept it and realise that’s the way it is up here and I am not going to change it. That’s why loads of managers have probably sat here and struggled and found it difficult because of what engulfs you straight away.

But then again, you come to expect it. It’s two games (the defeats), and nobody is going to tell me in that Newcastle game that they were far better than us. They weren’t.

We made a mistake for the goal and were punished for it. I have seen the game three times over and nobody is going to tell me that we didn’t deserve any better. We deserved to get something out of the game.”

Take all that at face value and you still don’t have a proper answer to why he started the Brighton game without a recognised striker. That is hardly the only mistake he has made.

The debate is open, as ever, but I will otherwise stick to my guns and be inclined to re-assess the situation – and the progress or lack of it of the squad he has built – deep into the autumn.

Monsieur Salut

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1 thought on “Steve Bruce, hysteria and the case for his defence”

  1. He’s disappointed AGAIN!!
    Does Bruce genuinely believe that he can start the new season with an absolutely clean slate and that the deficiencies, disappointments and sometimes woeful decisions of last season have no bearing on his situation? It’s not two results, it’s two results added to all the other bad results.
    “We made a mistake… and were punished for it.” HE’s made mistake after mistake and hasn’t been punished for them. Now he’s attacking the fans for “mass hysteria.” It’s “pathetic,” all right, but not from the fans’ standpoint, from his.
    Give Bruce until deep into the autumn, by all means. I for one would be delighted to have him prove me wrong. I’d happily come back on Salut! Sunderland and say, “Steve Bruce was right and I was full of s***.” But I’ll believe it when I see it. My fear is that by deep into the autumn, we’re going to have a lot of hard catching up to do.

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