Geordie Steve Bruce has been interviewed in the Guardian today after successfully getting Hull City back to the Premier League at the first attempt, after they were relegated last season.
But they had to do it via the playoffs beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in the final at Wembley.
Hull were the better side in that game, which came just before the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – a repeat of the 2014 final.
Real won again on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time and yes – you could see the difference in the quality of the play and the players in those two games on Saturday.
Alex and Steve Bruce on Saturday – a family affair
Steve Bruce seems to have an uncertain future at Hull, with the rumors about potential new owners flying around and current owner Assem Allam in poor health.
Here’s some of what Steve has said in the Guardian today:
“There are all these rumors and of course it was a crossroads. If we hadn’t won, I believe it would have been very difficult at the club.”
“I’m going to let other people judge that – whether I’m underappreciated.” “Everywhere I’ve been, I’d like to think I left them in a better position than when I took over.”
“We always dream of a big job but you’re just classed as ‘he’s OK, he can get a team out of the Championship and have them scrap away in the Premier League.'”
“For all the British ones doing their coaching badges or whatever, I’m pleased one of us is back in the Premier League. We all have a go but it’s a shame the big jobs go to the foreign managers.”
“Of course there is a glass ceiling for British managers – look at Sean Dyche at Burnley.”
“We need to try and emulate teams like Swansea and West Brom and make it grow, but it will always be difficult for us to attract players.”
“We’re never going to be the biggest payers and it is difficult to get people to come to us even if we have the money.”
“There is a long road ahead but let’s not talk about the negatives now. Let me enjoy and then do all the worrying.”
“I haven’t asked about money and what’s available. I really don’t know.”
It’s true there are not too many managers in the Premier League at the moment, but after Sir Alex Ferguson retired there doesn’t seem to be too many top British managers around.
Brendan Rodgers did well initially at Liverpool and then tailed off and Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew are not of the highest caliber – not compared to the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Claudio Ranieri, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger and of course Rafa Benitez.
Maybe Bournemouth’s young manager Eddie Howe is one of the really bright young English managers at the moment.
It sounds a wee but like sour grapes coming from Steve Bruce about a glass ceiling – and if Newcastle couldn’t have persuaded Rafa Benitez to stay at Newcastle then Steve was said to be the next in line.
Let’s just say we are very pleased we have Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.
With PL clubs having massive funds in the future, the differentiation between them will come with the size, caliber and history of the club – and who the manager is.
Newcastle are therefore well positioned to do well at the moment – with Rafa Benitez in charge.
Howay The Lads!!