Be prepared as I feel a rant coming on! That presser yesterday morning was nothing short of a waste of time.
I could say it was disgraceful, in fact, as it should have been either a really uncomfortable one for Bruce, based on the tough questions asked by local press, or one where he could have offloaded all his feelings.
In the end neither happened and in truth I’m not surprised but it really did boil my blood and make me despair at this shambles of a Club, which is becoming harder and harder to support and keep faith with.
I don’t even blame Bruce as much as I think I probably should. I think he’s a nice enough chap who was once a NUFC fan but after his time at Man Utd it feels like he’s more in their supportive camp than ours. I might be wrong but I don’t even believe he lives in our area.
At times in Friday’s presser he almost snapped and then appeared to reign himself in. I think it’s fair to say he’s frustrated but he just doesn’t fight back and in the end just accepts things and tries to move on. Statements like “it is what it is,” and “the policy is the policy,” smack to me that he doesn’t agree with it but isn’t brave enough to speak out about it. He’s a yes man.
Plus, the journos could have really hit him hard with questions yesterday. Like why he wanted on holiday, why he accepts the transfer policy and messages passed down. But they don’t as they don’t want to risk their precious little media perks by losing their places in the presser. Remember Craig Hope?
To me, yesterday was the day he confirmed he’s Mike Ashley’s puppet! Yes he’s frustrated, but he accepts what should be unacceptable to most managers with an ounce of respect for themselves / the club they claim to love. But he still won’t go that step further and call out the owner which we all despise and abhor. If he did he’d certainly get more fans on his side.
The reality is that he is terrified of losing his job or walking away without a pay-off. I also, at times, wonder how well he is particularly mentally. Looking at him in the presser yesterday morning he constantly looks ruffled and ready to snap. He also looks constantly fed-up.
Just look at this clip. As the caption states, he spent the presser moaning at journalists – not the man responsible for his foul mood:
I don’t think he has any self-awareness when it comes to how his words come across yet his words are scrutinised, and rightly so at times! He says so many odd things & constantly makes little sense / contradicts himself.
As usual, he spread his vote of confidence to his players by expressing how hard it is to go to Old Trafford, what quality players they have and that his players should go and enjoy the experience. In other words, he feels we’ve got no chance. With Wilson out he’s probably right, but it would be nice if he actually tried to build up his players – not talk down our chances before a ball’s even been kicked!
He asked a really interesting question when saying ‘what can I do?’ regarding the club’s statement and current transfer policy. I’ll tell him what he can do. He can walk away, have some self-respect and gumption and go off to retirement in his beloved North West. He has to be a wealthy man and surely can’t enjoy facing what he faces on a daily basis.
He takes about improvement. Improving the squad, progressing as a team and becoming more consistent. Yet, the simple facts are we’re way, way, way worse than when he first came in and the squad is worse as well. I mean FOUR goalkeepers in the 25-man squad? Come on man, that’s just not right.
He said he had to move to replace and we couldn’t get anyone else off the books. Well, I’m sorry but that’s because with the exceptions of ONLY two, Wilson and ASM would anyone really want any of the rest of our squad. That situation is of his making, as not one player has got better thanks to him and several have gone stale.
We had five players out on international duty. Of those only Miggy is probably a guaranteed starter and even he’s possibly not worth a shirt the way Bruce uses him, which is completely destroying a capable player. The others were Hendrick, Schar, Lewis and Krafth – four players who rarely make Bruce’s starting XI.
With this in mind, the bulk of his squad was available to train and be coached…while he was on holiday. Perhaps Bruce did this via zoom from Portugal. It just doesn’t make any sense that he was even allowed a break, let alone took one!
It always seems to be really strange times at NUFC and that presser yesterday morning was even stranger. I cannot think of any Premier League Manager other than Bruce that would accept what Ashley and “Lucan” Charnley do to him.