Soapbox on life after Steve Bruce: what happens now?

Pete Sixsmith mulls over the two most-mentioned candidates for the managerial seat left vacant by Steve Bruce’s dismissal …

So, the inevitable
has happened and Steve Bruce has left the club. I was in no doubt after Saturday that he was as close as close could be to the sack; when it didn’t come on Monday, I thought he had been thrown a lifeline, but once again, I was wrong.

The owner has done the correct thing as there was little possibility of Bruce retrieving his relationship with the crowd. Three lengthy periods of turgid football and poor results, interspersed with the odd sparkling display, had done for him and it was better to put this horse out of its misery now.

Read moreSoapbox on life after Steve Bruce: what happens now?

Soapbox: far too comfortable for Chelsea

As the club adopts the familiar look of one in turmoil, Pete Sixsmith admits to deep concerns in his analysis of the many shortcomings all too visible in Saturday’s defeat by Chelsea. Rather a lot, he suggests, now depends on the team’s – and especially Steve Bruce’s – immediate response …

There have been a few dispiriting days for a Sunderland supporter over the past 48 years, and Saturday was up there with the big ones.

It may be wise to keep off the Gyan move for a couple of days and see what emerges from both sides (read this link to catch up), but it was a major disappointment so see a striker go after the deadline, leaving us bereft of even a semi-regular goalscorer.

Read moreSoapbox: far too comfortable for Chelsea

Who are you? We’re Man City and over the Blue Moon


It was in Tian’anmen Square or on the Great Wall that the seeds of the latest contribution to Who Are You? were sown. The Thomas Cook top sort of gave it away that Dan Wild* was a Manchester City fan. He may be the first classics and ancient history graduate to visit China with a tour group and leave without seeing the terracotta warriors (it was an additional part of the itinerary, not included in the holiday he and his wife, Lesley-Ann, had won). Dan offers a bowdlerised version of
Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants, thinks it’ll be 2-1 to City or 4-0 to us on Sunday and welcomes the Eastlands revolution and all those dirhams …

So, are Citeh the truly Manchester club or does everyone overdo the idea that most United fans couldn’t even place it on a map?  

I don’t think people overdo the idea. There are, obviously, a heck of a lot of United fans in Manchester, but (owing, alas, to their success) the vast majority of fans come from far and wide and most of whom without a doubt will never have seen a live game, many of whom probably won’t even have been to England! City lack the global fan base, hence us regarding ourselves as the ‘local club’ where most fans will have been to games live close to the city. 

Read moreWho are you? We’re Man City and over the Blue Moon

Man City 4 SAFC 3: a shambles Observed

The Observer came calling again. Pete Sixsmith not only had to endure comic defending by Sunderland. he then had to write about it. Poor Mark Hughes, yes. But poor, poor Pete …

Pete Sixsmith, Don’t for one minute think that this was a game full of sparkling attacking football – it wasn’t. It was full of poor defending. All four City goals came down our right-hand side where Nyron Nosworthy had the nightmare of all nightmares. McCartney was little better and we must have the worst pair of full-backs in the Premier League. When we attacked City they wobbled but our final ball was not consistent – we gave it away far too cheaply, and to lump it up far too quickly.

The fan’s player ratings: Fulop 6; Nosworthy 2, Turner 7, Mensah 7 (Healy 76 4), McCartney 3; Reid 6; Campbell 5 (Richardson 59 5), Henderson 7, Cattermole 6, Malbranque 5 (Jones 40 6); Bent 7.

Robert O’Brien, Observer reader We were lucky to win. We’re not showing the form or class that can take us into the top six let alone the top four, but we looked a lot better with Santa Cruz up front as the target man, with Tevez buzzing around him. I think Hughes should go and I know we’ll get pilloried in the press for being ruthless but if you ask any City fans they’ll say he’s not generated any sort of buzz or enthusiasm. Mancini is not who I’d have picked but the next boss would definitely not have a British passport.

The fan’s player ratings: Given 6; Richards 6 (Zabaleta 21 5), Onuoha 6, Touré 6, Sylvinho 6; Ireland 6, Barry 6, Wright-Phillips 5 (Kompany 52 6), Bellamy 8; Tevez 7, (Petrov 86 n/a), Santa Cruz 8