“If the season had gone on a couple of games more . ..” said a sports editor of my acquaintance. We can all fill in the rest. Otherwise, words fail me just now. I didn’t expect to ease to victory but nor did I think we’d put in a second half display worthy of the humbling nature of yet another dire home defeat. Let Steve Bruce do the explaining, and then let one the recipients of these messages respond …I’m going out for the day
Dear Colin (and Ian),
We didn’t have enough in the locker to sustain it, we seemed to run out of juice.
It’s a shame because the first half performance, just like against West Brom and just like against Fulham, was very, very decent.
We huffed and puffed through the second half and we didn’t defend properly – we were all over the place.
We had a right back playing at left back and a right back in the centre of defence. At this level you can’t get away with that and unfortunately we’ve been punished for it.
The frustrating thing is we created chances in the first half and we got a foothold in the game, but we just couldn’t sustain it.
In the Premier League you only get five or six chances and that’s it, if you’re lucky. We had a couple in the first half but didn’t take them.
There were no outfield players over 19 on the bench that shows the problems that we’ve had with injuries. But I was delighted with the lads who came on.
Now there’s one game left. We’ll approach it like we have to, like we did last week. Nobody gave us a chance against Bolton and we went on to win it, so lets hope we can go down to West Ham and do the same again.
The fans were out in force today and they’ve been superb all season. I must offer my sincere thanks to them on behalf of myself, the staff and the squad.
All the best,
But that is not the end of it. Ian Porter composed this response, posted at the Blackcats list:
Thanks for your weekly post-match email, but there’s a couple of points in it that seem to concern me …
You mention that the defence was poor, well I think 30K supporters will agree with you on that one. Interestingly, you cite playing a right back as left back being a problem. Now 30K of us were under the impression that Bardo was your favoured left back for 3/4 of the season & been one of the few successes throughout this season ? I’m sure things will improve once you get your 1st choice left back fit again & we’ll see the best of Richardson eventually. I’m sure you’d agree that we’ve waited long enough for a natural left back to materialise.
Our otherwise poor defence also had your recent signing Elmo playing in his natural position, or at least that is the impression that 30K of us have ? 30K of use were also under the impression that Ned’s natural & favoured position was in central defence, maybe we got that one wrong as well ? Alongside Ned was Mensah, who on his day (and not injured of course) is World Class, but played like a Sunday league player at times, admittedly against a not too dissimilar strike force of Wolves. Anyway, I’m sure he’ll be better once he gets a permanent contract next season. Presumably he had a serious injury when he was subbed because he went straight down the tunnel & didn’t shake hands with the young lad coming on to make his debut?
Obviously, we 30k supporters don’t possess the depth of football knowledge that you & your staff do & we have to bow to your experienced eye at spotting a talent that represents good value, or is even free, which is why we’ll patiently wait for Riveros & Angeleri to discover their true natural International qualities & set the Premiership alight.
I read this morning speculation that you’re after signing Jay Bothroyd on a free soon. Well, it’s not for us 30K amateur managers to question your abilities, especially with a track record of managerial successes like you have, so good luck on that one as he’ll no doubt fire us into a European place next season, hopefully off the backs of Riveros & Angeleri.
Thanks for another great season Steve, 30k of us all appreciate the progress that we’re making up the table, which obviously doesn’t come cheap, but given another 500M & 10 seasons or more, we can all see we’ll be rubbing shoulders with Man U & Chelsea.
Bring it on Steve, we’re all behind you & can see where you’re taking us.
All the best,