Bruce’s Banter: but was it just possession we surrendered, Steve?

Crisis, what crisis? That was the question after Stoke. But one game on, we’re back to where we were, unable to muster a proper fight against a promoted team and probably fortunate to be beaten only 2-1. It felt like a wretched, wholesale surrender. Against this unattractive backdrop, Steve Bruce had to come up with something for his post-match e-mail …

Dear Colin,

We didn’t play well enough. We played well for the first 10 minutes or so, but the night was littered with mistakes.

We surrendered possession too easily and gave the ball back to them too quickly for me.


To go from a really good performance against Stoke to one like that is very disappointing.

We will try and analyse it as quickly as we can. Not enough individuals played well enough on the night.

To win a game in the Barclays Premier League you need seven or eight players to perform to the level required and we didn’t have that.

If we are to improve we must take care of the ball and be better on the ball than we were.

We were hassled and harried by Norwich but we expected that. Norwich are having a good time of it and they’re full of confidence.

They played very well and we needed to perform, but unfortunately we didn’t. We had chances late on and if we’d have got a goal earlier we might have got something.

It was a great strike from Kieran at the end but unfortunately it was too late.

All the best,

Steve Bruce

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34 Responses to “Bruce’s Banter: but was it just possession we surrendered, Steve?” Subscribe

  1. dave thomas September 27, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Enough is enough , we dont have anyone to break a team down,
    Elmo is not the answer and Larson is out of position, why is Bruce the only one who can not see this, big Nick did OK, Sess had a night to forget, Bramble was found sleeping once again.
    Its been a while sinse i witnessed any fire in our bellies surely that is down to the Gaffer.
    I for one have had enough the jury in my case has made its mind up and its the chop for Bruce.

  2. Red Frog September 27, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Sorry Steve,
    You have lost the plot, We dont want to hear the same old excuses. ‘If we had of scored earlier’, ‘If we had more time’, ‘If so and so had of been on longer’. old and now lame excuses
    The simple fact is you chose the players, you train the players, you set out the plan for the match.
    I am tired of the excuses, I want to see action taken. The team last night, on paper should be up near the top. Yet I have watched Sunday league players with more passion than we seen at Norwich.

  3. gercon September 27, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    2011 Anus orrobillis Steve.
    Does anybody have a Plan B?
    This was a real team effort.Every single one of them was as bad as the next.

  4. PMSFLWHILSTLOLLING September 27, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    @redfrog…. “near the top”????
    Now whos the deluded ones?

  5. steevo September 27, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Garbage performance.

    I have never resorted to joining online the so called ‘vocal minority’ (over the years as a SAFC supporter I am not sure how much of a minority it is mind), but I am drawn to do so now as last night was sickening.

    It took Peter Reid about 5 years to totally run out of ideas, have his team play with no shape, no plan, no motivation and no individual roles. Bruce has maanaged this in a couple of seasons.

    The signs were there last season; if we didnt get a lucky break; an early or late goal we were clueless in breaking teams down, it has continued this season. Despite our possession early on against Norwich where we succedded in making pretty patterns across the middfield for the first 15 minutes, we never once looked like scoring or threaghtening the goal.

    The team is packed with midfielders – even at fullback and up front – is it any suprise then that we made mistake after mistake at the back and lacked any cutting edge? Bramble is reverting to type – failing to do the basics such as marking at crosses and making suicidal errors, Brown, is catching the bug. Poor Sess must be wondering why he signed, a cultured and creative midfield player that Brucie has consigned to a second striker role due to his ineptitude in the Striker market. Sess may have a trick or two but he is not a striker, he skied every one of his shots over the bar and is a poor finisher.

    The Manc lads looked desperate wondering what they were doing here, and one of them is severely unfit. Bendtner looked increasingly exasperated as the game went on, he wil regret his move soon.

    The worrying thing is I can’t see a proper team to be made from any combination of the mid table dross Bruce has bought for tens of millions – mostly under achievers from relegated clubs and the morale seems rock bottom.

    Or else we have bought players with no fighting spirit, which when you consider Birmingham and Blackpools plight last season is perhaps the case.

  6. BW4EVER September 27, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Red Frog, You typify your deluded Mackems actually are. Mackems/muppets, whichever floats your boat. Point is, how DARE you even suggest Sunderlands “on paper” team should be near the top. I have seen your “on paper” team and I genuinely believe this side to be your worst in over a decade. It has Newcastle United 97/98 all over it. Replace effective players with untried rubbish. Gone are Gyan, Bent, Welbeck, Henderson. In are complete w*nk. The result was one I predicted prior to the season starting and GUESS WHAT, The talk was walked. You have signed 10 players. Yet the main two replacements should have been your strikers. Yet you buy a bairn from a League club who had 9 goals in 40 games. Hardly adequate replacement for an England international.
    Your on paper side is pure muck. Your on field side is equally horse. The Toon on the other hand, has assembled a remarkably talented side. Brown and OShea have been exposed to be what they have always been labeled whist at Man Utd, overrated pap. Bramble is a effing joke. Elmo is a muppet. Your primary striker is leasehold. Your midfield has more gaps than Nigel Benns front teeth. You might not go down, but one thing is for sure. You are entering into an era of mediocrity (AGAIN). With way too many players required to sell before you even think about buying new ones, see a very BLEAK future for the unwashed, uneducated mucky ones from Weeside. If only I actually could give a s***.

  7. Keith Hutton africa September 27, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Inept, gutless lacking passion, committment and any semblance of structure well beaten by a very mediocre Norwich team. Where was the energy the pace or even strength. I can’t take anymore watching us on TV is torture. Someone needs to crack the whip and crack it very hard or start again. I think starting again afresh is the answer

  8. Alan T hedley September 27, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    What a match, about five minutes of premiership quality football and a goal from a man playing full back who should be along with Seg playing as a striker just behind Bendtner. Whose fault is it that we have to play Richardson as a full back, who hasn’t cottoned on that our greatest problem is consistently scoring goals? Mr Excuse himself. Those few sparkling moments just before and as Richardson scored were the only part of the game where it looked as if we wanted to win. I would love to see the stats on Mr Back pass Bramble to see the ratio of forward passes to those to the goalie.

    Our midfield was anonymous, Bendtner had a reasonable game but as ever when our passing game failed, due to lack of accuracy, we immediately degenerated to punts forward and Bendtner began coming back looking for the ball.

    The only highlight was that my two friends, who as Manure supporters had nothing good to say about the Arsenal reject at the start, were actually surprised by the quality of his game. If only that little flick over the goalie had been a couple of inches higher.

    That is not a Death Watch Beetle that you can hear Brucie it is the clock ticking for your death knell at Sunderland

  9. CSB September 27, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Steve Bruce, not waving but drowning!

    WBA on Saturday another ‘must win’ to allow the belegured management team to stagger on. You would not put an animal through this much pain, you would simply put it to sleep.

    Time I feel is up SB, and you can bleat on about how suprised you are regarding the Fan’s views, but since last New Year we have been a shambles, we shown no sign of improvement, no consistency, no passion, no heart, no desire to win. Without these a football club is nothing, bereft of soul. We desperately need a new spirit of optimisim and this can only be brought about by a clean sweep of the management team.

    Go gracefully or go disgracefully SB, but Go Now.

  10. Alan September 27, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Sick of the same excuses 4 5 1 again at Norwich who Re a average team if we can’t beat teams like these the only place we are going is down get this muppet out now before it’s two late

  11. Dan September 27, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Really depressing performance. As mentioned above, pretty patterns for about 5 minutes but with no threat to their goal, and then you pretty much knew what was coming. I’ve stood up for Bruce in the past, but I’m afraid last night was the final straw. There’s no obvious Plan A, and as soon as we’re losing you can guarantee that we’ll have 4 strikers on the pitch for the last 10 minutes to hoof long balls up to. To say ‘If only this had happened earlier…’ is missing the point – we couldn’t do this earlier because this approach is only suitable for the last 10 when you’re hoping that your opponent will panic their way into giving you a point, as it leaves you wide open to be hit on the break. So our plan is: score first; if that doesn’t happen, write off the rest of the game until the last 10 minutes when we’ll resort to route 1. Completely and utterly inept and painful to watch.

  12. Tom Lynn September 27, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Goodby Steve, collect £4m on the way out or do a ‘Strachan’ and admit that you have managed poorly and your conscience will not let you take millions out of OUR club. Your recent management has been shambolic, end of.

  13. mark1972 September 27, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    rumours coming out of safc Ellis short is flying in today for (important meeting) the end could be nigh for Bruce! Ive a feeling short is becoming increasingly fed up also of Mr Bruce and his excuses. Wonder the outcome!

  14. Dave September 27, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    As I said in my last comment after the Stoke game, the fans can accept defeat as long as the team put in a good performance, but this was abysmal, I have tried to be patient and support the team but I’m tired of all the false dawns, and failed expectation. How can two performances be so different, well I think it was complacency, we hammer Stoke and think we can beat anyone, that’s your fault Steve!!! I think it’s time and deep down you know it.

  15. BillytheFish September 27, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    The club need to be really careful here!
    Bruce sets the team up to defend. wrong! You must go to these teams and attack them!
    “Win, or die trying”

    We have sold some quality and replaced it with rejects and has beens with no committment or pride and believe me if we get relegated we do not have the quality or strength in depth to come straight back.

    Act now! or we’ll be having a derby with Hartlepool soon!

  16. hilary September 27, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    I know it isn’t a major factor, but it seems to me to represent some of the core problems here. Bruce is managing a group of athletes, he played football at a very high level and yet he looks so unfit and ill disciplined. It is a question of professionalism. He has a laid back and affable persona, but to inspire confidence in players and demand of them self discipline, requires that you are a role model to some extent. To see Bruce in the dug out last night defeated and bereft of ideas, was sad and dispiriting. I am sorry that it has turned out like this, but he has to go and go now

  17. BillytheFish September 27, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Guys……..Bruce was at St James on saturday cheering as the goals went in.
    My brother is a mag and stood 2 rows away and clearly saw his restrained clenched fists as each goal went in and openly applauding and shaking hands with all around him!

    GET RID NOW!!!!!

  18. Chris September 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    The bit that really concerns me is the attitude when we go a goal down. At that moment, you just know the game is gone, whether it be in the first minute or the last. If we score first, I’m reasonably confident we’ll get a result , but it seems that if we’re chasing the game, the best we can possibly hope for is a draw. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was over a year ago since we last won a game which we’d gone behind in. And to do it away from home must be a real collectors item because I can’t remember the last time.
    Something major is missing is the mentality of of players. But this isn’t a new thing, its dogged the club for sevearl years now, regardless of the man in charge. Bruce has proved he’s not the man to instill that missing spark, but i’m not sure who is.

  19. JD September 27, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    I have to say I’m fed up to the back teeth of these flimsey excuses. When will Bruce admit he has no tactics other than setting his team out in a bog standard formation and telling them to go out and win. I’ve never seen him change the side mid game if its not going well, and thats simply because he doest have the ability to do it.

    He should never have been appointed in the first place and keeping him there is destroying our club. We were lucky to finish where we did last season and we need to get rid of this blagger ASAP.

  20. davey September 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    In previous posts last year I was one of the ones to defend Bruce ; but even my patience is wearing thin now !! How the TV is still in 1 piece after last night’s frustrating debacle I don’t know . Bendtner and Richardson aside the rest were pure crap – I’m still not sure about Mignolet – doesn’t inspire much confidence
    The only glimmer of comfort I can get from last night is that muppets like BW4EVER have nothing better to do than to hope we lose , then to come here and spurt off cretinous and snide comments “on the other hand the toon have assembled a remarkably talented side ” pml enough said on that .
    Back to the point – surely if you train all week with the aim of playing the next fixture – then bloody “not turning up” is not an option !!!!!!! I’m starting to wonder what they do in training !!

    • salutsunderland September 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      In the same boat as Davey. I said October was a more realistic time to make a judgement than August, just two games into the season. I looked for eight points from the four games post-Stoke and while nine is still mathematically possibly, eight isn’t (and nine simply won’t happen). Six points from those games would satisfy a lot of people but I have no confidence we’ll get them and, even if we did, it would leave serious doubts about the rest of the season against mightier opposition. Reluctantly, I am now as close as it’s possible to be, without actually declaring myself formally a member of the Bruce Out camp, to admitting the Augustuses were right and I was wrong. He just doesn’t seem to have answers.

  21. Jeremy September 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    There’s nothing new in his excuses. Last night’s subsititutions were ridiculous showing the sort of ineptitude that I would relish displaying if I was the Mags manager! Put two strikers on and leave on Elmo who has delivered possibly two decent balls into the box in his career.

    I said elswhere that I am amazed he is in a job today. It’s presumably because Quinn is having trouble getting hold of O’Neill or Hughes. Peg your future to this guy much longer Niall and you will be on your way as well mate. Come in Mrs Doubtfire. Your number’s up!

  22. BillytheFish September 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Jeremy;
    He is still in a job because some daft TW*T gave him a new contract and now Bruce is demanding over £4m pay off, which apparently he is entitled, and happy to leave with his money!

  23. Arty September 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I thought Bendtnar looked the only decent player for us ( considering the lack of service he had…..he holds the ball well as well as good ball control) he wont hang around for long! the rest of the team were rubbish….no heart(manager included) To think I got out od bed at 3am to watch that!!

  24. Bill Taylor September 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Once again, Ji wasn’t given enough time on the field to show what he can do. Bruce told the BBC that “the defeat by Norwich was a result of his players not performing to their normal standards.” That, alas, is exactly what they performed to.

  25. Jeremy September 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Billy. If we have to pay the useless bugger to go then so be it. It will be a better option than the inevitable relegation we face with Mrs Doubtfire at the helm.

    I agree Bill. Ji came on and looked the most composed footballer we have. He should have been given a lot longer to show what he can do.

  26. Alan September 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Seems to me that ji and Conner are not given a fair crack it was obvious to everyone that sess was having a bad game why wait so long to put them on

  27. CSB September 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I highlighted last season that it beggered belief that Bruce was given a contract extension and now it will cost us to get him out. The pictures from last nights game of Bruce looking downcast, disconsolate and generally misrable during the second half tells a storey, he should have been up giving instruction, encouragement, tactical guidance (now stop sniggering) to the players. The sight of him sitting there misrable, thinking of excuses for the performance, is not going to inspire the team to up their game.

    In his heart of hearts he must know his tenure at the Sol is over.

  28. Bill Taylor September 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Can’t you just hear his inspiring words when he finally does get around to putting on a subsitute: “You probably won’t do any good but I suppose it can’t hurt to let you have a go.”

  29. Birflatt Boy September 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    CSB and Bill. That is a first! Well done! That must be the first time “tactical guidance” and “Bruce” have appeared in the same sentence. Sorry, but it did make old Birflatt snigger rather uncontrollably. It reminded me of the documentary following England’s failure to qualify for the WC under Graham Taylor. Do you remember the scene where he is about to send Nigel Clough on, and Phil Neal is sitting there muttering “Yes boss,” and “No boss,” every time Taylor opened his stupid mouth?

    His “tactical guidance” to young (at the time anyway) Nigel was basically go on there and do your best. I genuinely doubt whether Ji and Connor got that much direction!

  30. Red Frog September 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Reply to BW4EVER
    Thank you for your well constructed and balanced point of view. Its nice to see a Skunk with the decency to omit vulgarities even if his IQ is not of a standard to allow him to debate without using them in the first place.
    For those of the hard of thinking.
    ‘On paper’ was simply meant as that; My own personal view of the team in comparison to the likes of newly promoted and regular strugglers. I feel my previous comments have been sound and reasoned. Whilst ‘BW4EVER’ seems to think we are simple mindless morons, I believe the Skunks deserve to be where they are along with that of Norwich, as they have played some good football and show a certain amount of flair. But as ever those who struggle with ‘Joiney up speaking’ will probably see the usual decline to the lesser part of the table about the January time.
    For BW4EVER it is a marathon not a sprint sunna. Lets see how many flashy players you have after the January window. We are all well aware of your owners need to top up his private fortune with the sale of your clubs best players.
    I don’t want to see you in lower divisions, I love the rivalry, but thats where it stops for adults

  31. Birflatt Boy September 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Take no notice of the heathens Red Frog. This one probably had to enlist the help of his Probation Officer to draft that post for him.

  32. poole mackem September 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    70% possession in the first 30 minutes (even though it took 25 minutes to have our first shot on goal) and then the inevitable happens on 31 minutes. Gutless performance

  33. Michael September 28, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Time to change the system.Suggest the following for WBA

    Mingolet
    O’Shea, Brown,Bramble, Richardson only (in the absence of Bardsley)
    Sess, Gardiner,Vaughan, Larsson,
    Bentdner, Whickam

    Subs: Westwood,Ji, McLean, Turner ,Catts, Colback, Tounkara or Knott

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