Speaking to the press this morning, Steve Bruce has been asked to clarify exactly what he meant when saying he will “do it his way” from now on this time last week.
His response featured him insisting that it is mainly to get us playing “20 or 30 yards higher up the pitch”, saying we’ve done nothing but defend deep and counter attack since he arrived at the club.
He’s not wrong – although that does make you question why he’s taken 18 months to do anything different – but he then followed that by confirming he’ll still chop and change between a ‘back three’ (or a back five as we know it) and a ‘back four’ this season.
So, he’s gone from taking the ‘gloves off’, ripping up the old approach and telling his players that they’ll no longer be kept in their five at the back comfort zone, to stating that we’ll continue to sometimes play the system he was bemoaning just seven days ago.
Here’s what he’s had to say this morning on ‘his way’, followed by his explosive comments this time last week that are starting to look more and more hollow the more he speaks:
Steve Bruce – January 22nd
“What did I mean by doing it my way?
“We’ve defended deep and played on the counter pretty much since I’ve been at the club.
“What ‘my way’ is, is to try & get us 20 or 30 yards higher up the pitch.
“I didn’t mean ‘not the players way’.
“Some of them prefer a back four.”
“We will still play a back 3 in some games & a back 4 in others.”
A reminder below of what a bullish, ‘gloves off’ Steve Bruce said just 7 days ago:
Steve Bruce – 15th January
“The gloves are off now… I’m going to do it my way now.
“Okay, we’ve played a certain way to try to make sure we get the results that we need.
“But I’ve said from day one the way I wanted to play – more on the front foot. I haven’t done it enough.
“It’s something I’ve toyed with since I’ve been at the club and, for me, to change is sometimes difficult for them.
“We’re certainly comfortable with the central defenders we’ve got because week in, week out they’re arguably our most consistent players.
“We all like being comfortable, but I’m going to do it the way I see fit and see where we are.”
The bloke just doesn’t have a clue, does he?
Last week we weren’t in a relegation battle. This week he’s been quoted saying “every team in the bottom half” is in one.
Last week it was ‘gloves are off and I’m doing it may’. This week it feels like he’s still not committed to a set formation.
We need consistency and something to build on if we’re to get out of this mess, Steve – not a bloke who constantly picks a different system featuring wholesale changes!
18 months in the job and it’s clear Bruce doesn’t have a clue what his best team is.