A prescription for Steve Bruce: take your medicine and lie down

Steve Bruce enjoyed prolonged support from Salut! Sunderland, not from every one of its writers but from the two most closely associated with it. We showed patience and understanding; we also set a deadline. It was reached with Sunderland AFC in a calamitous position, contrary to what Bruce argues now while claiming with more reason that the squad doing so well under Martin O’Neill is his squad. His retreat in recent weeks into autowhinge mode is presumably designed to boost the cv; it has begun to seem unedifying and absurd. Pete Sixsmith makes a similar point in his own way …

I have often been asked “Doctor, what are the classic symptoms of depression and the first signs of descent into madness?” My answer to that is that the beginnings of madness is when the patient goes into denial, begins to blame all those around them for things that have gone wrong and refuses to accept that any personal responsibility.

Take a patient I know well. He had a high-pressure, highly paid job at a much loved institution in the North East of England. He started the job well, having replaced – if we overlook the caretaker phase – a moody and unpredictable predecessor and he seemed like a breath of fresh air.

Those underneath him were inspired by his leadership and despite a falling off in performance levels, he was popular with work mates, shareholders and those who took an interest in his employers.

As time moved on, it was becoming apparent to those who followed the company that all was not going as swimmingly as it had been. Top employees were leaving, either permanently or temporarily, and the mood around the workplace was changing to sullen resentment and general unhappiness with Carisoprodol online pills. Action needed to be taken.

The owners of the institution decided that the patient was no longer fulfilling his early potential and that a change was necessary. Some shareholders had been vociferous in their criticism, drawing attention to his girth and his roots, but most had attended meetings (held every other Saturday) and had silently shaken their heads at some of the bizarre decisions that the patient had made.

The change was made and a charismatic Irishman arrived to transform the company’s fortunes, using the raw materials that the patient had left behind, but using them properly and making sure that pegs were firmly fitted into holes.

After a spell of silence (welcomed by most of the shareholders), the Cialis pharmacy patient then decided that he had to justify himself and here we see the classic signs of self-denial.

The many things that had gone wrong were not his fault; he had been badly misjudged by the shareholders; his successor’s success was mainly due to him and the hard work that he had put in before his departure.

Classic self-denial as you can see. The shareholders who insulted him were, in his mind, the prime reason for the decline of the company while he was in charge. The insults were seen as unfair because, in his own words, “he could not help where he was born” and it had placed a strain on his social life, restricting his visits to the pub on the housing estate where he lived.

He found a sympathetic ear amongst some in his peer group who, aware that they could be next, were quite willing to tell him what he wanted to hear. Another group, closely attached to the patient’s profession, were also willing to listen to him and broadcast his complaints about the way that the shareholders had treated him was grossly unfair.

The measured response of many shareholders was that the patient had brought much of this on himself and that, although he brought some excellent new machinery to the company, he had either used it wrongly or not at all. Some were not that complimentary.

So, as the patient emerges from the depression brought on by losing a job that appeared to be too much for him, he is refusing to face up to the fact that, although he quite clearly is a Tynesider of considerable build, he lost his job because he showed that he wasn’t particularly good at it.

Continued denial will lead to the patient finding it harder and harder to get a worthwhile job. He was rejected for one in the Midlands and his dream job on Tyneside is not likely to become vacant for a while. He needs to keep taking the tablets and return to a darkened room – preferably for a long time.

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16 thoughts on “A prescription for Steve Bruce: take your medicine and lie down”

  1. I just wish Ellis Short’s patience had run out a little earlier. We might then be doing even better than we’re doing now, which is pretty damned good.
    Meanwhile, though it had nothing to do with his woefully inadequate performance at the SoL and thus could be regarded as irrelevant, there’s no getting away from the fact that, as he’s now proving, Bruce IS a fat Geordie bastard….

  2. It wasn’t an interview, it was Bruce being allowed to rant and distort the truth. If you compare his behaviour with that of McCarthy after his Wolves sacking, you see the difference between a professional and someone who doesnt understand what that word means. His obsession with pubs is not surprising, but surely not a preoccupation which he should be highlighting to this extent in an interview. I always felt that he was unprofessional in his attitude when manager, but his subsequent behaviour has reinforced this

    His statements about Derby games are extraordinary-as if he didnt expect the passion they engender here. I am the last person to condone aggression on such occasions but they are inevitably intense and at times difficult. He seemed to think that Tyne-Wear derbies are unique in that regard-I dont think so !

    I am afraid his behaviour will only alienate future employers. I am, to quote Steve himself, disappointed-although not really surprised.

  3. My mate Rossy’s wife Bev is a very good hairdresser. If Brucey (who I defended until the laft few weeks of his tenure) thinks we have a problem with his Tyneside roots, she’ll gladly sort them out

  4. Personally, I blame the transfer windows which have denied the sports pages their staple diet of stirring up transfer rumours on a daily basis. Such is the paucity of football scoops that they are reduced to allowing disgruntled, sad, self delusionists to have a few column inches and air time to bleat on about how unfair and cruel life is.

    These people should be pitied, but with Bruce it just makes my blood boil even more that this sad and pathetic individual still can not recognise his owns failings.

    One of the main attributes of the human race is its ability to learn form experience, both good and bad,and to remember those lessons for future actions. It would appear that those parts of the human race from the shallow end of the gene pool have difficulty recognising this ability.

  5. Bruce claims he was not given enough time, he was good enough to do the job and his managerial record “speaks for itself”. It certainly does- 2 home wins in a year speaks volumes! Search forums of his previous clubs and you find the same complaints everywhere he’s been. Nice bloke- TERRIBLE manager. The fact that MON turned this squad round in one game after bruce failed to do so for a year also screams his inadequacies more loudly than any disgruntled fan ever could.

    • Or was it 3 wins in a year? I forget. Not that it makes a difference. It’s still an appalling record and I don’t see how he could ever manage in the top flight again.

  6. Geoff, Bruce is not “getting his own back” (he got major stick in one game only), he is distorting the facts to hide his inadequacies. He was fired because the team played abysmally in 2011. End of story. He was shit and everyone knew he could take the team no further. Like the lads at Salut, I gave him chance after chance but the time came when he had to go. To hear you say Sunderland fans are getting their comeuppance off Bruce is just ridiculous. He was given a more than fair crack of the whip. He failed. He needs to move on and take a good hard look at where he went wrong or he’s finished in football.

    • I became VERY anti Bruce from (about) February 2012 when he started to trot out the same excuses that he had used one year earlier.

      Once, though, he accused the fans of having expectations above a club of Sunderland’s standing, which (IIRC) was in March of last season (but could have been earlier) he had to go and should have been shown the door THEN!

      Never mind being given the opportunity to bleat now!

  7. Surely, the only sensible solution would be euthanasia, rather than the Gary Glitter preferred option of youthinasia which would only allow him to, constantly, repeat his dillusional ramblings – until his cash ran out!!

  8. I was contacted and interviewed by the Ian Wright programme on Absolute Radio in the wake of Bruce’s sacking and I’ll paraphrase what I said then which I believe is an opinion shared by a substantial % of Sunderland fans.

    “Steve Bruce’s birthplace, background and boyhood support had little, if anything, to do with his dismissal. What had become apparant was that here was a manager who had run out of ideas and could see no alternatives when his schemes weren’t working other than to find more and more excuses”.

    Whilst it is true that he brought in most of the players that MON has worked with, it is how he has worked with them that is the difference. I am in no doubt that McClean for instance would still be waiting to make his debut and that Elmohamady would be approaching Monty’s record for most appearances in a Sunderland shirt.

    I won’t condone the abuse SB got from some of the crowd but his constant, unchanging bleating is just like his constant unchanging tactics and constant ever changing excuses for underachievement.

  9. The supporters have called Steve Bruce everything but the antichrist – though “fat Geordie bastard” is close given the context. Now Bruce is getting his own back. Sunderland supporters need to grow up and cop it. If you dish it out you take it.

    • I take it that you attend games at our stadium and have heard all this with your own ears? By no means are you referring to the odd moronic comments left by uneducated people on forums or in pubs, or anything like that? The same idiots all clubs possess in their fan base.

      You are suggesting that Bruce, a well known figure in the public eye, is “getting his own back” yet it is the Sunderland supporters that need to grow up? Ok.

      Had he remained dignified I have no doubts he’d have been fairly fondly remembered, certainly he’d have been welcomed back in these parts in years to come. Due to him being an ex Sunderland boss and the self destruction of his relationship with our fans following his sacking, he is probably going to find it hard to re-surface anywhere in the north east now. It didn’t have to be like this.

    • Bruce is telling lie after lie, he started coming out with similiar drivel nothing but excuses) around April time and that’s why it ended in abuse; He should have gone then, yet for some reason he thinks he was only given 11 games.

      Well done Ellis Short for finally listening, pity frustration had to come out beforehand. I hope to god he comes back with another club, if he thinks that was abuse………

    • Geoff – 99% of us didn’t dish it out. Bruce needs to shut up and move on, as he’s making himself less employable with every outburst

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