Steve Bruce: would winning at Swansea still not restore faith?

Why is it we get busier when times are bad? Three games into a new season seems incredibly early to be screaming for the boss’s head but M Salut was taken to task here after saying a managerial change so soon would be “absurd”. Are we all so fickle that a 3-0 romp at Swansea would have supporters singing his praises, or is that too laughable a forecast to be taken seriously?

Birflatt Boy throws his weight behind the revolution and joins the mob surrounding the heavily fortified managerial compound …

I haven’t taken the time to study the odds at the bookies to see just how likely the cognoscenti think it will be for Steve Bruce to be the first PL manager to win the sack race.

But I do have a question for all Sunderland fans: is it too early to sack him, or is it too late?

Starting last season we had a front pairing of proven PL strikers in Jones and Bent. By the time January came we had neither. We had acquired Asamoah Gyan and the temporary services of Danny Welbeck. The jury remains out on the former and Sir Alex Ferguson will be grateful for the role Sunderland played in the development of the latter.

We begin this season with the additions of a 20-year-old Korean lad and an even younger player in the promising Connor Wickham. No proven goal scorer. Guess what Steve? Three games in and no wins and only a single goal show that things haven’t changed an awful lot since Cribbins took the seat in the dug out.

Maybe he should have gone at the end of last season. I for one felt that his shortcomings were so apparent that there was no viable alternative to dispensing with his services.

Faith was to some extent restored with some very promising signings over the summer in David Vaughan and Craig Gardner as well as the experienced arrivals from Old Trafford in Messrs Brown and O’Shea. Sadly none of these players is a striker.

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Engraved: Salut! Sunderland - written with passion

Some may say that it’s too early in the season to consider showing Bruce the door. A defeat to second tier Brighton with a team that starts without a striker is a disgrace.

We may not have the League Cup as a priority this season, but to start any game without a forward is a complete disgrace and Bruce should be ashamed. He’s insulted the travelling 1250 Sunderland faithful who made their way to the south coast for a midweek evening fixture. They have every right to feel cheated and insulted by our manager.

It’s not too early to sack this manager. Ellis Short might be wondering whether he’s left it too late.

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38 thoughts on “Steve Bruce: would winning at Swansea still not restore faith?”

  1. I don’t think Bruce will play without a striker. I expect 4-2-3-1 to be the norm at first with any tweaks necessary coming as needed to accommodate the players we have. I think 4-6-0 at Brighton was an experiment to find a fall-back position should Gyan be injured or unavailable.

    Now some things against myself:
    1. I hope to goodness 4-2-3-1 is a system of choice rather than default. If it’s through default “making the best of a bad job” then it’s far less likely to work.
    2. The best football we played last season was when we had Bent, Welbeck, & Gyan on the field at the same time – and coinciding with Welbeck’s purple pre-injury patch.
    3. Do we have time? Football is awfully cutthroat and how many lots of 3 points can we concede before we either get it right or accept it isn’t going to work. As I said – tiger by the tail stuff.

    This season really is going to be a watershed. If we don’t get it right we’re doomed. If we do get it right we will be members of the PL for quite some time.

    Unless we bring in MI6 to interview Bruce we’ll just have to trust him. So far I think he’s done enough over the close season to merit that.

  2. Thanks for these references Geoff, I will certainly consult them.

    I do however think that there’s a simple explanation for this, which is that the bugger won’t sign a proven centre forward. Given that he’s spent a king’s ransom on an 18 year old prospect and a 20 year old Korean lad, both of whom are forwards would suggest to me that if your theory is correct (and about which I have serious doubts) that it is driven by expediency and circumstances of Bruce’s own making and not by an avowed commitment to the tactical doctrine to which you refer. Give the dearth of goals from midfield over the last couple of seasons such a tactical transformation could only be construed as desperate and naive. We haven’t scored any goals from the midfield for that last two seasons so we will adopt a formation and tactics which will ensure that all of our goals come from midfield players. Bruce can ensure of course that most of our goals (apart from the occasional contribution from a defender) will come from the midfield if he continues to play without a striker. A more contrived and dim witted self fulfilling prophecy would take some topping. Theory proved correct as a concept come the end of April with relegation confirming it.

    I suspect however that you are sitting there chuckling in your Antipodean abode in the quiet satisfaction that anyone might just believe such bollocks!

  3. I’d strongly recommend the following:

    1. Inverting the Pyramid : the History of Football Tactics / Jonathan Wilson. If you don’t have time to read the whole book at least look at the sections on Rinus Michels, Graham Taylor, and the last couple of chapters.
    2. The website: http://www.zonalmarking.net/ – just browse it.

    To my untrained eye I used to look at relatively recent Sunderland teams and see that whenever the opposition had the ball they went through us like a knife through butter; whenever we had the ball the opposition players would make runs which a: gave us less time on the ball; and b: cut off our most lucrative passing angles. I had no idea about defending higher up the pitch to reduce the space in which to play. I had no idea of the concept of pressing the ball – though it was obvious to me that the first line of defence of our opponents was in our half of the field. That’s why we hoofed the ball upfield out of defence so much – not from choice but because we didn’t know how to get out of the vice-like grip we’d been put under. Bruce understands this and is trying to do something about it. I don’t know how good/bad our current coaching staff are but we must have in place someone (or 2 or 3) people who understand modern football, how to get the players playing it, and permeate it through the whole club.

  4. I think you could well be losing it Geoff. Too much time standing your head while the rest of us are on our feet mate!

  5. I was actually being deadly serious Jeremy. I also know that, compared with Steve Bruce, whatever we all know about football can be written on a postage stamp. I’m quite sure Bruce’s 4-6-0 at Brighton was an experiment because he had ample opportunity to play Ji and/or Wickham right from the start. I believe he’s making a genuine attempt to get us over the “Stoke/Bolton plateau” which is impeding our progress into the top half of the table. It scares the hell out of me because we could end up in a mess if we don’t have the right players for the job. But if we DON’T get over that plateau then relegation is inevitable at some later date. It’s a real tiger by the tail job.

  6. Well mate, the rest of them can join in if they want but I am rather enjoying the conversation.

    I don’t like hearing the groans and seeing the grimaces early in games either, but that’s the way a lot of supporters are these days.

    I don’t think that Asa is what Bruce thinks he is. He’s not the right man to be considered for leading the line in this team. I genuinely believe that if we had signed Ricardo Fuller in the Jan window that we’d have finished the season a lot stronger than we did.

    I hope you are right. You are spot on about that!

  7. Time for you – representing the globe society – to have the last word, methinks. Everyone else seems to have had enough of my nonsense…

  8. We probably disagree less than you think, Jeremy – but I see so much constant negativity that I can’t help but vent sometimes. I really do see positives outside of the performance that must not be mentioned – we’ve looked good against all of the big clubs since SB took charge, but yes, dire when traveling to lesser sides. I think I generally try to hold onto and build on the 2nd half performance vs Liverpool as a signal for our season rather than dwelling on THAT 2nd half, which I don’t/choose not to believe was indicative of how we will perform this season (and herein lies the difference of opinion which we shall not be able to breach).

    Let’s not forget that Asa hardly had a preseason and is still to get his motor going.

    I have my own thoughts on the downturn, and the reasons for it – and yes, I can see how badly we miss DBtheLie, but we couldn’t keep him and he’s a hard act to replace. There were other factors though – mainly being six very tough games with an injury riddled team sapping the confidence, so that an injury riddled nervous side struggled to meet the preseason target.

    Last years poor run was shorter than the season before, however – and we have more depth in the squad, so I think we might be able to eradicate it.

    We need to start the ball rolling soon though, or you will hear no protests from me if we’re anywhere near the bottom 3 at xmas.

    I hope to god that I’m right and you’re wrong – but I suspect that you do too.

    Still, every time I hear the fans groaning ten minutes into a game we’ve been dominating because of ONE stray pass… :@

  9. Just to prove that I am an old fart, and an increasingly senile one at that Moondog I was of course referring to “Moondog Matinee” by The Band and not “Moondance” by Van Morrison.

    At least there weren’t other farts of any description jumping up to point out that I was an old duffer! 🙂

    We may disagree Moondog but I reckon we’d get on like a house on fire over a pint down the pub one night!

  10. Respect to you Moongod for a cracking post there.

    Your point about the midfield hopefully getting more goals is fair. I should hope that this is the case. We got nothing last season from Malbranque (or for 2 seasons before from him, Cattermole, Colback (few games I concede), and 3 from Henderson IIRC, maybe 2 from Zenden. Not a lot to improve upon. A hope and indeed it is a hope that the midifield chips in, is something that any side would want even if their frontrunners are finding the net. Assuming or hoping that midfielders are going to make up for the complete absence of a striker is unacceptable nonsense, but Bruce seems to think that it’s realistic.

    As for “beautiful football” I could not agree less. Please don’t mention Chelsea again, lest I scream. One game in a season! We do not play beautiful football under Bruce. It’s dull and insipid apart from that game against ehr……. (whisper….. Chelsea!)

    As for their being 2 halves to a season; that is correct and our success over the first half can be attributed almost entirely to the goals provided by the Judas Bent. Take a look at the goals haul from anywhere else in the team from Aug-Jan and you will see what I mean. We have to take a run into account when assessing the performance of a manager. Bruce’s poor “run” of results is no longer a “run” indicative of loss of form, it is a state of permanence. It is the status quo under him. That is how it is. This dire set of performances and results is not an accident; no blip on an otherwise impeccable set of credentials, it is a clear indication of what the squad is and of what Bruce is as a manager. Try as you might it is impossible to polish a turd, and a turd is what it is.

  11. I’d just like to add – I have no expectation of actually winning this unwinnable argument, but I AM trying my hardest to get some of you to take a step back and see the progress we HAVE made.

    I’d like to instill some belief into those bereft of hope.

    When did we last play a football league game?
    How much better is the current squad than under the last boss?

    I’ll back SB as long as Ellis Short and Niall Quinn do – mainly because I am backing them, and their judgment for the club’s vision of the future.

  12. Ah Jeremy – you git, you just got Moondance stuck in my head for a full hour! 😛

    Being a younger fart I’m more inclined to be listening to John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson – yet still I’m not singing the blues, and here’s why…

    Reasons to be Cheerful. (Part…..a)

    The squad. It’s better now than it has been since Quinny returned, and it has more quality in depth than most squads in the prem.

    I concede, however, that we are lacking an extra proven striker – which I think is partly down to a belief that the midfield will be contributing a lot more goals this year.

    Of the guys we have, I think each will need a goal to settle their nerves before we start seeing the best out of any of them – and with the number of chances we are creating, those goals will come sooner rather than later in my opinion. I’m sure we’ll disagree there though, so I’ll move on.

    b) The style of play. When we were getting it down and passing it around last season we played beautiful football. How else could we beat Chelsea 3-0 without our main striker, and a young lad up front who was yet to prove himself (and now Danny’s doing it for ManU we really won’t be getting him back unfortunately). I argue that it was the system we played against Chelsea as much as the players who played. I also argue that they showed how we could play with a confident approach.

    Besides which – as poor as our finishing has been, we have created more chances than we were creating last season. I believe we also have a midfield that will make more of a contribution in that area when we get some momentum going. Whoops! Repetition!

    c) SAFC the business. I’m no entrepeneur (hence me wasting my time on here too much), but I know that the millions the press say we spend is but a pittance compared to the money brought in from 2 sales alone. I think we’re managed pretty well – in particular since Ellis Short came in – and I guess that my trust in Bruce emanates from their apparent trust in him, on the understanding that trying to catch up with the big clubs will take time and require patience.

    d) The academy. There’s enough lads coming through, slowly but surely to ensure that a few will leak through into the first team squad – as have Louis Laing, Jack Colback, Jordan Cook, Billy Knott etc.
    I was particularly disappointed when Leadbitter chose to stay rather than fight, though seeing Jack Colback I realise now that he was never going to be all that I personally hoped for. Jack might – and it seems as though there are more young, hungry lads in the queue behind him.

    e) The opposition. I know I said it in a previous post somewhere, but we absolutely dominated Liverpool for long periods of the 2nd half, and probably should have won it – but for our woeful, nervous early season in front of goal jitters. Apparently they are expected to be top4 contenders! They went on and stuffed a worse looking Arsenal, who also are top4 contenders.
    We competed well against them on their own turf – so why not against other teams? We can beat anyone on our day – we just need some goals to get the ball rolling…

    f) Finally.

    We are SAFC – the greatest football club in the world.

    I believe we deserve to be the best – and I hope for it, one day, however misplaced that hope might seem. It’s hard to believe in your own hope without a little optimism…

    btw – can Geoff please confirm (as I suspect with closer scrutinisation of his comment) that he was actually being ironic. At first glance I just took it as a reference to Barcelona’s ‘false 9’ system, and perhaps was affording it with more subtlety than he actually intended…

  13. I gave you a “thumbs up” for that riposte Moongod.
    I am an old fart and assumed that your name which I did misspell indicated some affection for Van Morrison. I was clearly mistaken.

    As for your optimism, my response to that is to say please evidence your reasons to be cheerful. What the rest of us see are none. A horrible run of defeats, an inability to fill glaring holes in the squad adequately and an absence of a bone fide centre forward. We sold both Jones and Bent and neither have been adequately replaced. That is not even an assertion, or opinion, it is just a sad fact; a sad fact which the majority of fans opine is indicative of Bruce’s inability to do what’s necessary.

    If you can source optimism from another defeat to Newcastle Utd hastily followed by the annual early season exist from the League Cup, but this time with the unprecedented inclusion of a striker taking the field, then good luck to you. You are entitled to your optimism, despite whether everyone else posting to this thread (and many more besides) can see that it’s misplaced beyond all reasonable judgment.

    As for Geoff’s comment, I think you will find that he is being ironic. He’s just too subtle for you, that’s all.

  14. Before I begin, please bear in mind that I AM extremely disappointed with our start to the season, but I am trying to take a measured approach based on the overall progress of the club and OBVIOUSLY not on current results.

    I’ve just checked back in, Jeremy – and despite you misspellling my user name incorrectly (twice – even though it’s on the same page) I have not yet given you a thumbs down. I probably will thumb you down though, given that you offered nothing other than attempted ridicule at someone daring to differ from your opinion. I love the fact that you give such constructive arguments against my points – surely you are a genius with all the answers, so where were they?

    I remember Birflatt Boy from last season, when I assured him we WOULD finish top ten (yeah – we might well have been lucky, but it’s still our best finish in a while). I have never seen him post ANYTHING positive about the club.

    Thank you Rob for pointing out the obvious flaws in my argument. I would like to acknowledge those rather than the pathetic attempt at ridicule Jeremy threw forth.

    Firstly 1) I’m ashamed at the manner in which our fans can abuse Asa Gyan for doing well to turn on the edge of the box but miscue his shot. How dare he make the effort!?!? Too many fans seem impatient and demand instant success – these are the same type of fans that Man Utd had demanding Fergie must go.

    In no way am I ashamed of the club.

    2) I apologise if you believe I’v emade these assertions about you – but they ARE reasons I have seen given elsewhere, otherwise I would not have used them. The example does not apply to 100% of Sunderland fans, and to think that I was trying to say that is a misconception. Again, I apologise if you believe that this assertion was wrongly applied to you.

    3) There were 2 halves to last season. Why are so many fans refusing to remember the manner of our progress in the first half of the season? I’ll tell you why – their argument is that they are not currently happy and it does not serve their purpose to remember anything positive SB might have done for the club. Curse me for remembering – but SB guided us to a 3-0 win at Chelsea with a fantastic performance. We also outplayed Liverpool and Arsenal under SB. In fact we were outplaying Liverpool less than 2 weeks ago – but anyone who wants SB out refuses to acknowledge that.

    4) Yup. My opinion. Can’t argue, but I think the odd year of unbridled success at championship level is good for morale and might well be missed. I still don’t see why fans were so quick to moan at the derby when we were on top but not quite reaching Colback’s crosses. It seemed to me as though we, the fans, had decided that we would lose before they created a reasonable chance.
    We seem as depressingly pessimistic as the mags are comically optimistic at times.

    Hence the nature of Jeremy’s comments directed at me for daring to show optimism.

    5) If you’re going to remember last season – PLEASE remember the first half and not just the bad points. I’ve covered this above, other than to ask why SB haters are so unprepared to remember anything good the club might have done under him.

    For what it’s worth, I applaud Rob and give him a thumbs up for engaging in a constructive debate rather than childishness. As for the other guy (yup, you) I’ve decided not to give you a thumb, so you know that there ARE others who appreciate someone who is trying to pose a point of view differing from all the others on here – I find no reason to repeat what everyone else is saying ad nauseum, and I like to look on the bright side if possible.

    To translate that for you: ‘BAA BAAAA BAAA!’

    Lastly, thank you Geoff for reminding me that I am not alone in seeing something that clearly not many of the rest see. There are many of us imploring the players to ignore the fans when they request a hoof from back to front every time a centre half has the ball.

  15. I applaud Steve Bruce for trying to modernise the football we play. I don’t know whether he will succeed, but if he doesn’t even try we will never progress beyond Stoke City & Bolton Wanderers. The history of football tactics has been the history of a gradual reduction in the number of formal forwards. 4-5-1 and its offshoots like 4-2-3-1 have become the norm at the highest level. Some teams – e.g. Roma – have even tried 4-6-0 with success. These formations enable you to press the ball from the front and win it back in the opponents half of the field. Used properly the midfield players arrive late in the penalty area and score the goals. The single striker’s role in a 4-5-1 isn’t so much about scoring goals as giving depth to an attack. 4-6-0 with scoring midfielders was worth a try in a game that wasn’t for PL points. I do wish we could all see the bigger picture sometimes.

  16. Hmmm MOONGOD Few points i feel i must comment on:

    1. As I have said before on this site – I am ashamed to be a Sunderland fan.
    Answer: If your so ashamed of fans who care about the club and have an opinion as such, i suggest you become a Closet MAG.

    2. So – why would we really be sacking Bruce? Because many fans a) Don’t like the fact that he’s a geordie. and b)would rather go down than lose the derby.

    ANSWER:
    A) Most fans dont give a flying F if hes a geordie reason being Bob STOKEO played for mags and still served SAFC. alot of fans are Geordies as well as Mackems. Flawed argument.
    B) No self respecting SAFC fan wants to see us relegated rather than win a local derby. WE want successs at all levels. Another flawed argument.

    3. We would be sacking a man who has led us to a top ten finish.
    ANSWER: We finish top ten last season by fact other teams slipped up. That was a fluke considering how many games we lost or didnt win our 10th position WAS NOT down to Bruce’s excellent tactical knowledge ans skill as manager

    4. I personally believe our spirits are low simply because we have gone too long without the success of a championship title,
    ANSWER: Load of crap THATS YOUR OPINION NOT the feeling of fans. Spirits are low cos fans can see the bleeding obvious possession and GOALS win games by playing players in the right positions and adapting when neccessary.

    5. we cannot judge that position after 2 games.
    ANSWER: Majority of fans are not judging after 2 games. BRUCE has managed games88 won27 drawn24 lost36 win ratio31.03%, As ifos states – Bruces last 16 league results include 3 wins 2 draws and 11 defeats NOT including failed cup runs. So I think he can be judged on 88 GAMES.

    Do not assume SAFC fans are fickle cos after 40yrs im anything but fickle and hate relegation as much as defeat. SO to call for BRUCE’s exit isnt premature after 3 seasons i think its FAIR to question his ability and tactical leadership.

  17. The quote from his post match email just sums it up for me.

    “My overriding emotion is one of disappointment because I’ve said all along we take cup competitions extremely seriously and we put out a team that mirrored that. ”

    Was he expecting the following headline at the end of the season then?

    “TEAM WITH NO STRIKERS VICTORIOUS IN LEAGUE CUP!.”

  18. The noose is tightening around the neck of the Cribbinsesque occupant of our dug out. There is no question of that now.

    Mr Quinn needs to smarten up and realise that his genial and kind demeanour, which endears him to fans may not be his most useful attribute in dealing with failing managers. His ridiculous offer of a job for life to Mr Sbragia who was saved from the ignominy of relegation by a fortunate own goal by Damien Duff, tells its own tale. Check your testicles are present Mr Quinn and send him on his way. You may find that Mr Short’s patience with you expires at the same time as it does for Bruce. Take heed!

  19. It’s interesting that so many postings are getting the thumbs down on this thread particularly when (with the obvious exception of moodgod) who is alone in embarrassed at being a Sunderland fan but even more remarkably is standing up alone in support of Bruce. Are you also a member of the Flat Earth Society I wonder?

  20. Taxi for Bruce…. I have supported him long enough now and after seeing no strikers take to the field last night the man has lost the plot. after ending the season with no strikers last year i thought he would learn to sort the basics out.. as he keeps saying you only win football matches with goals so why no strikers playing? why have we not sorted out left side out? there is building but 10 players in a summer window is crazy get another one in and thats a new team. we will struggle this weekend. ftm

  21. As I have said before on this site – I am ashamed to be a Sunderland fan.

    The season has barely begun – but there were plenty of fans calling for the manager’s head even before then.

    After our highest premier league finish since the Peter Reid glory days.

    This is the kind of idiocy we’d expect from the mags.

    Sure, we’ve started the season unbearably slowly. A draw with a side most people believe are in with a shout of champs league qualification – a game we should have won in the second half – and a defeat in a derby we bossed for LONG periods. We should have led by 2 at half-time, creating far more chances – but everyone know how unpredictable derbies are, or at least said so beforehand.

    Last night I have no means to comment on, having been unable to follow the game – other than to say I understand fully the grievances of those who saw us create double the efforts on goal of the opposition with no-one to put them away.

    Does this mean that we will NOT score goals this season?

    Of course not – it we’re creating chances, goals will come. Probably 5/6 in one game to get us up and running. Hopefully against Swansea, of course.

    So – why would we really be sacking Bruce?

    Because many fans a) Don’t like the fact that he’s a geordie. and b)would rather go down than lose the derby.

    Well we bossed the first half – and it was the players on the pitch who lost that initiative by failing to apply the finishing touch, and subsequently succumbing to the barracking of our own fans while the score was still level.
    That would knock anyone’s confidence – certainly won’t help.

    We would be sacking a man who has brought in a lot of quality players, led us to a top ten finish whilst occasionally playing some fantastic football – particularly at the start of last season, when we were as good as I have seen a Sunderland team.

    We would not have seen performances such as the Chelsea win under Keane, McCarthy, Wilkinson, Sbragia et al.

    I personally believe our spirits are low simply because we have gone too long without the success of a championship title, but given that we’d have to go down before we do that, I’d rather consolidate with a little mid-table boredom.

    We want an improved position on last season – but we cannot judge that position after 2 games.

    Not unless you want to be as deluded as a mag.

  22. This season is still one of consolidation in the PL, we reached our target last season, a top ten place, in fact if not in spirit we hoped for. What we are now seeing is a manager who has been given money to spend in the summer trying to bind a squad together, but still displaying the same tactical failures as last season.

    SB was given a new contract on early season results and money to spend, to dispense of his services now would be a huge embarressment for the Club, but when is enough enough?

    None of the comments above are ‘knee jerk’ just a continuation of last seasons concerns regarding the direction of the Club. Even SB must now realise that he needs to start to pull things together or his position is perilous. We need three key signings. Give him the cash to get them and then give him to Christmas to pull things around. That in my opinion would be fair crack of the whip and if he fails to step up to the mark then its time for him go.

    Europe can wait till next season, but Mr Bruce the clock is ticking and we need to progress and not just have a repeat of last season.

  23. Said in the summer Sunderland botton 5 by November Bruce out by middle of December. He has not changed, depending on Larrson to send cross after cross into box with no one there to get on the end of it.
    Gardner has one function and one function only to shoot from the edge of the 18 yard box nothing else.
    Forget Crouch give Bolton whatever they ask for in order to get Kevin Davies.
    Looks like we might be seeing you sooner than expected Craig that will be fun will it not?.

  24. I was at Brighton last night with over a 1000 magnificent fans.To my disbelief our so called “manager” decided to play 4:5:1,with Sess as our main striker!!!!It was even more incredulous to expect any success with the long balls punted upfield from Westwood & Co.I did warn previously that our pre-season was unimpressive,particularly goalscoring.I predicted problems with the Brighton Game,and I repeat my real concern for this Saturday at Swansea.Tactically Bruce is very weak,and I really think that he should be given the sack, otherwise we are in for another long relegation battle.Mark Hughes would be my choice…but definitely get Bruce out NOW.

  25. Bruce should have gone last season. Had the board not given him a new contract he probably would have done. Now they don’t want to admit they were wrong. He’s a failure of epic proportions.
    Further I bet you don’t put any of you’re hard earned cash on a 3-0 win at Swansea.

  26. Totally agree with the post and the comments below. I was baffled by the decision not to play Ji or Wickham from the start last night.
    We really need a goalscorer and a left-sided player. And surprisingly there are a few around who seem unwanted by their currently clubs. Bellamy, Santa Cruz, Sturridge (who surely will want a move with all the forwards Chelsea have) and what about Leighton Baines for full back, a long shot I know but Everton are really short of cash and he might want a new challenge.
    Whatever happens it needs to happen quickly or we will find ourselves fighting relegation rather than pushing for Europe.

  27. I’d give him another four games to prove his worth as a manager. In that time I’d expect to see at least two wins and one draw, the signing of a proven striker(ie Strurridge or similar) and a left back. If that doesn’t happen I’d be looking for a new manager.
    This squad with or without a new striker should be easily top half . If it doesn’t show that form IMO its down to the manager and his tactics. The Liverpool performance was good,Newcastle wasn’t and I can accept cup upsets do happen but surely against Brighton Ji or Wickham should have lead the line.
    C’mon Steve pull yer finge rout!

  28. Only the second game of the season? True, but not his second game in charge! This is his 3rd season as manager, which makes approximately 80 games to get it right. Oh dear.
    Let’s look back, not in anger, at his tenure. 2 seasons ago a slump that included 14 league games without a win; one win in 16 in the cup against Barrow. Last season saw a run of 8 defeats and a draw before finally managing to beat 2 of the woest teams in the league and a Bolton team on a run as bad as ours.
    Last January he claimed to be happy with the squad, not the team, the SQUAD and 5 months later claimed he needed 8 or 9 players. He told us he would not be rushed into replacing Bent but would make the right signing in the summer: still waiting, and watching a team without a proven goalscorer.
    His last 16 league results include 3 wins 2 draws and 11 defeats (I haven’t even bothered with the cups)! Forget where we are in the season and look at his record in charge as a whole. When you do that there really is only one response.

  29. Bruce has as much vision as three blind mice and he has demonstrated no tactical acumen whatsoever apart from a worrying preoccupation with defensive midfielders.
    I think to hope that things will turn out ok in the long term is naive in the extreme. I agree totally with a previous contributor in that Messrs Short and Quinn should show the ruthlessness so necessary to prevent our club becoming a laughing stock yet again! Get rid NOW!

  30. It was shamboloic against the mags. He alone should know just what a local derby means to the fans. Then theres Bardsley who made L/Back positions his but gets dumped at R/Back when other options existed. His flawed decison to play 4-4-1-1 clearly isnt working as the amount of shots that passed the mags goal mouth wouldve netted Bent 5 goals easily. Gyan wasnt with it at times.

    Then we have Brighton game NO recognised striker. Insult to ALL travelling fans. If i was Ellis Short id be asking what the hell is he thinking.

    Bruce wasnt the manager i wanted or cared for to take charge. Didnt rate him to be honest but gave him benefit of the doubt cos i love my club and have for 40yrs and always will. However the doubts have been removed his stats say it all games87 won27 drawn24 lost36 win ratio31.03%, just four wins in last 17 games – and a dozen defeats. RUBBISH

    I hope the wind of change blows through faster than a fart in space suit and Ellis Short instructs (Sir) Naill Quinn to get in another manager now before the rot is untreatable. Martin O’Neill (I wish) but even Mark Hughes would do hell of a better job.

    I sit back and wait to be slated 😉

  31. Get rid, he’s made some terrible decisions, and starting a game with no strikers when we are already struggling for goals is an absolute shamble.

  32. Well said BB this is not amatter of keeping the faith it is a time for rational thought and logical team choices. both seem somewhat lacking at head office.

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