Date:Friday October 20 2006
There is an unwritten rule in football, never attack your own fans and expect to get away with it.
It seems that Steve Bruce has forgotten this, along with how to motivate a team to win matches.
Speaking to the press for the first time since our defeat by Norwich he came out with all guns blazing in a way that only a manager under pressure does and instead of having the desired effect, I suspect Bruce has lost many of the remaining fans that were trying to stay loyal to him.
'A few weeks ago, we were top of the league and it still wasn't good enough.'
And why wasn't it good enough oh God like manager. Because the performances were crap, and many would argue the wins were extremely lucky.
Even the most optimistic fan saw a run like this coming and knew our position in the league was false.
Even somebody like me who tries to remain positive could only throw the league position back at your doubters, with the full knowledge that a slide like this was only round the corner.
Your supporters have nothing to defend you with now.
'People, the doubters, need reminding. This club was nowhere near five years ago. It had not been in the top division for 16 years.'
No, and that has more to do with your bosses than you Steve. Francis put in place a half decent squad and lost it, you came in and benefited from the work that came before you and then spent millions to get us relegated.
'It's in my nature to have a go and show people, and that's what I will do. It's the way football is now, all this criticism. It's total, utter nonsense.'
Apart from all the salient points that fans, pundits and everybody but you are making about our tactics, team selections, formations, form, performances, results....
It's more like your managerial nature to 'go' rather than have a go Steve as your previous clubs would attest to.
'What club benefits from it, making a change? Maybe for two or three weeks.
'People say 'West Brom' but they've got Kamara back, Davies back now. I heard someone on the radio the other day say that 'the shackles are off' after Bryan Robson left. What rubbish. Everything is short-termism.'
Well normally a honeymoon period for a new boss lasts at least for 6 months, that would be enough to get us back in the Prem wouldn't it.
And what about 'short-termism'? Your long-termism has seen us go from surviving and improving in the Premiership to being relegated. Was that really the long term plan. Get there, blow it, and start again?
'Is the next manager going to get the club up straight away in six months, keep us in the Premiership, finish 10th the second year?
'If he does, he would be hailed a hero and carted around the city shoulder-high. It's obscene at the moment, what's going on. It's a bit of a witchhunt.'
The biggest question would then be would he get us relegated?
'I haven't killed anybody. I haven't shot anybody. But I'm on the front pages of the newspapers, the back pages. Ridiculous.
'I will be bringing in people I know can handle the situation at the minute.
'It's vitally important I bring back the experiences ones I know can get us through this.
'Tuesday was as low as I've ever gone. In the Premiership, you play better teams, really good teams. But that game, at this level, was a horror show.
'I always said I wanted to rebuild the team in the summer with younger players. You expect them to go up and down. When you analyse it, there are too many younger ones not ready for the situation yet and are not right.'
Is that an admittance that your transfer policy and ability to select a winning team has been wrong - just like people have been claiming?
'I need to protect them and bring in the experienced ones. The frustation at me seeps through to them. Yes, I need time to bed down a team but I understand nobody is prepared to give me that time.
'We've brought in nine players, let go or sold 14, 15 since the summer. No other club has had a turnover like that. But to some, that doesn't matter, they don't see it.'
And if it was so wrong to do that, would cause so much trouble then why do it? Why not make regular small changes that would give us a balanced team whilst also preparing for the future.
Don't make the mistake of blaming the younger players that you brought in and selected for not being ready for the battle. Your job as manager is to select and sign those ready for the battle.
It's not their failing Steve, it's yours.
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