Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughSunderland Sacking Bruce Will Prove To Be A Mistake - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Sunderland Sacking Bruce Will Prove To Be A Mistake - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Sunderland Sacking Bruce Will Prove To Be A Mistake

So Sunderland yesterday sacked Steve Bruce. Some reporters consider him an old school manager, more brawn than brain, and it looks like he will be replaced by Martin O’Neill. So is that a fair summary of the situation?

First of all let me firmly nail my colours to this mast, Steve Bruce is a legend, he is by far the best player never to play for England and he has one vital attribute in that he is a winner.

Only Roy Keane in modern Manchester United times has had the drive to take a losing team and make it a winning team. Steve scored a goal every 8 or so games from centre-back and he won more tackles than any player has a right to win. He was the rock upon which Sir Alex Ferguson built a dynasty and he will forever have the freedom of Old Trafford in my mind. Steve Bruce is a United legend.

So do my rose tinted spectacles make me see him as a success as a manager? First let the stats talk, he averaged 50 points a season with mediocre teams, how is that possible for a man who doesn’t know the game?

Secondly he has consistently played good football; the Sunderland team are entertaining if not always a winning team. Isn’t the idea of football to entertain? Isn’t football a place where people enjoy the game, back their team and want it to play in an attacking style? Didn’t he do that at Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland?

Bruce is a football man. He knows the game, he is totally committed and frankly the idea that Sven, Capello, McClaren or Villas-Boas represent some higher intellect of managerial class is just tosh.

Remember that professional football players don’t have PhD’s; they are just kids off the street who have some god given gift to run and keep their balance. Whatever motivates them to give their all is a mixture of money and a settled life, much of which the manager can’t impact.

Bruce is a players manager, he knows effort reaps rewards, he knows that being committed can overcome skill shortfall. His teams always compete.

Sunderland can appoint O’Neill who will demand large transfer budgets to build new teams and they may or may not be a success. But to drop Bruce in favour of either of these managers is not any guarantee of success.

Under Bruce Sunderland wouldn’t have been relegated, that’s for sure. Under the other two it’s far from certain.

So what I’d say is that if the fans want another manager to take over the team, and they pay the wages of the manager and players then good luck. But to ever describe Bruce as a failure is recipe for a fight in a pub at the very least because that is wrong, unfair and untrue.

Steve Bruce is a winner, he is Mr 100% and he has the medals to prove it. Sunderland in my opinion have made a mistake, which will cost them lots of money to discover that and they will win nothing while they learn.

Steve will find it hard to sit at home and watch this educational process but anyone with any vision will snap up this winner and give him the chance to continue to be the football man he is. It would be a shame not to see him return to management.

Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

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