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.
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.
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.”
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