Hull City: Steve Bruce May Lack Loyalty But He Can Bring The Tigers Success
Let’s get this out of the way early doors – I’ve never much liked Steve Bruce.
He seems to lack what I believe is one of the most essential of all qualities – loyalty.
Bruce has only had modest achievements in his managerial career and has always struck me as a man who thinks he’s better on the touchline than he really is - perhaps that’s a legacy of his impressive career on the field.
But here’s the thing. I actually think bringing him in as the new Hull City manager is an impressive step. I remain in two minds about how successful he’ll be, and I don’t expect him to stick around particularly long, but I think the Allams have made the best of it, under the circumstances.
The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction by fans still bristling over the shambolic and disgraceful sacking of Nick Barmby. But make no mistake – if City start the new season undefeated in three games and sit in the top six in September, no one will complain. The madness of May will quickly be forgotten.
Appointing Bruce – a “big-name” manager and arguably the biggest linked to the job – has to be seen as something of an achievement by the Allams.
They clearly found themselves in a pickle after dismissing Barmby, and needed someone bigger than a promising lower league manager to go some way to appeasing the fans.
The announcement of Steve Bruce has been met with a mixed reaction by fans still bristling over the shambolic and disgraceful sacking of Nick Barmby
Bringing in a boss who was until recently working in the higher echelons of the top flight shows ambition that many may have suspected the owners lacked.
It is a statement of intent, and if backed up with the opportunity to sign a couple of star players, could bring success.
That said, the Allams will need to keep a tight grip on Bruce’s spending or else they will reap the consequences. Last summer he signed virtually a whole new team at Sunderland, at great expense, and proceeded to perform miserably with his new recruits. Others may well say he brought in players who are now thriving under Martin O'Neill and could one day bring in substantial transfer fees.
Importantly, Bruce will impress the City players, who were clearly disillusioned by Barmby’s departure. He’s a Manchester United legend arriving to take charge of a squad heavy with former Red Devils.
He has an impressive contacts book and his name alone will attract players who would never before have considered City as a plausible transfer option.
Maybe even better still, the side’s leading lights, such as Robert Koren, Matty Fryatt and Liam Rosenior, who may have had their heads turned this summer, will now be looking forward to the first day of pre-season. For all we know, former Red Devils centre back James Chester may have grown up idolising Bruce. Now he has a chance to play for his hero.
Only time will tell whether the Allams have pulled off a masterstroke, or whether they are back at the drawing board in five months
The last manager we employed from the north east did pretty well for us. He connected with the fans and understood the area. Bruce may well do the same. He’s used to gritty northern clubs – Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United. If things click early next season, success could follow.
I genuinely did not believe he would be prepared to drop to the Championship. The fact that he has, and for Hull City rather than a more-recently-relegated Premier League club, says a lot. There is, as always with Bruce, the possibility of a quick change of heart. But football is a fickle business, both on and off the field. The fans might not be happy now, but as the old adage goes, it’s results that count, and Bruce will be judged accordingly.
It will quickly be apparent whether this is a hit or miss appointment. Start well, build towards a successful season, and all will be well. Fail miserably, and fans should be prepared to see the KC’s revolving door turn again.
I might not like him a great deal, and I might be sceptical about how long he’ll want to stick around in east Yorkshire, but I’ll back him as I would any City manager.
I’ll go even further – it is quite possible that under Steve Bruce, Hull City will look forward to the new season with a level of expectation that has rarely, if ever, been seen at the club. Just a few short weeks ago, that was completely inconceivable.
Only time will tell whether the Allams have pulled off a masterstroke, or whether they are back at the drawing board in five months. But whether you’re a fan of Steve Bruce or not, any true Hull City fan will back the incumbent manager and hope the man in the dugout can bring success back to the Tigers.
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