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[Archived] Steve Bruce


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Probably doesn't deserve its own thread, but I know that more people will read this if I put it here, and it is an absolutely delicious article--especially for all the Birmingham haters out there.

"Thou doth protest too much"

The entire article is quite good, but the part with the most relevance to Rovers fans is the following:

More than Bruce's decision to stay, their problems date back to January and Robbie Savage's defection to the Welsh enclave at Ewood Park. The list of central midfielders tried since then - Izzet, Dunn, Butt, Jiri Jarosik, Damien Johnson, Stephen Clemence, Neil Kilkenny, Mehdi Nafti, Darren Anderton, Darren Carter and Salif Diao - is lengthy and largely undistinguished. None have the presence of the melodramatic Savage, and there is no semblance of a partnership in the centre of the park yet.

Savage indulged in some predictably tasteless gloating after Blackburn's victory on Saturday (the concept of letting a result speak for itself is clearly an alien one to him). But, amid the recent debate about the importance of Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney to their respective teams, the thought occurred that Savage has proved irreplaceable to Birmingham.

It might not have been the case had Scott Parker, seemingly Bruce's preferred replacement, not opted for Newcastle. The other target to elude Bruce this summer, Bellamy, made a more direct contribution to Birmingham's plight with Blackburn's second goal on Saturday.

Let the Brum slagging begin... how I love every minute of it.

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Couldn't happen to a nicer fella. Well except Souness of course (only kidding wink.gif )

Seriously, I said it when that Brummie was on here in January during the Savage saga - with the amount of money Bruce has chucked about, especially on mediocre forwards, he is very lucky to still have a job given the return he has "achieved"

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Bruce, like many before him, is finding that the transition to the 'next stage' is rather more difficult than he imagined. A number of managers of less fahionable clubs have succeeded in making their teams well organised and hard to beat and so survived for a few seasons in the prem. Then, with some Sky cash in their pocket, they try to make the step up to challenge for Europe. Ipswich did well and then bought Finidi George and an Italian keeper - disaster. Bradford bought Collymore and Carbone and disappeared pronto. Leeds bought everybody going and it worked for a while. Everton invested heavily on the back of last season's success and Moyes is a canny bloke but 4 points from 10 games is not great. Even Curbishley found that investing in Rommedahl and Murphy last season didn't pay dividends although he seems to have sorted it out this. Middlesbrough have had limited success but a couple of UEFA cup outings is not a great return on the millions that Gibson has forked out. It costs too much to get these players in and they destroy the dressing room. Signing someone like Walter Pandiani (or Ciccio Grabbi for that matter) is so high risk as to be irresponsible. Seems to me you need to wait for your acadamy to produce a couple of gems simultaneously and build from there. Meanwhile, scrap and make do as per Big Sam.

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What a deliciously accurate article!

Signing Savage is proving to be the double whammy coup Chelsea/Abramovich indulged in two summers ago.

Get a good player but cripple a potential rival whilst you are about it. They did that to us and Charlton (both sides could have gone onto make Champs League challenges but for losing pivotal players) and now we've put Brum in the melting pot.

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A really good article. I assume it was not written by an American!

I have always been a big Savage fan, even when he was at Leicester. Their relegation season saw them beat us at Ewood, and it was Savage that beat us on his own.

He brings so much to a team othr than just his personal play. His commitment and organisation really rub off on other players and Brum are feeling this now.

He may be unfashionable, but so was David Batty, and he also has a medal or two more than Mr Shearer.

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Certainly Bruce's fourth year at St Andrews has been his least impressive, and one that adds weight to Gordon Strachan's theory that three years is the shelf-life for most managers at any club

True. Viz Souness at Ewood.

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Bruce, like many before him, is finding that the transition to the 'next stage' is rather more difficult than he imagined. A number of managers of less fahionable clubs have succeeded in making their teams well organised and hard to beat and so survived for a few seasons in the prem. Then, with some Sky cash in their pocket, they try to make the step up to challenge for Europe. Ipswich did well and then bought Finidi George and an Italian keeper - disaster. Bradford bought Collymore and Carbone and disappeared pronto. Leeds bought everybody going and it worked for a while. Everton invested heavily on the back of last season's success and Moyes is a canny bloke but 4 points from 10 games is not great. Even Curbishley found that investing in Rommedahl and Murphy last season didn't pay dividends although he seems to have sorted it out this. Middlesbrough have had limited success but a couple of UEFA cup outings is not a great return on the millions that Gibson has forked out. It costs too much to get these players in and they destroy the dressing room. Signing someone like Walter Pandiani (or Ciccio Grabbi for that matter) is so high risk as to be irresponsible. Seems to me you need to wait for your acadamy to produce a couple of gems simultaneously and build from there. Meanwhile, scrap and make do as per Big Sam.

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good point, maybe its the fact chances like you said, like Blackburn when we hit 6th in th league we made 3-4 chances and that didn't work, similar Hodgson made many changes.

so Blackburn seem to have the same problems other clubs have had, maybe its because there is a fine line between winning and losing these days.

some managers think money equals spending, which i guess is not always the case, but often what fans want.

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What I dont understand is how Bruce is managing it with much more quality in his squad. Much as we like to do Birmingham down they have alot of players who are better than ours:

Pennant, Pandiani, Heskey, Forsell, Dunn, Melchiot and (to a lesser extent), Izzet and Upson.

Indeed apart from the super quadrate of of Pedersen, Savage, Bellamy and Nelsen they are better equipped, Friedel and Taylor have been much of a muchness in the last couple of seasons.

So the issue, for me, lies in the fact that Bruce cannot get the best out of them while Hughes seems to be getting alot out of lesser players. If they do go down we should be first in the que for Pennant and Dunn!

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Everyone's heard about Pandiani's Primera Liga goal heroics in the past but wasn't anyone else a little puzzled about why if he's this great goal poacher, no major club was after him? Perhaps he's not as good as people were making out.

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Perhaps he has a doppleganger like Grabbi's that scored twenty odd goals in Italy.

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What I dont understand is how Bruce is managing it with much more quality in his squad. Much as we like to do Birmingham down they have alot of players who are better than ours:

Pennant, Pandiani, Heskey, Forsell, Dunn, Melchiot and (to a lesser extent), Izzet and Upson.

Indeed apart from the super quadrate of of Pedersen, Savage, Bellamy and Nelsen they are better equipped, Friedel and Taylor have been much of a muchness in the last couple of seasons.

So the issue, for me, lies in the fact that Bruce cannot get the best out of them while Hughes seems to be getting alot out of lesser players. If they do go down we should be first in the que for Pennant and Dunn!

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Well, you mention eight players, Joey, and four of ours. I'll give you Pennant, and to a certain extent Upson, Dunn, Heskey.

Mikael Forssell isn't the same as he once were, Pandiani's overall game isn't good enough, Melchiot is no better than Lucas, and Izzet is too inconsistant if you ask me. Wouldn't trade him for Tugay, that's for sure.

Don't think their team is that impressive tbh. I like Damien Johnson though, he's became a good midfielder methinks.

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Well, you mention eight players, Joey, and four of ours. I'll give you Pennant, and to a certain extent Upson, Dunn, Heskey.

Mikael Forssell isn't the same as he once were, Pandiani's overall game isn't good enough, Melchiot is no better than Lucas, and Izzet is too inconsistant if you ask me. Wouldn't trade him for Tugay, that's for sure.

Don't think their team is that impressive tbh. I like Damien Johnson though, he's became a good midfielder methinks.

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The majority of those players are all classic sicknotes though.

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I found an old copy of 'Match' magazine the other day. In it was an article on Julian Gray showing 'Match' around St Andrews. There was a picture of him showing off a very small trophy cabinet with a couple of very small cups in it! It gave me a good laugh laugh.gif

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Despite the recent public vote of confidence in Bruce by David Gold, I suspect that if Birmingham's poor results continue and the Brummie fans start to turn on their manager, then the board might be forced into reconsidering their position.

Birmingham are currently second from bottom after a dreadful start of just one win in eleven games. Bruce is second favourite with Ladbrokes (at 7/2) to be the first Premiership boss to get the boot.

To compound Bruce's woes, Jermaine Pennant was ordered home from training yesterday after allegedly turning up for training blind drunk.

Pennant recently had to wear an electronic tag after being jailed for drink driving while disqualified and having no insurance. He crashed his car into a lampost after being three times over the legal limit.

Link: Pennant's latest shame

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Brums next two games are the emminently losable fixtures away to Newcastle and home to Bolton before a bit of a tussle away to Sunderland on 26 November for who gets 20th.

Lots of entertainment from the gobby clowns at BIG CLUB to look forwards to this month.

Nothing to spend in January 'cos we'd go bust in the Chapionship- Sullivan.

Bruce not allowed in the toy shop even in the January sales?

I don't know whether anyone else spotted it but the BIG CLUB big mouths were spouting about a relegation battle even when they were still 14th and were not noticeably headed for trouble.

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Former England Under 21 winger Pennant, 22, jailed seven months ago for drink-driving, was deemed unfit to join in with his team-mates at the club's Wast Hills training ground.

Is that a miss print. Shouldnt it be Waste Hills traing ground smile.gif

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Brums next two games are the emminently losable fixtures away to Newcastle and home to Bolton before a bit of a tussle away to Sunderland on 26 November for who gets 20th.

Lots of entertainment from the gobby clowns at BIG CLUB to look forwards to this month.

Nothing to spend in January 'cos we'd go bust in the Chapionship- Sullivan.

Bruce not allowed in the toy shop even in the January sales?

I don't know whether anyone else spotted it but the BIG CLUB big mouths were spouting about a relegation battle even when they were still 14th and were not noticeably headed for trouble.

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Like him or loathe him Sullivan is usually not too far wide of the mark with his comments.

His criticism of Dwight Yorke was bang on the money. And whilst the link above doesn't work for me, if they're the same comments as in this morning's papers, it's about how Heskey, Forssell and Pandiani cost them 12 million, are costing 90k p.w. in wages, and have contributed 3 goals betyween them.

Probably exactly what the average bluenose is thinking. Although Bruce probably wishes Sullivan was less outspoken.

What a shame. smile.gif

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