Steve Bruce: welcome to our world (2)

Soapbox

Bruce is our boss, much as expected for several days, and whatever reservations others may have, it's exactly the right appointment, says Pete Sixsmith

Well, it didn’t take long to get a new manager in, suggesting that Niall Quinn had lined Steve Bruce up before the end of the season – depending on whether we stayed up. Had we done a Newcastle and ended up in the Coca Cola Championship, it would have been a much lesser light than Bruce – maybe Kinnear or Shearer.

So far, the reaction has been muted. I didn’t notice thousands of people outside the Academy welcoming a new Messiah, or toothless Wearside crones claiming they hadn’t slept all night because they were that excited.

Bob & bruce

In fact, there didn’t seem to be anyone there at all, which suggests that Wearside crones and serial bed sheet misspellers were too busy welcoming Take That to the Stadium. Maybe they thought that Gary Barlow had taken the job?

But seriously, folks, it has divided fans, probably about 65 – 35. Neither Martyn McFadden nor Paul Dobson of ALS were over enthusiastic on Five Live, and there has been a fair bit of negativity flying around on the message boards.

For what it’s worth, I think it is the sort of appointment that we need at this moment. We have an ideal opportunity to establish ourselves in the Premier League. There are no onfield distractions in the area, although of the field I am sure the Newcastle soap opera will rumble on for the next decade. And what we need is the kind of stability that has made Everton and Villa top eight stalwarts over the years. These are the clubs that we have to look to and Bruce may just be the man who can take us to that level.

You get there by appointing someone who knows his way around the division, who has a good coach to work with him, who is ambitious and who rarely seems to fall out with players. If that was Quinny’s tick list, then everything pointed to Bruce rather than inexperienced club coaches like Bilic, eccentrics like Strachan and self publicists like Mancini.

Bruce has worked for owners who are obnoxious, paternalistic or parvenus.

Now he has a chance to work for a billionaire rather than mere millionaires like Jordan, Sullivan and Whelan. He also has the opportunity to put a team out in front of a crowd that is double that of his previous two clubs and craves success. His whole career has been one of progression – look how hard Palace, Birmingham and Wigan fought to keep him.

I have been critical of him in the past – his resemblance to Mrs Doubtfire has been commented on a few times – but I genuinely welcome him to Sunderland. He may not have the volatile, unfulfilled promise of Roy Keane but we need a steadying hand and I think he will give it to us.

If you type the words Bruce and Boss into Google, you are directed to page upon page about Bruce Springsteen. He’s a success and plays major stadiums in Europe. Could this be an omen?


* Bruce is seen posing beside the Bob Stokoe statue "just to rub it in", says Eomatrix, who got in just before Ellis in posting the image to probably the best Ready To Go thread known the man.

Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

4 Responses to “Steve Bruce: welcome to our world (2)” Subscribe

  1. Joan June 4, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Have to admit, when I first heard his name being linked to us I was less than bowled over. I’d got used to the idea of a big name manager coming from the Continent. But now it’s happened I’m pleased. We all said we could do without another nail biting end to the season and I think we’ll get it. Feels like the club is in good hands.

  2. Geoff Mangan June 7, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    A very astute appointment on a number of levels – and I was at the game at home v Wigan when the only amusement was listening to the Mr Potato Head style abuse he received.
    Not so much his range of experience and his deservedly accrued credibility in the game, but his character seems ‘normal’.
    Keano seemed volatile and complex leading to short term success but inevitable melt-down while Ricky was clearly a ‘nice guy’ (sorry, but there have been so many cliched comments on ALS message boards around about this ‘nice guy’ aspect) in an environment where I suspect nice guy’s don’t usually succeed (St Niall excepted).
    He is from the region and looking at his CV as a player and a manager, he starts at the bottom and works up. On that thinking – Brucey has now reached the top!

  3. Dave Whitfield June 8, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    At first I had reservations about Steve Bruce, but having sat back and thought seriously about it I feel that his appointment is the best for the club.We need to kick on from the last two seasons and become an established premier league team and i have every confidence that brucy can achieve this with Sunderland.Roll on next season and lets hope we can make some progress on the field with some astute signings -Stewie Downing would be very welcome addition to our squad and a good run in the Cup competions would not go amiss.

  4. Dave Whitfield July 14, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Looking forward to the pre season -off to Darlington, Celtic and Hearts.
    Good signings so far and more to come.
    Keep up the faith

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