Steve Bruce has been speaking to the Chronicle about the style of play that he is currently trying to implement, and it’s possibly his most concerning interview yet.
After his initial sweeping bravado and promises of more attacking, expansive football, let’s just look at this photo on the front page of today’s Chronicle.
Yes indeed, the 28% possession at home to Brighton, the lowest average possession in the Premier League so far this season and four goals in around 9 hours of football is a real indictment that our new attacking approach is too cavalier for our own good………give me strength.
In the actual interview, Bruce said the following:
“What I’ve learnt is that we can’t leave ourselves open and try and get after teams because people will play through us,”
“That’s what I’ve learnt. There’s a certain way the whole group has played and I can understand why.”
I’ve never hidden the fact I thought and still think Bruce is a terrible appointment, but I’ve tried to remain as upbeat as possible when writing, but this statement is beyond worrying.
I was recently telling some friends of mine that I believe Steve Bruce has already stripped this team of its identity. We were compact and contained teams, but we got forward quickly when we broke, and got men into the box. That is no longer the case, and indeed we look tactically weaker, certainly in the central midfield and wing back areas which in turn is leaving the back three more exposed. Bruce has managed to make us weaker at the back and less effective going forward.
If indeed he does change his formation or “tactics” again, this will be the third time in his short tenure (poor Jetro Willems will now be sweating on where he’s playing next, or indeed how many positions in one game).
His only defence in this situation is the fact he hardly had anytime pre season to work with the squad but still, he has now had enough time to know his best team and what formation best suits the players. He can’t bemoan which players he has and maybe they don’t suit a certain system, because he was championing them so much when we signed them. He doesn’t deserve any sympathy whatsoever.
All I ever hear in his defence from pundits (usually his mates), who think we are a big nasty, horrible set of fans for not giving him a chance, is about his experience.
Well surely an experienced manager can implement a plan and style that doesn’t involve two of his players telling him “it isn’t working” after 15 minutes. It’s time for him to show that experience and get results.
Results….remember those things? They are what we were told to judge him on. At the moment, one can accuse us of not doing that.