The Brucey Cokey

Posted on November 8, 2006 
Filed Under Articles By Chris

Another article by Chris.

What a difference a few weeks in football makes! A few weeks ago, the majority of fans were calling for the head of Steve Bruce. Now I think the majority of us… well at least half… are once again behind him. Were we being fickle? I don’t think we were. My opinion is that things were spiraling downward so quickly, that a change was needed. Bruce didn’t seem to be acting like his normal self, and comments showed that the pressure was getting to him somewhat. I have always liked Bruce, but the relegation, then followed by the bad run of results and then some of the silly comments, made me turn on him. I was a bit worried that after a few wins, Bruce might come out with an ‘I told you I was great’ comment, as that’s the sort of thing I can imagine him saying of late. But I was wrong, and he has seemed quite humble in his comments of late. That’s more like the Bruce we came to love and respect for the right reasons.

For too long, Bruce was being re-active, rather than pro-active (in some games it was non-active (i.e. Leicester substitutions)). For several games, and thinking back, a lot of last season, Bruce was simply reacting to what the opposition was doing, rather than forcing the hand. What I noticed in the game against Plymouth was that Bruce changed Blues style in the second half. Plymouth were running us ragged and we never even looked like scoring. The change came with Gray going left and Macca going upfront. This seemed to give us more movement, and made us play to feet, rather than playing the big ball to bounce off either Jerome or Bendtner. As soon as the change was made, we started taking the game to them, and soon after that came the Jaidi goal.

I think this is something we need to do more as a team. Rather than waiting for the opposition to make a change and then be on the back foot, we need to start forcing there hand and altering our tactics mid-flow. Make the opposition manager think, don’t give him time to plot things against us, make him keep wondering how he can alter his team to cope with our new changes. A change in pace, a change in personnel or even just switching wingers around, can put an opposition on the defensive for even just a short period. Now I’m not saying go over the top and change every 5 mins, that would get us nowhere, but maybe we just need those options there.

Not that I can really complain of late, the last 5 results have been better than most of us could have asked for. But this is my point, Bruce now seems to be doing those things that we seemed to be lacking. The tactical changes, the personnel changes and even the comments, hark back to the Bruce of Old. The Bruce that got us promoted in the 1st season, the Bruce kept us bobbing along nicely in the Prem, and not the Bruce that got us relegated and ended the previous season with a string of defeats.

I’ve always liked Bruce, as a player he was the sort of player that everyone admired. Tough in the tackle, but honest enough to pull you back up once he’d gone right through you (look at me talking as though I once lined up against him). He’s the sort of manager that everyone likes (unless you’re O’Dreary) and maybe at times he was too nice. Now he’s hitting back, and as long as that see’s my beloved Blues do well, then I don’t care how he does it.

Up next is a big psychological test for us against those tire thieves from the North. Another heavy defeat would surely be damaging for morale. I have a horrible feeling that we may see a great deal of Mr Pennant in that game. They always come back to haunt us don’t they!

Speaking of Pennant, did anyone see the recent comments he made about owing Blues a lot? I agree with a lot of what he said, but what I found strange was the comment towards the end, where he said he kept in touch with several of the Blues team, like Danns and Jerome…. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Pennant only there for about a month while those two were there? Surely Pennant had other closer friends from the 18 months he spent with us.

Maybe he didn’t, maybe that points to a lack of camaraderie last season. Or is it that Pennant was a loner? Maybe that in turn points to Pennant’s problems… Clearly I’m speculating, but you just never know.

Now, I’m hoping that Cardiff are going through there blip, and lose some of that confidence. With Barnsley up next in the league, we really have to be aiming for another 3 points. The Xmas period should be the time when we start to see who’s who, and which teams will be pushing for what. We need to make sure were at least in that pack by then. This is no mean feet, there are very few easy games in this league, as most teams tend to go for the ‘hard to beat’ mentality, making teams harder to break down and creating a smash and grab effect across the league.

As far as squads go, we must have one (if not the) best squads in the league. Boingers do have some depth, but I don’t feel as much as us. This for me is a big factor at this time of year, as the games come thick and fast, and the injuries start to pick up. We have ready made replacements in most positions. My only concern is up front, we still don’t seem to have found anyone lethal. Bendtner knows where the net is, but he isn’t ours, and is unlikely to ever be ours. DJ works hard and has pace can be a major threat, but I don’t think teams are as scared of him as they are when we play Bendtner and Jerome up front. Jerome for me, should be starting most games, we’ve paid a lot of money for him, and he’s young, so we need to play him regularly if he is to progress. Forssell seems to be coming to an end, with regards to his Blues career, I wish he would become the player he was, but it just doesn’t seem likely, not at this club anyway.

I’m hoping now that we power on and keep this run going. A good run breeds confidence, in the team and the fans. There’s nothing worse than seeing your team go on a bad run… And there’s nothing better than seeing your team go on a good run. So let’s hope we give Liverpool a run for there money, and dump them out the cup.

Sing it loud, sing it proud….. KEEP RIGHT ON!

Comments

4 Responses to “The Brucey Cokey”

  1. jerseyblue on November 8th, 2006 11:13 am

    is it me or are we missing the point about bruce.if it was,nt for the fans kicking off over bad performances and putting pressure on bruce then we would,nt have had the players coming out and defending him and ultimately taking responsibility for the rubbish that was being shown. therefore i think that the fans can take more credit for the improvement than anything bruce has changed.

  2. lister on November 8th, 2006 1:25 pm

    be fair to bruce. it his clear that he has improved – he does seem to be making decisions rather than have them made for him – the plymouth substitution putting mcshenko up front and grey wide being a good example. And 5 wins on the bounce, mostly away from home, makes him manager of the month in my mind.

    I still hold the view that longer term success requires a significant change in the coaching set up, but the short term pressure for change has receded. Confidence seems to be growing – and hey, we may have defensive weaknesses but I think we have enough for this division.

    During our premireship years we gave liverpool reason to fear us – lets hope that tiny does not get stage fright, in which case I think we can do that again. They are likely to rest some of their key players, and provided we are prepared to make the effort then why not? 1 nil may not sound like revenge, but it will be kicking them where it hurts – this is their best bet for silverware this year.

  3. Kym Smith on November 8th, 2006 6:09 pm

    Hmm….. I knew I should have copyrighted the Brucey Cokey…!

  4. Chris on November 8th, 2006 6:26 pm

    Its such a good title Kym…. I couldn’t resist…. see you in the docs…..

    guilty M’lud!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Explanation!

You have arrived at the archive site of the Birmingham City blog Joys & Sorrows. If you were looking for fresh, meaty stuff then this way, please.

This section of the site covers the blog portion of J&S from 26th April 2006 - when the site returned after a catastrophic hosting failure causing the loss of over 500 articles - to 28th April 2008 - when I decided to have a prolonged rest from the site.

Here, if it so takes your fancy, you can find every single article, totalling over 1,000, written by myself and many others over that two year period.

Unfortunately, the formatting on some of the posts is a little rough but since this is an archive, it doesn't matter too much. Nothing is unreadable although a great deal of the links will now, sadly, be broken. So internal Joys & Sorrows links will lead you to 404 errors.

I decided to archive them in this way because I wanted to start something fresh for the main part of the site. Hopefully you'll be able to see that up on the main portion of the site now.

Commenting for the archive section has obviously been switched off. You can flick around the archives by using the 'Find It' function in the middle column or the respective 'Categories' or 'Archives' headings in the sidebars

- Aff, 03/08/08.