A West Brom postscript: ‘Dear Steve … reach for the Sky’

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Sunderland showed character to turn a shocking start into a game we might have gone on to win. But it was against WBA at home and, and with respect to a likeable club, that is not quite like Arsenal and Man Utd away, two of our next three games on the road. Relief at yesterday’s equaliser hardly banished discontent. Ian Porter shared this response to Steve Bruce’s post-match message (see Bruce’s Banter) with fellow subscribers to the Blackcats list …

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your post-match e-mail.

It was good to see The Lads suck with it and dug deep instead of huffing and puffing again.

It amuses me watching your team nowadays, as it reminds me so much of watching many other games at the Stadium of Light and I regularly draw similarities between players of yesteryear and today.

We had a centre half called Paul Butler. He reminds me very much of Michael Turner. A big strong strapping lad, great to have in the side when you’re playing Stoke, but I think he thought Pace was one half of a comedy duo! WBA’s second goal very much reminded me of Paul Butler. It’s funny how these things come around,isn’t it?

We also had a couple of players, Whitehead and Leadbitter, I think you actually sold them. Well watching Gardner reminds me very much of those two as well, but Gardner surely must be a much better player than those two because you’ve just spent so much money on him, haven’t you?

In that same team, we also had a right winger called Liam Lawrence, he couldn’t beat a man for pace but did put in the odd decent cross and chip in with the odd goal. When Elmo’s first goal in 40 appearances went in, I couldn’t help drawing comparisons again! But again, we paid nothing like the sort of money you’ve just laid out for Elmo, so he must be a better player as well.

I’m sure you’ve read about Peter Reid getting the sack after a bad run of results. I bet you really sympathise with him, as his bad run doesn’t compare with our record at home this year. It must really be a comfort to you knowing that you have a chairman and owner that support you through these bad years.

Like you, Peter went through a bad run of results and in his post-match interviews, he never seemed to know what to do to get out of the bad run, simply saying the Lads would have to work hard in training again.

He also tried team building, usually in the Italian restaurant at Cleadon, after all the regular customers had gone home to bed, or a lock in at The Phoenix in Seaham. I think The Lads came into training hung over in those days as well! … And Peter used to remind people that we’d finished our highest position for many years and he wouldn’t have turned into a bad manager overnight as well.

Peter’s trouble, though, was that he never seemed to have a plan B or C when things went wrong. Funny isn’t it? I can also remember at the start of the new season, he had a bit of a spat with a couple of his players. We had Michael Bridges being mentioned as an England centre forward and I think he wanted a bit more money but he decided to sell him instead. A similar thing happened with Allan Johnston. I chuckled to myself when I drew similarities between Bent, Cana, Gyan and Henderson. It’s funny that, isn’t it?

Peter was forced into making some panic buys at the start of the season, and he brought in Flo who was a total flop and got moved on at a loss quite quickly. My nostalgic memories were in overdrive comparing Flo, who was a Norwegian international to the likes of Kilgallon, Da Silva & Riveros. But you know Steve, the funniest thing of all is that for all the nostalgic memories that today’s team gives me, the one big difference is that Peter Reid was eventually sacked, the same as Howard Wilkinson, Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane.

It’s really funny how these sort of things keep coming around, isn’t it Steve? It looks like you’ve broken the mould, though, because you’re still in the job after spending such vast sums of money, losing some good players, struggling to win what should be the simplest of games and signing so many players that never get a game before they are sold.

Another thing that seems to come around each year though, Steve, is that October seems to be the favoured month for managers getting the sack. After struggling against the likes of Norwich and WBA, I’m sure you’ll be able to turn things around in the next few games, starting with Arsenal and ending with Man U away. Bolton and Villa should be a walkover with the squad you’ve assembled, Steve.

Good luck, you’ll need it. I’ll probably see you against Fulham mid-November. As a Sky pundit at the game.

All the best,

Ian

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58 thoughts on “A West Brom postscript: ‘Dear Steve … reach for the Sky’”

  1. Wait until we are bottom at New Year and then sack the bloke. Give the new manager no money or time to bolster this failing squad.

  2. CSB – I certainly would agree with the debacle at Norwich – I wasn’t there due to it’s timing but watched it on tv – how the tv is in one piece still I will never know
    Did you watch the Stoke match – we murdered a team that the following week should have beaten Man U – then they go on this week and lose to Swansea – so therefore they should sack Pullis ???
    I went to see the FA Cup final this year and Stoke never turned up – but everyone had a great day out
    All i’m trying to say is that it is far too early to judge the season – wait at least until Xmas – if things are still doom and gloom – then I may come closer to your thinking
    Fulham were below us until yesterday – they smashed QPR 6 – 0 – thats the same QPR that should have mudered Newcastle – things can change very quickly in football

  3. Davey,

    Tell me something, Bruce managed to get the team to end up 10th. His mission was, I believe ,to end up in the top ten, therefore mission accomplished, he did what he was supposed to. Say for the sake of argument he didn’t have the contract extension, would his achieving the goals merit him that extension.

    In your heart of hearts can you say he would deserve it. Are you happy with the standard of football that has been served up since last January. Have we made progress since last January.

    The reality is that a few players leaving, particularly strikers will impact upon the points that we can earn, this being especially true of bent who was a match winner for us, but does this explain or justuify the crap and totally clueless performances that have followed for the remainder of the squad.

    If you can not at least acknowledge that what has been served up is a series of poor performances, lacking any guile or tactical acumen, no pride, no beleif (just think Norwich), no dedication then keep supporting Bruce because that is what is on the menu for the rest of this season. If Bruce can not learn from his failings now, and theres every indication that this is the case, then there is no hope for him or us.

    It beggars beleif that you can’t understand this and I am at a totall loss as to how people can still defend him, heads in the sand for both Bruce and his supporters I’m afraid. Optimisim is a fine gift indeed and I would love to still be optimistic about Bruce’s tenure, however reality bites harder and at some time everybody will have to face up to what we have and its not a pretty picture.

  4. CSB – you can’t be fortunate to finish where you finish – it’s the culmination of a whole season – yes – the teams below you are poorer than us – that’s why they finished below us – it beggars belief that you can’t understand that !

  5. CSB. Davey is just an incurable optimist. It’s as well that someone can see some good (even when there is none!).

  6. Davey,

    Your second last comment beggers belief, we were fortunate to finnish 10th in any bodys book. We were not convincing, we lacked passion and had zero tacticakl awareness for the wholse of the second half of the season. Fair enough we had injuries and Bent leaving did’nt help, but you must expect some level of professional pride and acumen. There was none on display no body stepped up to the mark and we were 10th because there were pooreer teams below us.

    However when we take the back end of last seasons form in to the new campaign then quite obviously something is very wrong. What are the management doing about it, we get bleating from Bruce, I don’t want bleating I want performances we might not win but at least we can have a go, we are not getting that. Why.

    Again what are the management doing about it, we get more Bruce bleating and his suprise at how badly the supporters are taking it, then to add insult to injury Gardner sticks his oars with in regarding the Sundeland faithful, this from a player who has contributed little in the prformance department yet.

    Tour second post was a bit harsh on certain individuals who were participating in a good deal of banter with the opposition. you see it as anti-Bruce but I view it as pro-Sunderland and until Bruce starts to shake us out of this malaise (and it has to come from him) then the disquiet will grow.

    I do not wish for anybody to loose their job so long as they are doing a job, Bruce is not doing the job. Keeping us in the premiership and building for the future are his a priora, so far he his struggling with both, there comes a time when you have to be realistic.

  7. Well said Ian ANother point i’d like to make about this thread – if Agent Mac and Munich Mag had not posted under such obvious B & W misnomers and had posted as say Birflatt Boy the 2nd , or Bill Taylor2 , we would have taken them to be disgruntled Sunderland supporters – think about it – you are turning like the mags up the road !!!!!!!!

  8. I think its showed some spirit to come back from a disaster of a start.
    How many Sunderland teams in the past would have let their heads drop? In years gone by, we’ve all seen the head-down mentailty havent we? I think we have better mentality now at the SOL. We do need to start geling quickly though, AND get that big money proven striker in.

  9. All anti Bruce comments taken into consideration – how can anyone say we were lucky to finish 10th You finish where you finish after 38 matches . If such and such had won , if the twin towers hadn’t of been toppled , if Jack Nicholson had been manager , If Munuch mag was really German , if Mike Ashley were 12 stones , if agent Mac had a brain , if thingy hadn’t of been sent off – it’s all bollocks !!!

  10. I donèt know about Jack Nicholson. We have a manager who has managed to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND like namesake Viv Nicholson and they have both ended up in the brown stuff.

  11. Munich Mag,

    Peeved is putting it mildly.

    Regarding JD’s comment, the Club always comes first and Mr Bruce (can I have more time) is very poor eigth or ninth down the line. How much time do you want to give him. On my reckoning he’s had since last January to plan and now we are seeing the fruits of his labour.

    You also seem to be suggesting that because we can’t put forward a replacement he should be lft intact, hardly a ringing endorsement of his management stint is it.

    It’s always easier to sit on your hands and do nothing rather than go through the stress of change, but in this case change is necessary and deserved. This is not kee jerk reaction to a series of a few bad results but takes in the second half of last season. Finnishing tenth was fortunate to the least and we stayed up because there were worse sides than us, which will in all honesty save us gain this season if he remains in charge.

    I must be blickered because I can not see his vision for the club, I can’t see how we are going to get there and I don’t believe Steve Bruce can either.

  12. People seem to forget that the important thing here is the Premier League status of the Club. I’m not a fan of Bruce’s tactics and I think that some of his signings have been questionable. But some of these a-holes who are calling for his head are starting to get on my nerves. Particularly those who cant even name a suitable replacement! We need to stick with what we’ve got and give it time to click. I doesnt help that the Mags have had a good start to the season. Some SAFC supporters need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask do they want whats best for the club or just someone to blame for a poor start!!

  13. CSB…howay man, you would be gloating your socks off as well man…be real.. You’re right about Pardew, but now he is winning the fans round, and with Tiote and Cabaye bossing things in midfield we’re on the up and up.

    Bet you hadn’t imagined such a turn around at the start of the season, what with the turbulent close season we had, and the Bruce bloke had months to get things sorted..but …he didn’t manage it. Funny eh…the Sunderland fans must be well peeved watching him mess things up.

  14. Terry McLoughlin…you got me there mate, I realised as I typed it…doh. Of course I meant Jack Nicklaus the golfer….

    But seriously, do you all rate Bruce. His record as manager, and in the transfer market is garbage… But I love it that he is at Sunderland cos he’s gonna take you down, just watch…

  15. Tom,

    Thats what they get paid for, and by the look of it well too much. Failure to get adequate replacements during the last transfer window was a criminal failure.

    I do agree that Bent was agitating for a move, but Jones was a man management issue that Bruce failed on, it happens. But the writing was on the wall regarding our problems in front of goal and it should have been sorted thats all.

    Munich Mag,

    Gloat away its the nature of the beast, however I seem to remember that Pardew was not universally welocomed to the club, another Ashl666y import. Beleive me Sunderland will only temporarily be the embarressment of the NE before you lot rightly return to the throne. It only a matter of time …I hope.

  16. Pardew has identified weaknesses and a style of football he wants and is working toward addressing these. Bruce however, seemed to have no plan, he spent the summer signing anyone he could get his hands on. Some of his signings have been comical since he became manager…… Turner for £8m WOW. Didn’t do his research on Gyan as a player and more importantlyas a person. Don’t think i would want Bendtner in the trecnhes with me. Bramble needs to learn to take no for an answer. Cattermole is an over aggressive little turd who has no real ability. Brown & Oshea like any other player tht leaves Utd, realise they only looked half decent in a quality team (Obertan & Simpson being the obvious exclusions from this rule :-)) On a positive note i like Vaughn as a player.

    Let me ask you this, how many of 5under1ands players would currently get into NUFC team??

  17. Munich Mag says: Bruce has had more clubs than Jack Nicholson

    Can’t argue with that. Damn fine actor who, to my knowledge, has never managed a football club.

  18. God knows, Pete, I’m no Mags fan either and never will be. But, fair play to them and Pardew, they’ve made their best start since 1994 and, whatever’s coming in the next few weeks – a long series of beatings, I hope – they’re entitled to crow a bit now. As you say, they’ve done well and look settled. Neither of which can be said of Sunderland. We have some better sides coming up than we’ve played so far, too. Let’s see how we do…
    Jeremy – great shoe-store analogy. They seem to have sold out of football boots, too!

  19. Ifos. Superb post. Calling for a failing manager to be sacked seems to be regarded as some sort of treachery. Sticking with someone who has failed to manage in the way that you describe is stupidity and Quinn is failing in his due diligence to the club in my view. We are in consistent relegation form and have been since January.

    Dealing with unsettled players and injuries, lining up replacement is what the manager’s job is. If he was in charge of a shoe shop what would his explanations be? “Well unfortunately when the winter came we didn’t have any wellies or winter boots.” “If only we’d had some sandals and flip flops in any sizes between 5-8 in July we’d have been ok, but all we had were brogues.”

    It’s pathetic. I’m sick of the excuses and won’t be satisfied until he’s gone.

  20. I’m always interested in supporters who say things like, ‘I will support the manager for the rest of the season.’ Really? regardless of what happens between now and then? if we’re bottom by December? That seems a little foolish. These posts are not knee jerk reactions, they are a result of a worrying downward trend in performances, always post Christmas and if that annual event occurs this time then we’re going down. That’s why the chairman has to act, although so far the only manager he’s actually sacked is himself: Keane and Sbragia walked of their own accord. Does he have the nerve to sack his manager?
    My biggest issue with Bruce? Yes, Bent was agitating for a move long before it happened and yet the manager had singularly failed to line up a replacement; he has a captain he can’t trust to stay on the pitch; he sells any player at the first opportunity; he builds a team on loan players and is then shocked that he has to buy 9 players and ‘build a new team’; his open criticism of everybody but himself; his veiled criticism of the fans, but most of all the fact that he treats us as if we’re stupid by continually contradicting himself in his public statements, his platitudes and his arrogance.

  21. Pardew is a decent coach, probably far better than Bruce. But if I were a Newcastle fan (God forbid!!!) I would wait a few more weeks before crowing too much. They have done well, look settled and are carrying some good fortune – look at yesterday’s non award of a clear penalty to Wolves. Let’s see how they do against better sides than those they have played so far.
    Pardew, Ashley and co. need no reminders that the sheets and Dulux are only in storage and have not been confined to the depths of the coaly Tyne.

  22. Time to wake up Scotter. Quinn has done a lo for Sunderland but he is failing us badly by supporting this lame duck manager. Bruce is taking us down, and that’s all their is to it. If Quinn persists with him then he deserves th chop. The club is bigger than both Quinn and Bruce. This faint hearted fan as you put it was there for decades before anyone had even heard of Niall Quinn and will be for years after he has gone. Don’t give me that nonsense that the diisenters are second class citizens because you are out of line, and I have no patience with your nonsence.

  23. Yalright Tom…

    Nolan – aging tugboat who wanted a 5 year contract on same wedge, so…the toon swopped him for Cabaye… 1-0 Pardew

    Carroll….35 million in the bank, says it all 2-0 Pardew…

    Enrique wanted away for over a year (see you’re very own badge kisser Bent)…Pardew had no chance to persuade him….3-0 Pardew.

    What was your point again…?

  24. Given that Birflatt Boy has really given the Cauldron of Negativity a good stir with his comments about Quinny. May I suggest he go and stand in the corner for the fickle and faint hearted.

    Quinn means a lot more to Sunderland supporters than a here today gone tomorrow manager. Have a look at his name on the hospital wing and remember Easyjet and “my people”. Quinn has done more for SAFC than some blowhards seem to remember.

    Completley out of order

  25. Hurdles that other managers – Pardew, for instance – seem to get over quite nicely. A good manager can do a lot to overcome a player’s negative attitude. Bruce’s first impulse is to shove them out the door.
    Sunderland is now 16th in the table, a point out of the drop zone. As a hurdle, this is turning into a mountain.

  26. I’m sorry CSB, but I can’t leave your response to my comment without pointing out the gap in your argument on so-called assets being sold-off.

    Unlike you, I have not forgotten the dismally lethargic displays of Jones, and the patently obvious negative attitude of Bent prior to their sales. In addition, we now know that Bent was pushing for a move prior to January. In addition, it has not passed me by that getting established players into North Eastern clubs is not a trivial task, simply due to our location.

    When assessing the performance of a management team in trying to rebuild a club you should be cognisant of the hurdles they have to overcome.

  27. CSB…our supporters are not shocked, more “pleasantly surprised” at our position.
    Of course you won’t go down, but it’ll be interesting watching Bruce’s histrionics as he struggles to pull his team of aging Mancs and loanees together for the fight, and the Sunderland crowds dwindle…

    Not bored mate, gloating a little more like, enjoying the balmy summer, cruising near the top of the league with our new found zest having won at the SOL etc. Bored…naahh…You should have a look around on other blogs, the crack is often ok with opposing fans.

    End of the season is the right time to take stock, never a truer word spoken. Watch this space…! Howay the lads, and good luck to Sunderland, hope you get everything turned round…

  28. Munich Mag,

    Rocket Science aside, the Mags are in an unbelievable position, even your supportes must be shocked at how well they are doing. How long can it last. By the way Pardews record of clubs etc is not too impressive.

    We won’t go down, but we will make no progress either under the current managemnt team, Mr Quinn excluded.

    You must be very bored there in Germany if you are spending so much time on a Sunderland blog, personally I have never been so bored as to even consider visiting one from the opposition ! However, all are welcome as it adds spice. End of the season is a great time of reckoning so we will see who is above who then.

  29. CSB…bit of a rocket scientist aren’t you ? The only way for the toon to go is down…yeah right…when Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea are the clubs above us. titter titter..

    Pretty soon there’ll be nobody below 5under1and in the league, and your lot will be knocking on Martin O’Neils door begging him to save you from relegation…

  30. If I am being honest, i saw something in that team yesterday that gave me hope. The 15 and 19 point teams would never have come back from 2-0 down in that type of atmosphere. there was encouraging signs that Bendtner and Sess and Elmo/ Laursen and Richardson were developing an understanding. I would not change the team for the next match.

    My problem was having left teh ground quite philosopical and with abit of pride i then had to endure the manager on the radio blamimg me for the pressure and performances and expectation.

    This has Peter Reid written all over again written all over it. Them against us.

    Steve be a man, stand up admit that the form in 2011 with the resouces you have had is not good enough; and you understand the fans anxiety particularly given the things they have endured in the past; and that you understand the fans see this as the one big chance to become an established premiership team and are not going to take failure lying down.

    You act like a politican, blaming everyone but yourself and manipulating facts. Its patronising and disrespectful. I dont know a fan who wants you to fail, but i know loads who are not going to sit and watch you do it without making a song and dance about it.

    I suggest you start communicating with the fans and do a liitle less of telling the media how badly treated you are by the fans. Interestingly, i found your programme peice quite encouraging yesterday but we all know thats rewritten by a PR person to create the desired effect.

    Even if you get through this period do you honestly think that damage in the relationship will not already have been done?

    You are not bigger or more important than the fanbase, dont forget that.

    Finally. in the season we suffered the most with only 15 points, McCarthy left this club with his head held high and held in high esteem by the fans. How did he acheive this? By being honest and treating the fans with respect. Simples!

  31. Birflatt Boy…that an the fact that we, i.e. the Toon, are doing so well only exasperates the situation for Bruce… It would be sad to see Quinn go the way of Bruce, but I cannae see it happening. Nial Quinn will be there long after Bruce has been fired…

  32. The most unfortunate aspect of yesterday is that Quinn seems to have put himself so close to Bruce that should Bruce be foreced out then so will he. An act of misplaced loyalty in my view as the tidal wave of opinion from the supporters is approaching. He is out of time for a great many of us. Patience is wearing out. There have been no mass demonstrations, or chanting of anti-Bruce sentiment etc, but people are becoming increasingly disgruntled. Discontent with the manager will soon shift towards disgruntlement with the Chairman for not only his refusal to sack this most dismal manager, but also his clearl public demonstration of support. Mr Short may feel that there is no alternative to getting rid of the pair of them. Quinn, as with Bruce is clearly out of his depth and unable to take the necessary steps to turn this all around. I’m very disappointed in Quinn. Having witnessed countless relegation battles I can see that this team is no different to those that have floundered in the past. I really couldn’t care less about the fightback yesterday. To be 2-0 down within 5 minutes at home against a side like WBA is all I need to see. I’ve seen 10 year olds with better defensive organisation. Wes Brown is looking like Wes Brown always has. Turner is clearly not match sharp and that didn’t help, but O’Shea was awful yet again. Anyone wondering about the decision to sell Ferdinand in the last window? As for Richarson, I really wonder what Bruce thinks he brings to this team.

  33. CSB….Bruce would dump Sunderland if Gateshead came calling….

    Bruce has had more clubs than Jack Nicholson, Blunderland is his last port of call in the big league…he’s tried his best, just cannot hack it. Look at his record man…

  34. Munich Mag,

    The call to old trafford was merely ment to highlight that Bruce would dump sunderland if another better offer came around, loyalty is a two way door and some of his comments to the media to date have indicated that if the money/ position was right he’d be off, pretty much as he has done in the past, this it seems is the way of the world.

    Mind you you have point, who in their right mind would touch SB now.

  35. Agent Mac,

    Enjoy it while it lasts because you know as well as me that there is only one direction that our neighbours from up the road will be going and only too soon.

  36. CSB…you’re right, Bruce is garbage, the Sunderland lot just need to recognise it. The plastic Geordie talks a great job, but is really poor, and will spend all your money to boot.

    “If Bruce got the call from Old Trafford do you really think he would think twice before jumping ship, no of course not”..
    Man oh man that made me laugh, I haven’t laughed so much in a long time…! The bloke is garbage man, and you REALLY think that he’ll walk to Old Trafford…naah…really…! He’s just wasted a shed load of your cash on Man U retirees, trying to borrow players to keep Sunderland in the big league. It couldn’t get any better… you’re deluded mate.

  37. Ian, I really wish you had added ‘Peter Reid blamed the fans as well for his predicament – Funny that,

  38. After yesterday’s match Bruce said “Some players are just getting used to playing at the SoL”, which, excuse my cynicism, was a sarcastic dig at what he perceives as over expectant Sunderland supporters. After we beat Stoke, Bruce would not face the broadcast media, and made a series of comments defending himself and his disgraceful post December 2010 record that has included selling our best player, an inability to beat a supposedly weakened Newcastle on two occasions, home defeats to Wolves, WBA, Fulham and other such mediocrity, Cup defeats at home to Notts Co and away to Brighton [where the tactical genius that is SB began a match in a cup competition he said offered SAFC their best route into Europe, without one single recognised striker in his starting eleven], failing to sign a left back and experienced left winger and just bluffing from game to game with a series of soft excuses-expectant fans, injuries, the grass was green etc etc… Coming back from a two goal deficit against Real Bromwich Albion was admirable but why were we two goals down so early on in a match we needed to win.? Bruce may be a decent bloke, but so is my next door neighbour but he’s not a football manager either. We don’t want the world, Steve, just a bit of excitement and dignity. We’ve seen all this a million times before and thought being constantly let down was a thing of the past. Seems not.

  39. Well well a mixed bag of results. First things first though:

    Munich Mag – well done, posts of the highest calibre of sarcasm.

    Tom, SB has had since last February to sort things out. Since then performances have not improved one iota. I admit, he has balanced the books by disposing of quality assets, is this the realistic way forward for the Club. Bruce has a track record of doing just this, freely indulging in the ‘selling club mentality’ at previous employers. Is this how you want Sunderland to be preceived?

    We sold bent last January, then Jones, how the hell has it taken so long to get adequate replacements?

    Your belief that he will steer this club in the right direction given time is questionable, we are at best under him mid table mediocracy and at worst relegation material.

    I have also supported SAFC for iver 50 yrs, did so before Bruce, will do so after Bruce. If Bruce got the call from Old Trafford do you really think he would think twice before jumping ship, no of course not. So he has to accept that by not jumping he may be pushed. The statistics do not lie, his record is attrocious and for the good of the Club, which is always the priority for any supporter, he has to go.

  40. I would personally be gutted if the lads sacked Steve Bruce. The bloke hasn’t had a chance, he needs to be supported with more finances by the club, and just watch how the club will climb the table. It’s way too early to fire him, he’s got to be given the chance, it’s the least he deserves, he’s working round the clock to bring success to Sunderland.

  41. I have always thought it a fruitless exercise trying to compare today’s players and teams with those of yesteryear, and Ian’s article does nothing to change that view. I have supported Sunderland for almost 50 years and have seen no benefit gained from rash sacking of a manager after a few games.

    The net spend of the current manager is not very great, since the management team have clearly been very careful to balance the books during the recent major team overhaul. This keeps the club in a healthy financial position. The loss of Gyan at the end of the window was very unfortunate, and is currently adversely affecting the team performance, but I fully expect us to be actively trying to sign an experienced striker in the January window.

    I, for one, am prepared to give this manager my support for the rest of the season to bring the current team forward and create a stronger platform for the future. We can all see that it is not quite there at present, but it is also not far off.

    So, you can keep your sarcasm and I will continue my support of a club trying to move forward.

  42. I really want Bruce to suceed! Forget about him
    being a Geordie crap, the best finish in 50 years (if results had gone against us we could of finishes 14th!), and the leaving/signing of 30+ players, we are Sunderland, WE SHOULD BE — — USED TO THIS. The reason why we’re getting on his back is that our expectations have been raised. We are no longer the poxy little club down the road from the press/media worshipping barcodes. We’ve spent fortunes since Quinny and the Irish backers have come in. And for what!! The similarities in that Blog are scary. Maybe just a coinsidence, but scary neverless. What he needs to do is stop mucking around and get straight to the point. WE ARE STRUGGLING!!!! You listen to phone INS and read fan letters/blogs and they are all saying the same things. Bruce needs to look at himself in the mirror and see what looks back. A ‘old school manager’, with minimal tactical knowledge! He has aquired/bought individuals, not a TEAM. He ain’t got a clue tactically what he is doing. This is evident in the Chelsea game where Gardner played in 5 different postions…. IN ONE GAME! He hasn’t got a plan A never mind B,C (unless it’s to throw a 18 and 19 year old on the pitch with 12 mins to go!!). What he has got is round holes, square pegs, with players out of postion. It wasn’t till 8 mins from time against WBA that he changed to a 4-4-2, switched Sess to left midfield, Seb to Right and had some one up with Bedt instead of him having to work his own chance on the wing and chase his OWN ‘flick on’s’. He has to drop Catts who is a liability (Just look at Bruce’s reaction when Catts tackled Reid, he give himself whiplash), but Sess and Seb in their correct places on left/right wind respectively, bring Vaughan in for a few games, get some one next to Brown who can head a ball (Turner?) as he is getting dominated in the air, Norwich goal, West Brom goal (Not use to heading at Man Utd, just cleans the mess), drop Richardson for Bards and put O’Shea on the right. After West Brom, we are no further forward. We’re like a dying dog, on the way to the vets to be put down, only to start to pull round when we’re 5 mins away and our loyal owner Short decide. To turn the car round and see what we’re like in a few days. But while we limp on we all know what will happen, and I’m sorry but ‘Not all dogs go to heaven’. We are in dire straights and I think
    we have a good set of individuals, but Bruce has not got the ability to mould them into a team. Like I said I want him to suceed, but hopefully the new dog at the pet shop is called O’Neill…

  43. To be fair you can’t expect a club of Sunderlands size to beat a team like West Brom at home. Albion are a good outfit. Bruce is doing a great job, just stick with him. Don’t worry, Sunderland are still the top North East Side (haha), its not like their biggest rivals a few miles down the road are sitting pretty in third having remained unbeaten so far this season.

    Lets all laugh at Sunderland!!

    Agent Mac

  44. Ian,

    Couldn’t agree more, these are the sentiments of a growing number of worried, disillusioned fans. We have to stop the rot now. Bruce has had a fair crack of the whip. I posted a few month ago what an embarrassment it would be for the Club to dismiss Bruce after giving him all that money to spend, however bearing in mind our performances since early last year it will be even more embarrissing to get relegated.

  45. A home draw against West Brom was a great result for Sunderland. West Brom are a class side, great fight back from the lads…

  46. And i thought sarcasm was a dying art. Not if you have a long memory Ian. A quality read thank you.

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