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  1. Steve Bruce

    But this can be said of whoever is the manager. Whoever is in charge, there is always a risk that we won't get the start we should. For the reasons outlined before in this thread, and the fact that Bruce would have had most of a season, a whole preseason and two windows with the club, I would argue he's the least risky option for a strong start next season.
  2. Steve Bruce

    Not necessarily... "We're not remotely near the finished article. I've got a busy summer ahead" could be read as he will be busy working with this team to get them into the finished article. The mention of the summer clearout could be incidental in the main to the work he's doing with the team. Not saying that is the case, just pointing out it's another way of reading into his comments.
  3. Steve Bruce

    I think he's talking more about players leaving if I'm honest. I don't think he's talking about another wholesale changing of the guard. In previous weeks he's talked about getting in a handful of players with a bit of quality. He's also talked about how we're still paying for players who aren't even at the club. A handful in and a fair few out fits with his messages recently, and this one as well (especially when he says "a huge clearout job to continue"), so that's what I'm expecting this summer.
  4. Steve Bruce

    It's a fair point to make. The ones I briefly looked at were generally from early to mid August, so up to the Chester deal really. Some specifically reference the McCormack deal, which at the time was a record transfer. So, doubt I'm looking at anything that was done after all the summer transfers, but certainly would include judgements made after signing a prem player or two and the Championship player of the season for the previous two seasons (if memory serves).
  5. Steve Bruce

    Well if you were expectating us to be comfortably in the playoffs, then I can see your disappointment. Most predictors/media at the start of the season look like they had us playoffs, or top-half but outside the playoffs. The sky fan predictor, where people vote a team up or down had us finishing 9th. So, like I said, we're not a million miles away from where the general expectations were at the start of the seasonm, and we've done it under Bruce even after being a quarter season off the pace.
  6. Steve Bruce

    We're 12th out of 24. Moving up 1 place in the league puts us in the top half. Our next two games are winnable. A point in the last game looks doable too assuming Brighton have the title wrapped up by then. That's on track in my book.
  7. Steve Bruce

    I've just had a look at the 'where will we finish?' poll that was run right at the start of the season, mainly as I was interested to remind myself what our expectations were at the start of the season, before a ball was even kicked. The overwhelming expectation was playoffs, but a not insignificant number of folks here thought we'd be top half but miss out on the playoffs. Bruce is currently on track to deliver a top half finish, and probably not too far off the playoffs. This is arguably broadly in line with preseason expectations, despite giving the rest of the league a quarter of a season head start. Regardless of what is said about style of play, I don't think this can be overlooked. I'm sure if that poll was rerun when RDM was sacked, the expectations would have been lower, which makes a top half finish even more impressive IMO considering pre-season expectations and where we were when Bruce took over.
  8. Steve Bruce

    Are you Rio Ferdinand? Are we getting merked?!
  9. Steve Bruce

    Just to be clear, we're talking about the same Sherwood who's only experience of building a squad is building the one that got us relegated last season? The same guy who several weeks into the season, when we were struggling, was moaning that the players he bought weren't good enough? That same Sherwood, you think, would get us promoted if he had carte blanche to throw money around?
  10. Steve Bruce

    GH, he's averaged 1.5 points per game in his time with us. Whichever way you cut it, over the course of a season that's a win or two from a pretty much guaranteed playoff place. And he's achieved that despite taking over a team with no confidence, no midfield and hovering around the relegation zone. With a solid pre-season to work with the players, trim some off he doesn't want, make a couple more additions, it is not unreasonable to expect even now that he will achieve the same return next season plus the necessary small improvement required to have us in the promotion frame throughout the season. 75 points is the absolute bear minimun we should be expecting next season, which should see us in the playoffs. Obvously we want to see far more, I'm Bruce and the club do too, but as a minimum benchmark, that serves our purpose. That works out around 1.65 points per game. After 5 or 6 games next season, we can take stock. If we're averaging more than 1.65 PPG in those first few games, we're on track to for the minimum expectations at least. If we're averaging far less than that, then the Club should really be thinking about making a change before it's too late unless there's real mitigating circumstances that could explain the poor performance.
  11. Steve Bruce

    What would be the criteria you'd look at to shortlist a manager if you were in charge of recruitment at the club?
  12. Steve Bruce

    We've also conceded 46, a defensive stat bettered by only 3 teams at this stage. I'm with Sharky. We have a core there. Work needs to be done, of course, but there is a core there.
  13. Steve Bruce

    Who's your idea of a banker?
  14. Steve Bruce

    You got in before my edit. This, in bold, is the key point. Better teams use the ball better. A team that uses the ball better in the opposition half, creating chances, will naturally force the opposition deeper, which in turn gives more space in the opposition half. More space and front-foot football = more possession than the opposition who are forced to defend deep. I do not disagree that better teams use the ball better than us and ergo have better possession stats. I disagree with the notion though that better teams play possession football. Their possession is a result of the fact they use the ball better in key areas of the pitch. It's not a result of the manager saying "our style is to play possession football". Look at Paul Lambert at the end of his tenure with us. He had us playing possession football. We did f*** all with it though.
  15. Steve Bruce

    This is getting a touch tedious if I'm honest. Possession has f** all to do with who wins a football game. I want us to dominate games as much as you. If I look at stats and see that we've created far more shots/shots on goal than our opposition, and see that the ball spent most of the time in their half, I would consider us to have dominated the game. I couldn't give a flying f*** if we do that with 30% possession because they've spent 60 odd minutes passing the ball in their half between their back 4. It's probably far more accurate to say better sides create more chances with the possession they have.