Things We Think We Think #222


1. Our hopes of making the top two remain alive, but only just. Last Friday’s victory for Middlesbrough felt like a near-fatal blow, but Saturday’s emphatic victory over Bristol City means that we are, just about, still in the hunt.

2. The match in isolation was actually very enjoyable. City started well, got an early goal and apart from a lull midway through the first half, we were in complete control. Chances were made and taken at pleasingly regular intervals, and if 4-0 felt a tiny bit flattering, it does at least give us the division’s best goal difference again. Who knows if that’ll come in handy?

3. Its bearing on the season is something we’ll have to wait to discover. Prior to kick-off, City probably needed seven wins from their final nine games to be in with a shout of reclaiming an automatic place. We now require six from eight. It’s a very tall order and it’s not easy to see us catching the revitalised and reunited Middlesbrough – all Steve Bruce’s men can do now is try to make them earn it, as opposed to timidly handing it over.

4. We should have loftier aims than this, of course – but that victory gives us a cushion of seven points (and a game in hand) over seventh place. The play-offs are at least assured. A minute victory perhaps, but the prospect of a total top-six avoiding meltdown has been averted.

5. As for those play-offs, it’s a big advantage to finish third or fourth. Home advantage in the second leg is a big deal and if we must settle for them, it’d be nice to ensure we have that benefit, coupled with some decent form.

6. That takes us to Derby tomorrow night. It is by some distance our hardest match left this season. And it’s still almost a must-win game. There’s just no margin for error any more.

7. Huddersfield away absolutely is a must-win game. Meanwhile, we wonder just how sore West Yorkshire Police still are being forced to apologise for their disgraceful behaviour three years ago and whether they’ll look to take it out on us on Saturday. We just need one more apology for being wrongly labelled as hooligans now…

8. Doesn’t it rather feel as though the Steve Bruce era is coming to an end? He was decidedly equivocal when asked about his longer term future last week, and one wonders whether his enthusiasm for managing City is on the wane. Four years in the job is hardly an eternity, but in modern management it is and while we don’t doubt that he’s remaining thoroughly professional, we have the same feeling that a separation is coming as we did when Peter Taylor took his leave ten summers ago.

9. We’re unconvinced that going to Aston Villa is a great idea, however. They are certain to be a Championship side next season, while his current club does still have a presentable opportunity of being in the top flight. Barring a takeover and some investment, they’ll be a total wreck of a club. His Birmingham past will count against him the moment they lose a couple of games. As alluded to above, a decade ago a successful City manager thought that the grass was greener elsewhere. It wasn’t.

10. News emerged on Friday evening that modifications are to be made to City’s new membership scheme. We’ll wait for further details before getting too excited, as the club are yet to offer anything official, and there was an awful lot that needed sorting out.

12 replies
  1. Barney Gumble
    Barney Gumble says:

    I like the Peter Taylor comparison in point 8. You could have gone further and said that Diomande was the Daniel Webb of the moment.

  2. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Let’s hope the type of cuntish, pissed up “fans” that follow City (& most other clubs) don’t give W.Yorkshire Police the ammunition they need to take it out on us.
    Sadly, as well know, there’ll be some City cunts cunting about like cunts.

  3. Bond
    Bond says:

    I wonder if Bruce’s relationship with the owners is wearing thin? throughout his recent successes he has not been able to fully enjoy
    the moments with the fiasco’s going on in the background, created by the owners, it must seem like it will never end.
    With a new storm brewing over scrapping of season tickets, he is always first in line to take the flack from the press.
    There may also be something in the Andre Gray thing too, with the owners saying no to signing someone who most would think would get you promotion on a plate and give it a good go in the Prem, along with the rest of our squad of course.
    The consensus of upper west fans on Saturday that I spoke to and listening to the (misdirected) ill feeling towards the stewards on the turnstiles is that a lot of these fans will not be looking for seat’s elsewhere if forced to give up theirs, a lot of them having chosen them nearly 14 years ago, this coupled with differing problems with other sections and age groups makes me wonder what the stadium is going to look like on a match day next season, the club needs to get urgent medical attention for its persistent self harming!
    By the way, can anyone actually log on to the stadium wi fi or is that just for the away fans? just asking?

  4. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “There may also be something in the Andre Gray thing too, with the owners saying no to signing someone who most would think would get you promotion on a plate and give it a good go in the Prem”

    Andre Gray scored 16 goals in the 2014/15 league season for Brentford. That is not “someone who most would think would get you promotion on a plate and give it a good go in the Prem”. As things stood at the beginning of the season, that was a good centre-forward at this level, but nothing more. The Allams backed Bruce enough for us to go back twice to Brentford with improved offers once our initial bid was turned down. In the end, Burnley outbid us. It happens. Two things on this:

    First, just because Gray has done very well for Burnley doesn’t mean to say he’d have replicated that for us. Burnley are a much more attacking team than we are. Dyche seems to be able to get more out of attacking players than Bruce does too, and on a more consistent basis.

    Second, and more importantly, if Steve Bruce really is angry about a lack of backing in the transfer market, then he’s wrong. Ever since he was appointed he’s had a level of backing that the vast majority of managers at the helm of teams we are realistically competing against could only dream of. That’s we got relegated and look like missing out on automatic promotion this season is not because of a lack of backing for Bruce. Had Bruce really wanted Gray, could he not have kept on Rosenior and not spent £3.5m on Odubajo and used the money to secure Gray? It takes a lot for me to praise the Allams, but the backing they’ve given Bruce has been the best thing they’ve done as City owners. He can have no complaints at all there.

  5. Chunder Monkey
    Chunder Monkey says:

    Bruce made it fairly clear at the end of last season that he didn’t really fancy the job this term. The Allams should have jettisoned him as soon as he gave that interview after City’s relegation was confirmed.

  6. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    I think most managers now seem to have app 3-4 years max at a club. In many cases months,a couple of years.
    So if Steve Bruce takes us up, I think he will go one way or another, unfortunately for him on past results he seems incapable of keeping a team up.
    Also he may have got the message that the owners are just a pair of twats!!
    Who have no feelings towards our fans at all

  7. Barney Gumble
    Barney Gumble says:

    I think Bruce leaving at the end of the season is a certainty. If we go up he’s done his job and can leave on a high, if not then it’s best for both parties that they part. Whatever the division I think they’ll be a new man in. Or Mike Phelan.

    I’ve heard stories that Bruce has a farm in the Midlands area which he’s very passionate about. He could go tractor racing with Colin Wanker.

  8. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    Saturday was enjoyable and good to see City not totally take their foot off the gas when 2-0 up.

    Bruce has been well supported by the Allam’s in the transfer market, did he not buy another striking gem in Diomande relatively recently? Gray would have been nice, but there you go.

    I think he’ll stay if we go up and leave if we don’t. As an ex Birmingham manager, unlikely he will go to Villa, it will be Pearson or Moyes. Shame we don’t have Pearson, but he would not put up with the rubbish from the Allams.

  9. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Agree with Officer C comment above.
    Very pleased by the result Sat. but couldn’t help but be reminded of the Boxing Day win at Sunderland where Bruce picked a weird team but still won. Saved his job, but got us relegated IMO!
    God knows what Bruce will do at Derby, who are very dangerous with their strike force. In spite of stats our defenders don’t look too secure at times and Martin is a real tester. McG was very lucky to survive his mistake early on…just hope he’s not going on the wobble again. Very true to say that another win is needed to give confidence and put pressure on the rest! Can we put a run together? Who knows…perhaps a few of the players realise it’s time to pull fingers out? Snodders and Curtis seemed to have the bit between their teeth on Sat. More please! COYH!
    PS. Time Hernandez got up to 20 goals! Someone fire him up please!!

  10. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    I think Bruce will go, the fans booing at half time and full time in a recent game was a shame but it shows what some of them expect now. A replacement for Bruce, a young upcoming manager should be looked at. My choice would be Patrick Kluivert, he would manage Championship club if recent reports are anything to go by. But for the rest of the season we should get behind the team and management and hope Boro get the jitters, Burnley are already up in my opinion so they can win every game and upset some of our opposition for 2nd place such as Boro and keep a resurgent Cardiff out of the top 6.

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Well put Officer C.
    Another night where the players talk the talk and then failed in epic style
    Soundly beaten home and away by Derby.
    The scoreline irrelevant, the points not.
    6 wins from 7 required.
    Next season new manager regardless of division.
    Could be my last too after 40 years.

  12. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Hoped for better…sadly suspected result appeared. In fact even worse…I mean 4-0!!!
    So the players are tired!! Add lack of fitness to list of other training ground deficiencies!! Was suspecting that from late goals conceded. FFS Bruce get your finger out…or better still Go!
    I’d go 3 at the back next game… seeing as this well crafted squad seems short of a full back or two.
    Might even play our leading scorer…if he’s not too tired or too pissed off with the manager. Somebody get a grip please before we slide out of the playoffs at the last!!

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