The Newcastle mauling: change or go, Brucey


Colin Randall writes: on balance I would have preferred the post-St James’ Park inquest series to end on the relatively upbeat note – OK, non-suicidal note – struck by Malcolm Dawson yesterday (click here to see). But Steve Bruce is enough of a pro to have known calls for his head would inevitably follow such a disgrace as was witnessed on Sunday. Fans are split. Salut! Sunderland writers, as well as its readers, are probably split. Does he, as I believe, deserve to be judged on a longer period than 90 torrid minutes in Newcastle? Or is he a Kenwyne Jones blinder away from the sack? Lee Nichols*, writing here for the first time, was a doubter from the start …


If I say I’ve been having many an argument with fellow Sunderland AFC fans, it has probably been more of a tipsy debate sat in the pub.

Cast your mind back to last summer when we were scouring for a new manager. Sky Sports News brightly lit up my evening when it was announced that Roberto Mancini had accepted a contractual offer from Sunderland AFC to become their new manager. I was over the moon. An Italian manger, recently at the helm of Inter Milan was going to be the manager of my team, Sunderland.

This feeling of pure euphoria was quickly taken away when Niall Quinn released a statement saying that no form of contract had been offered to Roberto Mancini. It was plain untrue.

What happened here? How is it that can someone come out, with his agent, and tell the world he is going to manage Sunderland AFC without there being a shred of truth in it?

It was to get worse.

A few days later, speculation was rife that it was Steve Bruce who was going to take over the reigns. And this turned out to be true.

How can Niall Quinn come out and constantly get the fans hopes up by saying European football is close, we wouldn’t have long to wait? Well were going to have to wait a little bit longer now.

Steve Bruce. Who has Steve Bruce EVER taken to Europe? Has he ever got past the 4th round of the Carling Cup? I said at the start when he was employed that this is not the man to take SAFC forward.

And, not because of the drubbing we had at the weekend, I still stick by it. His tactics are negative. He plays so defensively he’ll be happy with a draw every week. I am getting sick of listening to him say “we can’t depend on Benty to get the goals”.

Well for starters, Steve, try playing two up top.

Try playing a £13 million pound Ballon d’Or nominated player with him, instead of Danny Welbeck.

Try playing Cristian Riveros instead of Cattermole. Try playing Mensah instead of Bramble.

These three players all warm the bench at SAFC, yet they were stars of the World Cup.

Unfortunately, we are going to get no goals from the midfield because three of the five midfielders sit back in their own half, just waiting for the opposing team to nick the ball, as they so often do, and run at them.

Things need to change, and quickly. I’ve lost belief in the man, but then I started off with very little in any case. So how much longer will it take before thousands of others have, too?

Football is a religion in the North East. It is my religion. Steve Bruce won’t have long to redeem himself. 48000 fans will have their say.

* Lee Nichols on Lee Nichols: ” … a fan since I can remember (thanks dad!). Season ticket holder up to 16 but had to give it up when I left for the Army. Now a civilian, I reside in Maidstone, Kent and get to pretty much all the London away games. Highlight so far has to be our the family holiday to Majorca in 1996. We pretty much spent the entire two weeks with the team through luck of sharing the same hotel and Michael Gray spotting me home shirt, but the one thought I will always remember is being in Linekers bar (granted I was only 10, I stuck to the orange juice….) And whilst me dad was propping up the bar with Steve Agnew, Phil Gray was busy chatting up me mam!_

** Pic of Steve Agnew, Phil Gray’s on-the-pull decoy, from A Love Supreme

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40 thoughts on “The Newcastle mauling: change or go, Brucey”

  1. Personally I have never liked Bruce’s tactics and on Sunday I wanted to bury myself (in the beach sand in Perth W Aust) Glad I don’t live in the north east or might have done it.Under Bruce we might have a long stay in the Prem division but we are so predictable. I may change my mind about Bruce in the future but at the moment I still don’t like him as manager of my club,why cant we play football like Arsenal?? dream on Arty !!

  2. I think many Sunderland fans would swap the good points we gained against City, Liverpool, Arsenal and United for a win on Sunday and thats a shame. I appreciate the pain we’re going through but that shouldn’t wash over the progress we have made.

    We have been beaten twice; Firstly by West Brom – newly promoted and their first home game of the season when they were totally buzzing; Secondly on Sunday by another newly promoted team that were totally up for it when their manager is threatened with the sack. Unfortunately Bruce picked the team in blind loyalty on Sunday to the young, inexperienced team who had played out of their skins in previous weeks and churned out some good results. I dont blame bruce for that, it would have been tough on those players he should have put on the bench in favour of the experience.

    We forget that until Sunday, we had the second best defensive record in the league, with only Chelsea conceding fewer; And we hadn’t kept three clean sheets since 2000. The worrying fact is goals – bent had scored 5 up to sunday, 3 of which were penalties, own goals have scored 2 and Gyan one. when own goals is your second best scorer after 10 games and you have a problem. Last season we scored more but also conceded more and this season we have over compensated.

    I think the result will allow / force Bruce into some changes: Gordon back in goal; richardson back in at left back; mensah in; riveros in the middle, henderson out on the right and gyan up front. That will bring the blend of youth with experience into the team, keep us hard to beat, be more creative and who knows we may score more goals from midfield.

    Its a seaon of 38 games and not 1, as important that 1 was. We should judge Bruce in May, when i feel we will have finished 9th and above the Mags.

    Roll on Saturday when we play the reserves and take 3 points!

  3. Lee – AND EVERYONE ELSE JUMPING ON THE BASH BRUCIE BAND WAGON – READ UP!!

    This will be my last post on this subject because frankly we’re never going to agree, and we’re milking the shite out of it now.

    I don’t have to read the article again like I’m some kind of moron! I know what your points were and I know that the appointment of Steve disappointed you from the outset. I was a little pissed off by the timing of it – that’s all. You take the easy option. You abandon a sinking ship like a true opportunist. You should have had the sack to say those comments after a good result. We were all feeling bad enough without your slagging off our coach who frankly hasn’t had enough time to get the brand new players to gel, nor has he been able to try different formations due to a run of immensely tough fixtures.

    Do you honestly believe that after possibly the worst result in our history your article is helpful?

    The team he selected had performed awesomely well against the best teams in the league. I don’t blame him for his selections. Riveros looks off the pace. Gyan (who we all want to see in the sarting 11) wasn’t fit enough initially. Mensah was injured yet again, and Bramble and Turner had been previously rock solid. Da Silva – I’m sorry, but despite his great games for Paraguay, makes a few blunders and isn’t as good as our other central defenders. Welbeck – despite his utterly hopeless showing against the mags has shown glimpses of his potential. He’s quick, skilfull, can give defenders headaches, and can pass the ball. Even Mensah has said (look on safc.com) that because the team was playing so well, he was happy to sit it out. Elmo made himself undroppable. Maybe with two up front we would have suffered an even greater hammering.

    The performance against Brum was fantastic. Catt the twatt got sent off and therein lay our downfall. Bruce himself has identified that he has to change the mentality Sunderland players, and this was a good example of how we threw it away due to a mental break-down. At 2-0 up we should have won, even with 10 men. However, some of the football in that game caused a rumble in my trousers.

    He’s not going to get the tactics right all the time. He’s been with us for five minutes, and he has 20 new players!! He needs time, and so do the players.

    Lee – when was the last time you saw us take the game to the likes of Man U in the league? When was the last time you said “we should have beaten Liverpool”? When was the last time you said “we were all over Arsenal”? Are you getting me now?? Or is the glass still a quarter full?

    We have the squad. We have a young, quick team capable of silky, one touch stuff. We have SuperDaz up front, and Gyan is ready to show us what he’s got. But we have to give them time – that’s the point. You want results right now, we all do, but that’s not the reality. They will come – mark my words.

    Think about this Lee – just bare with me here! How many of our previous managers can you name that have identified the lesser mortals in our squad, and sent them packing?? Because with the exception of the likes of Healy, all the also rans have been shown the door. Mr Murphy being one of the last.

    His only mistakes in the transfer market have been Killa and the Angelerie. Most of the others make my mouth water!

    David Moyes at Everton had won nothing. Tony Pulis at Stoke, Chris Hughton at Newcastle – to name but a few. they all have to start somewhere – Fergie and Wenger included. Previous success doesn’t always lead to more success. Ask Kevin Keegan!!

    We have the foundation of a very useful team. Gradually, with the addition of more quality, namely a creative midfielder we will improve and results will follow.

    But Rome wasn’t built in a day sunshine. Let’s judge him at the end of the season and hopefully beyond. Give him some time Lee.

  4. Dear me Martin

    Please, for me, re-read the article.

    AGAIN, you are missing the point. You have just wrote ‘spitting poison at the first sign of srife’…….from the start, I said Bruce was a mistake.

    Your happy with the team not being able to finish the game off are you? Biting your nails up until that final whistle goes before going home and ringing the sweat out of your top.

    your taking my opinions and making them sound like blasphemy in your head. Total credit must go to Niall and Ellis, I’m not disagreeing on that. My only gripe is the fact you are here arguing to the death that Steve Bruce is the man to take us forward.

    2-0 up against brum. Final score 2-2

    1-0 defeat to West Brom

    Played good against Citeh, yet it took a 95th min pen.

    Liverpool, we should have won.

    Utd, they didnkt turn up, we couldn’t score (lone striker…….)

    Arsenal, yes, I’m happy that we ground out a draw, we were all over them.

    Blackburn…………….

    Villa, own goal, terrorised in the 2nd half

    Mags……….

    The style of play over the past few games was terrible. Pack the midfield and hope to get Bent on the break. If this is what you mean by your happy with the way Bruce is going, then fine, who am I to judge.

    In my article, and my comments, can you not fathom that I want so much more for the team? Probably not because your to busy picking holes in sentences I’ve left and coming back with cleverly worded cocky remarks.

    The team can perform so much better than they are, disagree all you like Martin, it’s the tactics that let us down.

    And we all know who delivers them

  5. Thanks Geordie Dancer for exposing Lee!!! (I hope that’s true!!)

    Steve Bruce already has taken the club forward. Only you’re too blind to see it! Or are you?? According to your colleague you were singing his praises!!

    I’m not missing any points. I can’t stand the attitude of you and the “thousands” you proclaim to agree with you. Your malicious prejudices are transparent and your arguments have no foundation.

    How can you guarantee that I won’t be happy? You don’t know me. I am happy now, except for the obvious. And I promise you, unless we get relegated I will remain optimistic, especially as Davey B says with Niall at the helm, Mr Shorts generous contributions, and a truly superb manager.

    Truthfully, and I say this hand on heart. After the huge concerted effort being made to take us forward, including 1000’s of man hours by people like Niall and Brucie, I am truly excited about the future. Sunderland are a club with massive potential from grass roots and up. We are one of the most ambitious clubs in the league, and we have everything in place to ensure a bright future.

    However, and I say this with regret. We could very much do without fans like you, who spit their poison at the first signs of strife. Yes, we’d be better off without you. I believe there’s a spare seat at Feethams with your name on it.

    You’ve lost this one Lee. Brucie will make you eat your words, and if I’m wrong I will eat a pair of your worn undergarments.

  6. Good attempt Geordie Dancer. It’s just a shame that everyone at my company in Maidstone are all Gooners and Utd fans

  7. For the record every one, i work with Lee, and this article is nonsense and on the back of the 5-1 mauling we gave you.

    He told me last week how he was pleased with “the lengths Bruce has gone too in order to push this club forward”.

    He’ll love Bruce again when Bent fires one in for your next 1-0 win

  8. Steve Bruce throughout his management career has signed some fantastic players . I have followed Sunderland since the 1960’s and can’t honestly remember being as optimistic for a season as i was before Sunday – still am actually – and no it’s not dementia setting in – I hope !
    When you look at the quality of the squad – |I don’t think we have anything near that before . A brilliant chairman , and a level headed owner , let’s get behind the lads after this unfortunate blip and keep the SOL the fortress it has become this season

  9. Is this the same Craig Bellamy that left in the Summer? Would seem strange as the story of unrest only happened in the last few weeks……

    Again Martin, you are missing my points by bringing nonsense to the table. They aren’t cheap insults at all, it is my take on all the garbage you have continually commented on this article. You said that I have no sense in telling how to pick a team. Rich, coming from all the stuff you have worded. You obviously disagree with my thoughts, you are 1 person, thousands agree. SB will not take this club forward. As for my ‘I told you so’ article’, we’ll see come the end of the season, I guarantee you won’t be happy. I don’t mean to be negative towards the team, as you said, I to live for SAFC, but you hold SB to high in your thoughts. You WILL be disappointed come May

  10. That’s “more better” Lee. Well done. True colours will out eventually. Is that the best you’ve got son. “Armchair fan”!! Keep ’em coming. I love it!!

    My absence from the area was enforced, but I still live and breathe SAFC in the same way as you do (and probably more so). So to cast cheap insults at fellow supporters is as much a mark of disrespect and disloyalty as your “I told you so” article. You represent the pet lip brigade, the impetuous scarf throwers clan when things don’t go totally your own way. When times get hard, find the scapegoat, whip him when he’s down, lock the stocks and hoy the ripe tommies. Nothing will ever be enough for you. You are unsatisfiable. You fly the flag of negativity and discriminate before a ball is kicked. It seems that you almost long for Brucie to fail, just so you can prove yourself and your stereotyped prophecies correct.

    You fail to understand that it can’t and won’t be perfect and that evolving from the depths of despair to the heights of achievement TAKES TIME. Wake up and smell the coffee me old mucka. There will be blips along the way – of course there will be. But we all have to keep the lid on things, and try our best to be positive, especially after a stomach wrenching event such as we witnessed this Haloween. Every bad thing you’ve said about Brucie can be redressed with the good he’s done. Here’s one example. Through his direction and guidance, we now have a $20,000,000 plus midfielder with potential akin to the likes of Beckham.

    As regards Mancini, I’m simply saying that Steve Bruce was the safer bet at the time, and yes, I know Craig Bellamy. I don’t know much, but I know this. Mancini treats previous excellent performers with a complete lack of respect, and keeps them in the dark without so much as the common courtesy of revealing his plans for the future for them. Onuoha can attest to that. In any case, it was all over the media. I saw and listened to it from the comfort of my armchair!! Fellow professionals and even managers were openly expressing how badly Craig was treated, and Harry Redknapp made a public appeal in an attempt to convince him not to drop into a lower division.

    For the record. I am more than happy that SB is our manager. I am more than happy with results so far, and I am more than happy with the potential we have. I am concerned like everyone that we don’t seem to produce goals from anyone other than Darren, but I believe this will change.

    I hope against hope that he proves you wrong Lee, and I hope that you will relinquish your bragging rights as to your predictions, and support our club in a positive manner, and admit you were wrong. You and Bill Taylor both have my word that I will afford you the same courtesy.

    What other insults have you got for me Lee? I can hardly wait.

  11. Personally I just cant get over how quickly the skunks have reverted to their old ways.

    Unlike many SAFC fans I couldnt give a flying duck what Newcastle do as long as we beat them in the derbies. I dont care who your manager is, how big your stadium is, who your owner is. The only exception to this is when you start getting above above your F**cking station and the over-inflated ego’s start coming back.

    What is it that make a Newcastle fan think they’re destined for greatness? You’ve never done it in the past and there’s no sign of you doing it in the future.

    I started the season thinking it wouldnt be such a bad thing for NUFC to stay up and rekindle the rivalry, I now sincerly hope this doesnt happen.

    I’m afraid most Newcastle fans I know do adopt the Cyprus-Toon tone and some of them are my best mates. I’ve seen it grow since the Villa result your going to spoil yourselves and become a laughing stock again when it all goes tits up.

  12. I understand that Mack, football is football, you are never ever going to be able to please everyone. I have my opinions, everyone else has theirs.

    What I don’t agree with are pointless statements like this…..

    ‘Mancini has no experience managing in England and if you speak to his players, they do not hold him anywhere near the same esteem.’

    1st thing, had Arsene Wenger ever managed in England? Had Ancelotti had Mourinho. The list goes on.

    2nd thing, speak to the Man Citeh players? You have done this have you Martin?

    You are totally get mixed up with what I’m saying Martin. Yes – have seen us improve, but for the quality we have in the squad, IT IS NOT ENOUGH. And if I’m being honest, as I’ve said in previous posts, your a typical armchair fan mate

  13. Lee, im not having a go at your personally bud, lots of my angst in these posts are aimed at the masses Ive seen write similar to far worse over the last couple of weeks.

    With regards to your post, your not really disagreeing with me but with actual facts. Birmingham at 02/03 didnt have a good team at all, they had just come up and thanks to the inspired signing of Dugary (spell check) they went from strength to strength. We however had just broke our transfer record on garbage and had the core of a team who finished 7th twice. And the 07/09 comments just cement my position.

    I just cant agree that we could of got someone better, its far to vague, Im sure there a few people that would have got better results but that number with be smashed to oblivion by those we could of got to do worse. If you can give me an example of someone that we could or reasonably got that has facts to back it up then sure, ill hold my hands up.

  14. Just saw Macks comments and his are way more factual than mine. Not bad for Wigan and the once unfashionable Birmingham – eh Lee?

  15. Couldn’t disagree with you more Mack. Birmingham had a decent team. We had Jon Stead and NO transfer budget.

    2007/08 season, Roy Keane had spent massive amount of money on 146756 players.

    2008/09 we finished with Ricky Sbragia. Luckily

    Considering we had just been taken over by a multi-millionaire, we could have got someone a lot, lot more better than SB

  16. You haven’t jumped on the bandwagon Lee – you’re driving it. I didn’t think I would have to explain that!! You wrote the article and everyone agreeing with you are the jumpers.

    Did Niall Quinn say that he wanted the club to get to Europe. What a bounder. He should be sacked. Whereas, if his ambition was to slide into the Diadora league – now that’s the ambition I’m looking for. Unbelievable.

    Steve Bruce rescued both Birmingham and Wigan from certain relegation and was able to maintain their position in the premier league despite massive limitations restrictions. He gains respect from key figures within football across the globe for his eye for a bargain and his dealings in the transfer market. Players vouch for his excellent man-management skills, and his ability to motivate and get players playing for him. He’s bought players I never expected to see at Sunderland in my lifetime. He is politically aware, and is great with the media, he has passion in abundance, and his desire to be successful is almost touchable. Sometimes his team selection is questionable, but that will improve.

    But he knows the players, their fitness levels, their state of mind etc etc. Therefore I trust him infinitely more than you to pick the team!!

    Mancini has no experience managing in England and if you speak to his players, they do not hold him anywhere near the same esteem.

    What planet are you on Lee?? Have you not been watching us evolve and improve?? Compared to the sheer dross we’ve had to contend with for the majority of our allegiance to this club, are you not at least a little optimistic regarding the current regime?

    This time he has financial backing and support from his Chairman. But he needs more time man. Folks in the game with FAR more knowledge than yourself rate his chances to be a top, top manager.

  17. Steve Bruce’s Premier League Managerial Record against Sunderlands League position.

    2002/3 Birmingham 13th Place (after ending a 16 year absense from prem) / Sunderland 20th

    2003/4 Birmingham 10th Place /Sunderland 3rd Championship

    2004/5 Birmingham 12th Place /Sunderland 1st Place Championship

    2005/6 Birmingham 18th Relegated / Sunderland 20th

    2006/7 Birmingham 2nd Championship / Sunderland 1st Championship

    2007/8 Wigan 14th / Sunderland 15th

    2008/9 Wigan 11th/ Sunderland 16th.

    This clearly shows that Bruces premiership carear is vastly superior to our league positions and this is exactly the type of nonsense Im getting sick of, Kevin’s not best pleased so just invents nonseical ramblings to suit his agenda. And the 3 million buys you alot of manager means nothing at best, ill give you 30 million Kevin, show me who ticks all your boxes?

  18. On a brighter note. Steve bruce has confirmed on SAFC.com that Gyan will be definatley starting, pairing him with Bent. Brilliant. A tactical change is perhaps exactly what we need, and will be something Stoke won’t know how to handle. Although, would it have been to hard to do this against the mags?

  19. I was going to wait until the end of the day to comment on the achieved comments already placed. But I feel I now have to defend myself against the people who have clearly misinterpreted the article.

    What bandwagon have I jumped on Martin? I clearly stated I didn’t think it would work from the start. Yes he has done a good job in areas, but you cannot tell me that you are happy with the fact that, yes the team have played good on certain games, but did we don’t get a result. If your happy with taking draws against teams we should be beating then you have no ambition. If you want to take control of a game and get the best possible start, why leave these players on the bench. Bringing them on with 15 mins to go does not add to anything. As each game so far has proved

    This is the Premier League. We cannot survive with 1 up front. If Darren Bent does not score, we do not win. It is as simple as that.

    How many people in the Stadium, every home game, groan and moan when the announcer states that Gyan is still sat on the bench.

    And again, where did I state that Bruce needs to be sacked immediately. I simply implied that if things do not change, then the fans will be in revolt.

    On the Europe issue. Google it. Sky Sports.com still hold an interview with Niall Quinn saying that he wants European Football.

    Roberto Mancini. Before this man came to England, in his penultimate season he won 3 trophies. In his last season he won 2, gaining the sack because 1 of them was not the Champions League. How was I to know that he would come to England and play a 4-5-1 with a squad that already had 7 defensive midfielders. Mancini is not failing. It is Citeh that is failing because of the previous deals done through Mark Hughes.

  20. I couldn’t agree more.
    If anyone can defend Bruce’s record as a Premier League Manager I yet to hear it. One decent season and the rest spent either fighting relegation or actually relegating the side he managed. Go check his stats they are that poor and please don’t ask who we could get because £3m buys alot of manager

  21. I also think that Bruce should be given more time.
    Like I said on an earlier thread, whatever formation you play is determined by how the players actually perform. 5 in midfield with 1 upfront offers a whole range of attack options (2 wide players, 1 or more central midfield pushing up with the striker).
    However, this assumes that the midfield wins control of the game and can close the gap. On Saturday, we failed to win midfield therefore are pushed further back defensively leaving Benty stranded. Suddenly, 5 in midfield becomes very defensive.
    There have been many positives this season (eventually). Saturday was just one massive negative (Bardo apart). Derbies are very non-typical games and, by definition, impossible to predict.
    The line between success and failure is extremely fine – the width of a crossbar, a divot, slight mis-kick, ref blinking and missing a tackle etc etc. Games swing wildly on such incidents. Had Hendo scored early on??? Who knows. You don’t sack a manager over things like that (actually, many clubs do).
    As some of these responses say – the next few games are crucial for Bruce to see how he responds and if Saturday was simply ‘one of those unfortunate days’. Please start Gyan.

  22. When I read this article I expected to find a plethora of like-minded, over-expectant, impatient, poor judgemental jump-on-the-band-waggoners slagging off Brucie. I’ve had my say, but I would just like to thank James Barron and Mack for their sensible perceptions.

    Lee, it would have been better strategy if you had posted this article after the draw with Liverpool, or the win over Villa.Your timing smacks of “I told you so”

    For me, the jury is out on Steve Bruce for now. He orchestrated the biggest failure against our rivals in my lifetime, but what went before that match filled me with hope for the future, like never before.

    I believe he will start to use his squad more than he has so far and that somehow that debacle might just turn out to be a catalyst for better results. We’ll see.

    As a reminder. David Moyes, Sir Alex, ‘Arry Redknapp, amongst others have all touted Brucie for the England job, and as a candidate to replace Fergie himself. Am I going bonkers, or is that a nice accolade for the boy, and a pointer that all you unappreciative muppets are way off the mark.

    One more point. Only the teams with strength in depth will stand any chance to get into Europe. We have quality to come off the bench and that’s a bad thing????? I can’t EVER recall a time when we had decent subs!! Usually our starting 11 were crap to boot!!

    I sit in utter dismay at how our so-called fans are slating the guy who built and continues to build one of the best (if not the best) squad we have ever had. You have very short memories lads.

  23. Agreed Mack. It is natural to raise the bar when it looks like the objectives are close to being met, but ultimately we should all remember what the club was setting out to achieve. This was one bad result in a division which has in my opinion, 16 or so very closely matched sides. It just happened to be the one team we would choose not to lose to, who turned us over. Back in September we were looking for a top ten finish which would provide a platform from where we could kick on in the future. As for Cyprus Toon I give no creedence to someone who doesn’t know the difference between accept and except.

  24. Salut, you say its reasonable to expect a better return to generous funds but If you look at It properly, youll see that Bruce’s net spend Isnt large at all, however the wages bill and signing on fee’s must be bearing a weight. More to the point what exactly do we expect?

    His first season we expected to be well away from a relegation fight, he easily acheived it. This season we generally expect to finish higher than last, does it look as if that will happen, well to me it does but thats up for debate. So In clear facts he has been a big success so far. If we finish this season below last then It will be a failure and can be assesd better then.

  25. James Barron is quite right about Quinn unless i missed something he said about Europe. But it is still reasonable to expect, as I am sure he and Ellis Short do, a better return on the generous funds made available to Steve Bruce. It was great seeing us put up decent performances against Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Villa but other mid and even lower table teams have done so, too, and there was plenty of evidence of the cracks in some of those games. That said, I stick by my view that Bruce should be allowed to see it through and wouldn’t even regard a Kenwyne winner on Saturday – God forbid – as reason to change that. Let’s see how it looks a lot later in the season.

  26. Crazy stuff which is unfortunatly shared by many. I dont recall Quinn eluding or making promises about Europe, Im presuming this Is made up to suit the writers own agenda which is the type of mentality normally adopted by those who share this opinion. A “Big name” manager seemed daft at the time due to having limited resources and staying up by a solitary point, and Its been proven recently with Mancini dooing poorly at city, whilst were on him, can you guess what formation he plays Lee? 451 with more defensive minded midfielders than we play.

    Im becoming fed up with football recently but not because of the media highlighted buzz words “out of touch” “overpaid” and all that nonsense but because of the garbage sacking mentality some of our fans, to look at it all from afar It would seem they believe we have a devine right to win every game and become champions although they would still find something to moan about.

    This is all folly however, we can share a drink and have a discussion when were back in the 3rd Lee.

  27. And you wouldn’t now be calling for Mancini’s head ; after defeats against Sunderland & Wolves , mediocre teams with useless managers ?? Playing 1 up front and packing the midfield – whilst leaving an array of talent on the bench !!!!!!!!!

  28. BarryG: he wasn’t abusive, just silly, so I had no real reason to block or even edit his contribution to the debate.

    On the real point, I also hoped for a big international name to replace Sbragia and was initially disappointed by Bruce’s appointment. But Mancini has hardly been a riproaring success at City with all that money and I suspect we got the better bargain. I will stick with Bruce for a while longer provided he genuinely learns from his mistakes.

  29. One thing I will say is, you still have a chance of Mancini as he will probably be sacked by Christmas. However, now you have seen what he has to offer at City, do you really think he is the man to take you forward?

    As much as I love Hughton, I personally believe that the first one of us to get Di Matteo will have the brighter long-term future.

  30. LOL… aaaarrrrrr did you think that Mancini was going to manager your club did you.. lol lol lol

    OMFG, and you guys laugh at us.. lol

    I’ll agree with one point in this post tho, Sourpuss won’t get you into Europe & with the new financial rules coming into force very soon, your owner Ellis Short has run out of time to spend the 100’s of millions your club needs to get into the European places in the PL…. except it, you’re always going to be a mid-bottom league team, no matter who owns you or who your manager is….

    I’m still pi$$ing myself that you thought Roberto Mancini was going to be your manager… roflmfao

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