In this day and age of managerial merry-go-rounds it was no surprise that there was a management casualty today. It seems like nearly every season a club will axe a manager in the hope of turning things around. Is this crazy? Was Steve Bruce doing the wrong things with the wrong players? Probably not, but then again its easier to blame the manager instead of the 11 people on the pitch actually taking part in the game. It doesn’t matter what tactics you use and what formations you deploy, if you have players who are lazy, or do not want to play for you or the club. (yes I am looking at you Gyan) then things will be stacked against you. Yes, the manager picks the team, but can you honestly say when the next game comes around there will be 11 changes and suddenly we realise that Steve Bruce was doing it all wrong? No. Don’t be stupid, it will be 9 or 10 of the same players anyway.
And despite all the talks in the papers, it was not the under-fire-yet-backed-by-the-board Steve Kean, or even Villas-Boas (I mean come on guys, really? He won’t get the sack, stop going on about it) but Steve Bruce.
I feel sorry for the guy, he gave everything to his job, you could see every defeat and draw was hurting him deep. He has had some bad luck, some idiotic acting players, but sure, the start of the season wasn’t the greatest for the big man, I’m sure he could have turned it round.
The team haven’t been playing that badly, despite sitting in 16th place they have the best goal difference outside of the top 7, and are 5 points off of 8th place. Sure, that also means they are only 2 points outside of the relegation zone, but the top 7 are kind of running away and having their own mini-league this season. I wouldn’t really call it a crisis just yet but apparently the board see things differently. Sure, it isn’t a great start, or even a good start, but it is a start, one that they can only improve on.
The thing that gets me is these clubs who think it is their divine right to be in the Premier League, like they are owed that privilege. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed Newcastle getting relegated a few seasons back, they were adamant that they were a big club that deserved to be in the top flight. Sorry guys, but the points tally at the end of the season suggests otherwise. It seems like that was the best thing do happen to the Magpies however, they have come back stronger than ever and despite the controversy behind the sacking of Chris Hughton and the very unpopular appointment of Alan Pardew, they are flying high, but don’t get me started on that now, I’ll save that for another day!
So Sunderland fans, are you happy now? Will you survive this season? Would you have survived with Bruce in charge? Probably you would have, what in fact are you looking for in a season, what is success for you?