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Only this one question for Steve Bruce to now answer

9 months ago

After last night’s debacle against Brentford, I think it’s about time the people in the media start scrutinising Steve Bruce and ask one very simple question.

What change are you trying to make?

Unless he’s just winging it, I’ll be damned if I know.

Fans don’t necessarily need to know all the intricate details…but if it could just be communicated to the fans what the basics are of a decent plan, it would be a start. As I see it, Steve Bruce is simply doing what he’s done throughout his managerial career, hoodwinking his way through.

There’s many other questions that could be asked but the obvious one is concerning the style of play (whatever that is exactly), for this hasn’t improved and the time it’s taking is painfully slow, if it’s happening at all.

On an individual level, no player has improved significantly since he took charge, in some cases they’ve regressed horribly.

As a team the defence has become a pale shadow of the one he inherited, with only the goalie continuing to shine week in week out. Isaac Hayden could be counted as one player who has appeared to prosper under this manager but in my mind it simply looks that way because he’s being asked to defend much more than previously. The erosion of the once solid defence is one thing but it’s the midfield that is most chaotic. They simply must be better than what they are currently demonstrating.

However, it’s with the strikers that another question arises. What was the point in re-signing and then even worse, extending the contract of Andy Carroll? If his was a school report it would read: Attendance shocking, Performance atrocious – but once again it’s not all his fault.

It’s with Carroll that we have another example of Bruce’s shocking lack of tactics. Just look at the last three games against Leeds, Fulham and Brentford.

Against Leeds, Carroll should have been thrown on as soon as Leeds scored the third late on, if not sooner, instead he sat unused on the bench. Two days later against Fulham we had half an hour to play against ten men and yet Carroll remained unused. Finally, with time ticking away against Brentford, on came Carroll but the real problem I have is that he should of started due to the pudding of a pitch. Why play it on the deck when you have a big man at your disposal.

How come Bruce continues to get it so wrong all the time? I didn’t rate Bruce as far back as when he was first touted to replace Sir Bobby Robson and nothing has changed in the intervening years to alter my stance. If anything, time and evidence has hardened it and unfortunately, the slide is occurring in front of us.

That said, I thought we would see an immediate peak before the wheels fell off and that hasn’t happened. Or has it? Maybe last season was the peak. As poor as it was, maybe that was as good as it gets under Steve Bruce. The odd win over Manchester United, a fortunate win over Chelsea and a stumbling over the line of survival. This season could unfortunately be the inevitable slide despite the fact that I still believe that we will not be relegated, this confidence is diminishing with each passing game.

Further evidence of Bruce playing at being a manager comes from his quotes and it’s these that I have to feel a little embarrassed for him. He repeatedly puts his foot in the proverbial and after last nights game he came out with this gem- ”Progress was there for everyone to see. We got to a quarter-final.”- Steve Bruce

He’s obviously forgetting that we made the quarter-final of the much more prestigious FA Cup just last season, so are we to be regarding getting to a quarter-final of the League Cup as progress? That’s some very tenuous straw clutching there.

He repeatedly says that we haven’t been “good enough” after every game, to the point where more questions should be levelled at him from journalists, of which I have to say have missed a chance to scrutinise him partly due to not being able to have a sit down face to face meeting. Further questions should be asked on the alarmingly poor individual performances that seem to be getting worse by the week.

The players are either not performing for the club, the shirt, or Steve Bruce. The first two are unforgivable, the last is simply a shame, but very telling.

I’m of the belief that these players are far better than they are showing at present. It simply defies belief that they are as bad as they appear to be getting on a match by match basis and even fans that have a less partisan standpoint of Steve Bruce, are starting to see through the shambolic nature of things.

Let’s not dress things up, this is a VERY poor Premier League and if what we’re witnessing is the best that this Head Coach can get out of what to me is a decent enough and fairly expensively assembled set of players, and if the inane waffle and nonsense that he comes out with to defend said horror shows continues, then he can clear off and stop wasting everyone’s time.


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