Steve Bruce gets major boost: absolutely no vote of confidence

Image: Mrs Logic
This is to do with the dishonesty, humbug and spin of everyday corporate life, whether the corporation makes biscuits, produces oil or runs a football club.

It has nothing specifically to do with Sunderland AFC, or whether we/they should stick with Steve Bruce in the belief that for all the unpromising signs, things are still more or less on the right course.

That is a related but different argument which is endlessly debated here and at many other places (I remain in the Bruce In camp, but only just and also because I have come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that his hand has been forced in one or two key decisions that have adversely affected performance and prospects).

My attention was drawn today to a Sky report headlined Black Cats Dismiss Bruce Talk. It was top of the list of SAFC-related stories at newsnow.co.uk – we were in the exalted slot earlier this week with Gyan: the truth? – and cried out to be read, especially by those of us who do not necessarily see the UK media each day, because its implied meaning was so clear.

I had read of rumours that Niall Quinn had talked about stepping down as chairman, rumours he had denied, but nothing about speculation that Ellis Short was losing patience – or had already lost it – with Bruce.

The Sky report is, for the most part, a routine lump of he said/she said denial journalism, albeit punctuated by mention of betting odds putting Bruce at 3/1 to be the next Premier League manager to go:

Sunderland are vehemently denying newspaper reports that they are considering the position of manager Steve Bruce, Sky Sports News understands.

It had been claimed that after their defeat to Chelsea at the weekend, club owner Ellis Short was seriously considering making a change.

It went on to say a newspaper report had stated that Sunderland were considering Bruce’s position, but that the club had told Sky Sports News this was far from the truth: “Sources (this is usually an exaggeration and means one source – ed) have said that there is ‘no question about the manager’s future’.”

These sources (or this source) then added something I have never before seen.


… and the club wanted to emphasise that this was in no way a ‘vote of confidence’ but just a dismissal of the claim.

There you have it. Someone within SAFC , authorised to brief Sky on what the club wants to say but will not or judges it can not say more openly, feels the need to admit that one of the biggest lies in football is the boardroom “vote of confidence” because announcing such a vote actually means confidence has evaporated and dismissal is imminent.

And what if Bruce is sacked after all?

How would that affect the way we approach club statements about the future of managers?

We would need to devise a reliable formula for establishing a distinction between a simple “vote of confidence”, which could safely be assumed to be fraudulent, and a denial of planned action that included the assertion that this did NOT amount to a vote of confidence, especially if experience went on to show that it led to the same conclusion in any case.

You couldn’t make it up. No, that’s wrong; Orwell pretty much did.

But none of this is of SAFC’s making.

The form of words chosen by the source, sorry sources, simply reflects a recognition that if people have stopped believing all that they read in the press, they most certainly have no more reason the believe everything they see in an official or semi-official statement.

And don’t worry. There is no immediate need for confusion anyway.

Bruce is going nowhere. He will lead SAFC to victory at the Stadium of Light on Sunday and Carrow Road eight days later – that was not a pig I saw flying past the window – and all, once again, will be well in the world.

Watch this space.

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50 thoughts on “Steve Bruce gets major boost: absolutely no vote of confidence”

  1. Even the most optimistic of us fans are struggling to see any positives ahead of this game. That is a sad indictment of Mr Bruce’s reign as manager when you consider that only 4 league games have been completed. The vim and vigor which typified our approach a year ago is but a distant memory.

  2. Martin,

    I think if you check back you will see that BB, Myself, Malcolm et al stated that we remained to be convinced about SB abilities. The first half of the last season pleasantly suprised me, the second half was worse than I expected (but he did have mitigating circumstances), the start to this season was more like what I was expecting last season, negative tactics, unimaginative play.

    If SB expected us to lose against Chelsea (as probably most supporters did – I actually had us down for a draw) then so be it but lets at least have a go at them, we did at Stamford Bridge last season. It the tactical issue with Bruce that I have always feared, basuically tactically he’s not at the races.

    we lost to Chelsea (easily) using a defensive line up, if he expected to lose then at least go down fighting. the fans will support a positive approach to games if we give our all, there;s no disgrace in losing to Chelsea, but there is disgrace in meek surrender.

    we have had far too many lacklustre, unimaginative displays against lesseer side too, ones whwre on paper we are far superior. Bruce seams incapable of grasping the fact that the fans will support him, even in defeat, if we have at least tried to enterprising, abd dare I say it entertaining with attacking football abd controled performances, Too often we wait to see what the opposition are going to do before we respond ourselves. that is a clear sign of a fundamental lack of tactical nous, just as we feared from the start.

  3. If Ji had been put on the field soon enough to have scored that goal 10 minutes earlier, they might have been shocked into enough life to give Chelsea a shock! You can’t send a team out with what are clearly instructions to try and keep the opposition contained and nothing else and expect any sort of satisfactory result. Bruce clearly felt that we were beaten before we started against Chelsea and yet we proved last season that that very much was not the case.
    My fear is the length of time it’ll take a new manager to get them out of this way of thinking and convince them that they’re winners. When’s the last time you saw them take control of a game and make the running instead of letting the other side bring the game to them?

  4. He is extraordinarily negative. For me, putting a team out “not to lose” is close cousin of defeatism. It a team takes the field with this sort of mentality it’s difficult to see how they could convince themselves that victory is possible. When we scored on Saturday is seemed to almost shock them to life, even if it was very late and out of the blue.

  5. Richard Hulme, in his excellent “Who Are You” piece, says he thinks Tony Pulis will bring a team to the SoL primed for a goalless draw. I fear Steve Bruce will grab that with both hands. He’s long since lost the idea of playing to win; his instinct is to play not to lose and be happy with a single point. I wonder if he realizes how close to the exit he is; if maybe in fact he’s just waiting to be sent on his way with a fat pay-off. That sounds very cynical but it seems in keeping with how the Premiership game is played these days.

  6. That’s a refreshing and honest post from you Martin. I wish you had been right and we had been wrong. Sadly it looks as if the wheels have well and truly come off now.

    We will lose to Stoke. I can simply not see any way that whatever team he puts out will have enough to trouble what is a hugely improved Stoke defence. They were a tough proposition at the back last season and are a lot stronger now.

    In the longer term losing to Stoke might just hasten his departure which is surely inevitable even in the medium term, almost regardless of results against Stoke or Norwich.

    He has a very creative player in David Vaughan, Martin but has decided to leave him out more often than not to accommodate Gardner and even more bizarrely, the hapless and useless Ahmed.

  7. It’s not about my patience running out quickly. If we were evaluated for our patience levels (Myself CSB and BB) it wouldn’t be much of a contest now, would it?

    I share your anxiety BB. We have transformed from an exciting, result-getting, attractive-to-watch footballing side, with bags of apparent potential, to one devoid of any creative ability and passion. You’d have to be blind not to spot that after the four games so far. I was also very disappointed that he didn’t buy a couple of creative players, a decent centre forward and a left sided player. To me the writing was on the wall in the pre-season.

    The team is obviously in decline, and most of the hope that Steve Bruce gave us initially is diminishing rapidly. I am as worried as you are. I don’t give a shiny rats butt who’s in charge as long as Sunderland are going in the right direction. Alas that is not the case, and I don’t see any potential. The Chelsea game sickened me. Not because we got beat, but because I realized that we are nothing like the team we had early last season. We have returned to the defensive tactics and the “lets get this over with” – don’t stand a chance mode of play. And I am ticked.

    Some of you were hasty and heavy handed in your judgement of Steve Bruce. Your negativity was premature. It’s a disease in the beautiful game – managers get the vote of no confidence too soon, before they’re given a chance to prove themselves. It’s senselessly fickle. The manager always takes the blame and incurs the wrath of impatient, angry fans, hell bent on immediate success. And sometimes it is not warranted.

    I respect Niall for giving Bruce time to prove himself. He’s no dummy. If we can see that our prospects are bleak you can bet your last dime that he can too. He has the best interests of our club at heart, and he will take the action necessary in the circumstances.

    Initially, SB’s transfer dealings mirrored the ambition of the club. The air of optimism was tangible, and everything was dropping into place. Right now the opposite applies. I said last season that if we were under-achieving by the start of this season, after the transfer dealings were done, my patience and loyalty towards Steve Bruce would start to come in to question.

    Honestly – there’s nothing I wouldn’t give to have have been proven correct. I predicted that some of you would have to admit that you were wrong about the manager. It seems I got that wrong and I am man enough to admit it. I love my club and want for it the same as you, but I refuse to lambast our manager until there are sufficient grounds for doing so. The grounds are mounting and my loyalty is waning.

    I am flattered however that you guys have me so high on your agenda when frankly, there’s more pressing issues at hand. Thank you.

    I hope I’m wrong but I believe Stoke will beat us and Steve will be gone.

  8. You think he saw himself as a future Sir Steve? Just the very thought of that must make Ferguson laugh so much he’ll wonder if his leg will ever dry.
    It was perfect patio weather.

  9. I’m going to have a couple myself Bill, patio or no patio. It was perishing when I took the dog out this morning.

    Hilary. You are dead right. When he came to us he perhaps thought that we would be a great stepping stone to the Old Trafford dug out. It may have turned out to be a weigh station en route back to Huddersfield when Lee Clark moves on to better things.

  10. I’m just heading out for a couple now, Jeremy, though I dunno if the day will support a patio. No, I wasn’t entirely serious about Sbragia. Mind you, the Scottish Under-17s aren’t looking so bad…

  11. David- I like it ! No, I don’t think that Mrs Doubtfire would be Prince Andrew’s type . I do seriously think though that Bruce ,like a few other ex Man U players, has probably seen himself as pretender to the Old Trafford throne at some point. He has spoken of his career progress in the past as if suggesting that he sees himself as destined for higher things. Obviously his connections at Man U have been of benefit to Sunderland. Even that now seems to be questionable. You have to be concerned about O’Shea’s fitness issues -five years ago it would have been a great coup to get him. Now who knows? One thing is clear-Welbeck is playing much better football elsewhere.

  12. H’way Bill!

    Steady on young ‘un! It’s early September so you can’t have been out all morning on the patio suppin’!

    I’d take Mick back though!

  13. Bill’s called this right. We have to beat Stoke. We won’t. I don’t see this team getting any points on the board against anyone other than maybe the newly promoted teams and a couple of others.

    A draw will keep him alive until the trip to Norwich which will be his death knell. Two draws would mean a tally of 4 points from 6 games, and likely few if any goals added to the “For” column.

    The sad inevitability in all of this is horrible. One home win since the New Year should have been be enough to see him out the door. Anywhere else he’d be a speck in the rear view by now.

  14. Attitude is so important. It’s easy to dismiss the Mags as arrogant poseurs but their position in the table has to be one reason why they’re playing above themselves right now. On paper, we have the beating of them. If only games were played on paper.
    Similarly, Stoke, however temporary it may be, see themselves within sight of the top of the Premiership and that has to have a positive effect. Sunderland, alas, see themselves within sight of the bottom…
    Colin’s looking for at least four points from the next two games. I think three of those points HAVE to come on Sunday, otherwise they’ll have real problems at Norwich on the 26th. They couldn’t beat the Swans and if they can’t beat the Canaries, then Bruce must surely be a dead duck.

  15. In fact it’s worse than that Bill.

    1) He can’t keep players. 2) He can’t motivate players.

    2) leads to 1) and 1) and 2)

    leads to 3) failure to attract the right type of player (Gyan, Muntari etc).

    We are on a downward spiral that is getting faster and faster.

    Not only can he not manage unhappy players he fails to realise that they are unhappy until it’s too late to replace them!

    • And you are all talking Malcolm and me out of our qualified support. It really does all hinge on the coming two games. Frankly, anything less than four points would be enough for me to lose what remaining faith I have, but I suspect he’d get away with three. As I mentioned earlier, the Stoke fan preview, which i will post tomorrow or Friday, will come across to many as having just a hint of swagger. It’s an articulation of the self-confidence and well-being we thought we’d be experiencing.

  16. Bruce also has a disquieting lack of ability to recognize when one strategy (usually, alas, involving defensive rather than offensive tactics) isn’t working and change it in time to turn a losing game around. Saturday’s match is a perfect example — if he’d put Ji on the field earlier and stopped simply trying to contain Chelsea, we might at least have picked up a point.
    ifos hits the nail on the head when he says a basic requirement of management should surely be the ability to deal with an unhappy player.

  17. Hilary said “I think Bruce has seen himself as a possible successor to Ferguson.”

    That made me laugh! 🙂 I really don’t think Prince Andrew will have the slightest romantic interest in Steve Bruce.

  18. This is an excellent thread.

    There are serious questions about Bruce’s ability to manage players. It seems beyond him. He couldn’t keep Cana, Bent and now Gyan and has failed to motivate a host of others.

    He can’t seriously think that he can hold on to his job with such an appalling record of results and performances. He’d have been long gone at any other club.

    There have to be questions raised about Quinn’s competence as well. He is a big part of the mix too. He has stuck by Bruce and Ellis Short may be coming to the conclusion that he needs someone with a bit more steel as the chairman. He has stuck with Bruce for too long. Sbragia should never have been the caretaker and he was far too patient with Keane until Keane saved him the trouble of sacking him. He’s done a lot for SAFC and the city but he’s out of his depth, unfortunately./

  19. That”s a very valid point CSB. Martin seems to think that we are correct now but not then, citing the injuries Mr Bruce had to contend with during the latter half of last season. If we take Martin’s long term view then it certainly appears that his patience has run out rather quickly given that we are four league games into the season, and he has moved from staunch advocate to the end of the increasingly long queue of our fans now calling for his head!

    I am surprised that someone who stood four square behind the manager during his entire tenure should change their perspective so readily, when in reality nothing has changed at all, apart from his increasing capacity to get rid of strikers without replacing them. Oh sorry that did start last season didn’t it?

  20. Malcolm, Martin has had plenty goes at me too. I totally disagree with his sheepish post especially the following

    “Malcolm and CSB – yes – tiz I. I hope I’m wrong too. Just as you were wrong to hastily write SB off when the injuries amounted to 11 first teamers”.

    Martin still can not come to terms with the fact that we and the others were actually spot on with our assessment of Mr Bruce and his abilities.

    Phil, I hope he does the decent thing if the next three go badly.

  21. Well Martin, I take no pleasure whatsoever in being correct about Mr Bruce. No pleasure whatsoever. Saturday was completely lacklustre with no desire, effort or belief from the players. It’s a sad state of affairs, it really is. I am desperately worried about the coming months with a side that seems leaderless and passionless and has little if anything to worry opposition defences. Desperate times and I fear that there is so little to work with for anyone coming in, until January at the earliest. Mr Bruce’s time is surely drawing to a close.

  22. I am, I must confess, bemused by the people who still want to give Bruce the benefit of the doubt because of apparent ‘fait accomplis’ foisted upon him by ‘the club’; the same club that has continually backed him in the transfer market. It doesn’t add up. Somehow Spurs hang onto Modric despite several serious attempts by Chelsea to buy him and the player’s own stated desire to leave, yet he stays and continues to play. So why are our players allowed to leave at the first sign of a bid from anybody? Can’t the manager actually manage somebody who’s a bit unhappy? A fairly basic requirement of football management I would have thought. For me both the manager and Chairman have little commitment to turning players around, and instead leave the club looking weaker and weaker to our opposition. Want a Sunderland player? Help yourself.
    As for Malbranque, Ferdinand and Bardsley these are players Bruce has been trying to move out since he arrived and made no secret of it, so please don’t pretend he has somehow been let down when 2 of those players do finally go; I’m fairly sure it’s only a matter of time before Bardsley goes. Towards the end of the season I watched Malbranque and Henderson be substituted 3 games in a row, despite being our best players in those games, ‘Those two will be gone in the summer, they couldn’t even look at Bruce as they went past him.’ said my wife, and season ticket holder. Guess what.

  23. It strikes me that the Sunderland management need to be clear as to what kind of team they want. Do we want to be like Stoke, well disciplined, direct football without the frills, but comfortably mid table, or do we want to aim higher? Bruce was never going to take us into the top half of the league. He seemed like a steady pair of hands after Keane, but unfortunately he has turned out not to be so steady. The big decision is where we go from here and if Bruce does go, what kind of team do we want to build? In choosing Keane, Quinn seemed to signal a desire for us to be an exciting and ambitious and compete with the best. Obviously the risk with Keane didnt pay off, but it was a bold decision and one that seemed worth taking at the time. The choice that we make now is critical for the future of the Club. I personally would like to someone tried and tested like Moyes appointed ;someone who combines discipline and good sense with an aspiration to quality football.

  24. The birmingham article was a real eye opener. It really is a case of history repeating itself – from the extensive injury list to the poor tactics, it could be about safc in 2011 instead of birmingham in 2006. If Bruce (or anyone else at the club) can’t see that he’s had pretty much the same outcome everywhere he’s been then we’re doomed. I dread to think where we’ll be come the end of the season. Worrying times indeed.

  25. You are correct Malcolm. Most of what I say is tongue in cheek – not intended to offend anyone. Nobody should take me too seriously – but it happens!

    I’m as passionate a fan as anyone I know – almost to the point of obsession! I will stand up for what I think is right. I have almost fully changed my mind about Bruce, but whether it was luck or decent judgement, he initially brought some very exciting times, albeit short lived, to Sunderland, and for only the second time in my life I was cautiously optimistic about having a decent team for the long term.

    I so hope I’m wrong, but I fear not.

    Jeremy – I think you’re right about Niall. Him and Shorts none-verbals on Saturday spoke volumes. Neither of those cats are happy bunnies.

  26. I’ve changed my mind several times reading this thread re Brucie tenable/untenable position. I initially placed myself with Colin’s position ‘in the Bruce In camp, only just’ and have then jumped in and out of this camp as I read through the comments.
    However, reading Kenny Cunningham’s articulate and perceptive reflections on Bruce’s time at Birmingham has really rattled me.
    He (SB) always comes over as a genuine, decent bloke, and I always believe that in the end, ‘good guys’ always come out on top – eventually. I would love to be successful under the present leadership and Chairmanship above any other for this reason. To be honest, I wouldn’t worry too much if it was Gaddafi and Assad, as long as we were winning (although shooting fans who disagree with any transfer policy may be a price too much to pay).
    Sadly, the world of pro football doesn’t provide time. It is all about short term-ism and quick results (bit like education) and no wins in our next two games could well see Bruce in an untenable position. I really, really hope that this won’t happen.

  27. A good riposte Martin. You make valid points as always. Let your arguments stand alone and if you continue to refrain from personal abuse they will carry even more weight. Being a County Durham “lad” like yourself, I suspect many of them were meant in a light hearted way (as that it is often the tone we adopt in face to face discussions in the pubs and clubs of the area) but in print they don’t come across that way.

    As for SB’s position, I’ve a horrible feeling that I am being soft thinking we should give him another few games to prove himself. I hope he justifies my position but like others I am increasingly concerned that he lacks tactical nous.

  28. One win at home in 2011. Two defeats in our first two home games. Time is certainly running out. Defeat at Carrow Road will see the end of him. Sadly it will be too late. The damage is probably irreperable between now and January when reinforcements are going to be desperately needed.

    I have a nasty feeling that we may see the end of Mr Quinn before too long.

  29. Malcolm and CSB – yes – tiz I. I hope I’m wrong too. Just as you were wrong to hastily write SB off when the injuries amounted to 11 first teamers. The first half of last season heralded the best football we’ve ever seen at Sunderland. I stand by my comments and always will. Name a better era. You can’t.

    As a long suffering Sunderland supporter, witnessing us beat Chelsea at the Bridge, and play so well against Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool( home and away) I was over the flippin moon, and I was staggered by everyone’s speedy castigation of the manager when it was him that gave us the team! However, against my belief, Steve Bruce has taken us backwards – not forwards as I anticipated.

    I also said that I would be more than willing to join the SB out brigade if he failed to do the business if given the time to prove himself. Compared to first half of last season, we have no flare, no natural left sided player (again), no play-makers, He has the backing of the best Chairman this side of Hazard County, and the owner gives him buckets of millions, and I just don’t get why he didn’t bite the bullet and buy someone who can open up defences. His decision not to buy a recognized striker – especially considering the unpredictability of Gyan, was gross stupidity.

    We got beat by the Bra-codes at home, and our performance against Chelsea was “shrinking Violet-esque” – at best. I am so disappointed after all the optimism that once again it looks like we’ll be bottom half at best.

    There comes a time when even the most patient and positive amongst us get pee’d off to the extent that we have to down pants, bend over and accept a good whopping, and admit that perhaps we were wrong in our initial assessment. Despite our excellent grounds for so believing.

    Enjoy the moment guys. I’ve got so much egg on my face, a hen just tried to sit on me. I still hope he gets it right – but I can’t see it with the players we have right now.

    Peace out.

  30. CSB says “It doesn’t matter which Martin it is really” but it does because the Martin I am referring to resorted to personal abuse when anyone pointed out what they thought was an area of the team or the tactics that needed addressing. If it is the same Martin then he owes a lot of people on the website apologies as the most recent posting under this name is a complete about face.

    If it is another Martin (but the fact he lives on the other side of the Atlantic suggests it isn’t) then fair enough.

    Phil says “However, it does seem as though you are NOT expecting “A heap of points off Stoke, Norwich, West Brom and Bolton” and fear for the worst – as I do. So, why continue to sit (waveringly) on the SB side of the fence?”

    I am still inclined to give Bruce a bit longer as I feel he was probably a “fait accomplis” in certain situations. Bent, Gyan, Malbranque, even Ferdinand who was allowed to go when we still have half our defenders out injured, were players who I think he would have like to have kept. But he is the manager and he needs to produce results with the players he has. This is where he has failed dismally since 2011 began and I have seen precious little this season to suggest he can turn things around.

    The four teams I mentioned are ones against whom we should expect 9+ points. If he achieves that we’ll be OK. If he doesn’t it will probably be too late to turn things around and I’ll admit I was wrong.

    If he does go though we need a better tactician because until the next window any new boss has to make do with the same squad.

  31. Sorry Ken. Ji Dong Won is a great signing. Just do not mention the word Dong on any UK website. We do not have enough defensive cover, we have a load of midfielders and we have an inadequate attack.
    All this from a team that at the start of the season expected to be pushing for Europe.
    Well, Gyan’s departure changes things. It seems that every season we (the supporters) get some untold BOLT UP THE ARSE to scare the life out of us.
    I have “followed” Sunderland all my life, I am not a regular at the Stadium as I live 200 miles away. If I thought we may get a decent result at Aston Villa I maybe would go there to take my 7 year old to his first Sunderland game. But, I am doubtful of the current team set up. And was optimistic a few weeks ago. If this was Football Manager I could hack it and change the stats. But it is not, it is Football Reality and Sunderland have made too many twiddles to make anything count. I hope we are not relegated.

  32. Rubbish defence!
    Rubbish midfield!
    Rubbish attack!
    Tactically inept!
    Bad signing’s
    Poor team spirit!
    Passing and possession appalling!
    can’t keep any decent players!
    short, Quinn, Bruce what is the point!

  33. The trouble with SB is his team selection, he always errs on the side of caution, and is very defensive. When we were doing well last year we were attacking teams and putting them under pressure all over the pitch. The team is lacking in belief and I think it is down to the team selection. A team should believe it is going to win, no matter who the opposition is (and so should the manager) but SB seems to not have the faith in his players which then shows in his selection, and that results in a lack of confidence on the pitch. The next 4 games are all winable on paper and this should be reflected in an attacking formation, we shall see! Supporters are already voting with their feet judging by the crowd at the Chelsea game, and NQ has made it clear he needs 40k plus, so unless we get 4 good results he will have no option but to take action. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that and we see a marked improvement.

  34. I think Bruce has seen himself as a possible successor to Ferguson, but I fear he is deluded in that. In watching the latest team that Ferguson has assembled I have been impressed, yet again, by the confidence expressed by his young players. Not only are they playing great football but they look as if they are really enjoying themselves. Whatever people might think of Ferguson his man management skills in combining discipline with encouragement pay massive dividends. This is a new team that have proved themselves from the off. Bruce, has been making excuses for Sunderland ‘because they settling in together’, ‘because they were shaken by the Newcastle defeat’-not good enough. I know we can’t compete with Man U, but we need someone who can inspire the squad. Gyan when playing for his national team showed fabulous skills, we never saw them at Sunderland. I accept that Gyan has behaved appallingly, but Bruce didnt get the best out of him and nor did he from various other players that have moved on. There were points last year when we were much better, but he been proved to have significant limitations. I do feel that he needs to go.

  35. I was unable to view the Chelsea game as it was not televised in my area but the last game that I saw there was no up field pressure, as soon as the opponents got the ball it was ok guys back to the halfway line. This must be a coaching tactic & makes you relalize why we have so few goals.

  36. CSB says:
    September 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    “A further series of insipid performances and SB will probably walk, its up to the players to decide SB’s future now. I hope they respond in the right manner.”

    Do you, really, believe that he will do that – Unless, of course, he has negotiated a “suitable” pay off?

    I don’t!

  37. It doesn’t matter which Martin it is really, the fact that what myself and others were predicting last season is finanally coming true gives me no satisfaction or joy. I was hoping that Martin was right and that things would turn around.

    The next three or four games are crucial not only for SB but for all of us and the Club together. A positive response on the pitch will determine SB’s future and I for one will be supporting the side to win them all.

    A further series of insipid performances and SB will probably walk, its up to the players to decide SB’s future now. I hope they respond in the right manner.

  38. malcolm says:
    September 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I haven’t been around this site long enough to know if it is the same Martin.

    However, it does seem as though you are NOT expecting “A heap of points off Stoke, Norwich, West Brom and Bolton” and fear for the worst – as I do.

    So, why continue to sit (waveringly) on the SB side of the fence?

    He has to go, and go NOW!!

  39. Is this the same Martin who for the past 18 months has been telling all and sundry on here that they were idiots if they couldn’t see that Steve Bruce was the best manager we have ever had and that he had built a team that was more entertaining and playing the best football ever seen on Wearside?

    The same Martin who went off to support Swansea because he was fed up with those pessimists and doom mongers who tried to highlight the areas of the squad that needed improvement or had the audacity to question the Brucester’s tactics or team selection?

    If it is then things must be bad. Before the season started I was as optimistic as I had ever been in my 50 years of following SAFC. You’d think I’d have learnt by now!

    Like M. Salut my scales are tilted slightly to the stick with Bruce a bit longer side, but if we can’t get a heap of points off Stoke, Norwich, West Brom and Bolton then I fear it may be too late to turn things around before the season ends.

  40. Martin says:
    September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    “Last season (first half thereof) we were competing with and sometimes outplaying the top teams, and playing some awesome football to boot. After the performance against Chelsea, it seems we have returned to the familiar ten men behind the ball, rabbits-in-headlights, with no hope of getting a result. That in itself is a huge step backwards and evidence that, contrary to predictions and promises of gradual improvement, the team is in decline.”

    My problem is, that having supported the team for 49+ years, I am having the same feelings that I have had many times before.

    When I turned on the TV to watch the Chelsea game (I live in Thailand) I expected nothing from it and could not even summon up any, objective, HOPE that we would.

    Only 1 year ago I believed that we would give ANY team a game – OK, we might lose BUT we would give them a game.

    Now?

    No chance!

    No pattern, no belief, no plan B (assuming that there was a plan A in the first place).

    There (IMHO) is, currently, the stink of relegation about the club and unless Quinn/Short accept that then we are going to be in DEEP trouble!

    It is, I accept, very early in the season BUT unless action is taken soon it could vie with the 15/19 pointers and (again IMHO) that would lead to ES attempting to cut his losses.

    He HAS to go and GO NOW!!

  41. Keith Hutton africa says:
    September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I won’t quote the whole post BUT I agree with it 100%!

  42. Keith Hutton africa says:
    September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    “If as they say the players are behind him”.

    Good point, but I think that the emphasis should not be on “if” but “why?”

    Of course his current players are going to, publicly, make supportive statements (the only one I have read came from Bramble) so I wonder why and found that I was asking a rhetorical question!

    SB picks the team and if I say anything negative then I will not be in it!

    What interests me, far more, is what players (past and present) are not saying publicly.

    IMHO the link that I posted offers a GENUINE, objective, view of SB’s failings!

    http://www.birminghampost.net/midlands-birmingham-sport/west-midlands-sports/tm_objectid=17062448&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=the-real-failings-at-blues-name_page.html

  43. Living far away the British press are seen to not necassarily make stories up but try to pre-empt decisions and put words in to people’s mouths or twist the one that come out. Clearly there is a believe that Bruce through performance has put his job in jeopardy. They ask the question is he in trouble will you sack him. Nobody can say off the cuff YES he is getting the bullet tomorrow and if you say no comment the assumption is he’s history. Sky try to cause controversy by trick questions it is a disease that can be contracted by the meerest contact with the Murdoch family it is not the fault of SAFC if Short says I’m sticking with my man then I will believe it but there is no question Bruce is on shaky ground and if as they say the players are behind him we will see that against Stoke, great but what if we don’t????

  44. “Tthat was not a pig I saw flying past the window – and all, once again, will be well in the world.”

    I do hope that you are 100% correct but I stopped believing that the moon was made of cheese a long time ago!

    Someone dug up an article (on RTG) about SB, when he was relegated with Birmingham, which was a correlation of Kenny Cunningham’s views.

    http://www.birminghampost.net/midlands-birmingham-sport/west-midlands-sports/tm_objectid=17062448&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=the-real-failings-at-blues-name_page.html

    Any SAFC supporter will, I think, see that the criticisms made by KC, more or less, replicate our current situation!

    Which means that SB has NOT learned one thing in the past 5 years!!

    Regarding the “Quinny speak”, I am hoping that he has acquired the skills of Sir Humphrey which would then allow him to sack SB yesterday!

  45. A pig it was Colin. Same Porcine just flew past my window. He’s looking a little jaded after his flight across the Atlantic though!

    I predict that Stoke will beat us on Sunday and that will be the end of the Brucester. Last season (first half thereof) we were competing with and sometimes outplaying the top teams, and playing some awesome football to boot. After the performance against Chelsea, it seems we have returned to the familiar ten men behind the ball, rabbits-in-headlights, with no hope of getting a result. That in itself is a huge step backwards and evidence that, contrary to predictions and promises of gradual improvement, the team is in decline.

    Eight defeats in nine at home, one against the Mags is simply not good enough. Confidence has gone, the team looks fragile, and unless there’s a dramatic turn-around, we the undeserving are in for another dog-fight. It pains me to say it, but it’s time for a change.

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