Date:Tuesday September 26 2006
An inspired article by Buzby66, where do you sit on the fence and do you agree or disagree with his summation?
I wonder how many people out there think that Steve Bruce is a good manager?
Personally I am seriously concerned on two levels.
Firstly there seems to be consistent theme to the messages emanating from St. Andrews - the management recognise the problems and are going to fix them.
We heard it all after the disappointment of relegation. Lately the problem of player discipline has raised its head with yet another sending off at the weekend. Steve Bruce tells us the problem is that "indiscipline has crept in" but he is going to sort it out.
Bruce has more than 350 games under his belt as a manager, problems such as this should not be "creeping in" to any side where the manager has a firm grip on the team.
This leads me to the second problem, Bruce`s record. Of his 360 games in charge of all clubs he has won 134, a win percentage of 37%. This does not compare at all favourably with the other managers in the top two leagues. In fact the only managers below him, on this measure of performance, are Tony Pulis, John Gregory, Stuart Pearce, Andy Ritchie and Glenn Roeder. I`m sure all Bluenoses would agree that none of these would be a particularly welcome sight at St. Andrews.
The names at the top of the list are hardly surpirising but when we ignore the Mourinhos, Fergusons, Wengers and Benitezes of this World there are one or two surprises, or not, as the case may be. Alan Pardew, Steve Tilson and Mike Newell all have impressive win rates of 45%+. These should be the type of managers that a club with Birmingham`s much vaunted ambition should be targeting.
The fact remains that successful management of any business, or part of it, depends on the manager`s ability, and success is the only barometer of ability that counts. Unfortunately Bruce does not make the grade and it is now time to finally recognise that his impressive record as a player can no longer disguise his frailties as a manager.
Should we change manager when we are second in the league and seemingly flying high? It could be argued that there is no better time to change as some things must be right. We have a strong squad and the Board have remained foursquare behind their financial commitment. However we have scratched out results so far with relatively poor performances and it is only a matter of time before we are shown up again in the same manner as with Cardiff City.
What we are missing is a manager with the right abilities to mould a strong squad into a winning team. This is no more than the Board, the Club and especially us supporters really deserve.
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