Poor Steve Bruce is a victim of geography
Football management is a bit like ancient Rome.
Once the mob turn against you, then it’s only a matter of time before some little Caesar in the boardroom gives you the down turned thumb.
Steve Bruce didn’t stand a chance when he took over at Sunderland because he’s a Geordie.
The fans were never going to forgive him for having Tyneside blood coursing through his veins rather than the Wearside variety.
Steve will be the first to admit that results have been worse than expected at the Stadium of Light this season. But what did anyone expect after the club’s top goalscorer got his wish to leave and the young striker brought into replace him suffered a serious knee injury?
I am certain that if Brucie had enjoyed his football education on the Fulwell End rather than the Gallowgate, the Black Cats fans wouldn’t have turned on him as quickly as they did.
That’s why Tony Mowbray is the perfect man to rebuild Middlesbrough. He’s a Teesside legend.
If Brucie had come from Manchester, Milan or Merthyr Tydfil he would have probably got more time to turn Sunderland’s fortunes around. While football fans can forgive some things, being one of the enemy isn’t one of them. The fact that Sunderland are the first Premier League club to part company with their manager this season is more about geography than a place in the table.
I’d like to send my best wishes to Steve and his family, but I know he’ll be back because he’s one of the game’s winners.
I can tell you from my own experience that getting the sack hurts like hell.
But I bet it’s even harder to stomach when people turn on you because of where you’re from rather than where you’re at.