Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Girls Don't Cry

I know there are very many important things going on in the world but the question of Steve Bruce's contract is vexing me. I can't figure out why he is making such a fuss; it can only be that Sully is provoking mischief.

Bruce has 20 months to go on his existing contract, in a business notorious for its volatility. He wants an extension to it, which I suppose is fair enough, but you wonder why he thinks he actually deserves it. He might say because he got us promoted and we have a wonderful 8 points from 9 games, which is one point above the drop zone.

There are Blues fans who are extremely grateful to Bruce for getting us back up, but I'm not one of them, for the simple reason that we shouldn't have gone down in the to start with. He did well to get us up in the first place, then, apart from half a season, we trod water, before our truly embarrassing relegation season, which included a 7-0 home defeat(albeit in the cup). I don't know how many times he has talked of a "horrible night" since, but it has been too often.

So, over the last 4 season, Bruce has done just about enough, before failing miserably, and then doing no more than could reasonably be expected of him. The jury is still out as far as this season is concerned. Hardly glorious, yet he has been hugely well rewarded. Still he wants more. He has done the bare minimum of what we could have expected but wants to be rewarded with extra years on his contract.

Maybe it's because he loves the club and the city and the fans so much, but I doubt it; I have never got the sense from him that he has any fellow feeling with the local citizenry. He has spent about 8 years of his life employed in the city but I can't recall him ever talking about it with any warmth; if anything, he openly regrets not leaving us for Newcastle. When he talks about the fans it is usually to slag us off and to remind us that we can never expect our club to be anything more than mediocre.

It's not for the love that he wants to stay then, so it must be the money, nothing wrong with that, we all want to the best for ourselves that we can. The trouble is, Bruce hasn't done anything to earn it yet. A new and improved contract should be offered on the basis of extraordinary achievement, on the basis of doing more than we could reasonably have expected. This clearly isn't the case. Let him stay, by all means, but only offer the bugger a new contract if and when he has done something to deserve it, when we have progressed and developed as a club and as a team.

The whole business leaves me feeling a little bit bitter. Both Sully and Bruce have demonstrated a lack of regard and respect for the club. Sully is playing silly buggers and trying to cause trouble for Carson Yeung and Bruce is being selfish. He says that lack of progress regarding his contract risks destabilising the club, but no one really needed to know anything about it; it's only his whining that has brought the issue to the fore and I doubt if the players give much of a monkeys anyway, certainly not when he has almost two years left on his existing contract.
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