As you’ll have seen by now, Hull City have won promotion to the Premier League once again after one season out of the top division.
Consequently, there are a whole load of people bigging up the job that Steve Bruce has done at the Tigers – and justifiably so.
After all, Bruce has now been at Hull for four years, and has won promotion to the Premier League twice.
He’s done well with a limited squad, despite real difficulties between the Hull owner and the fans, and he is rightly being applauded for what he has achieved.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 29, 2016
But, in my opinion, the ‘Bruce love’ has gone a little too far in some quarters, with some fans and pundits questioning why Bruce had not been considered for the previously vacant Manchester United managerial job that has now been given to Jose Mourinho.
Sky Sport pundit Ian Holloway has been one of the most vocal in this suggestion:
“I know they were talking about Manchester United and who was going to get it, and I know Jose Mourinho did, but seriously, why doesn’t someone like Bruce get considered?”
Now before I carry on, let me just clarify that I think Bruce is a perfectly decent coach – I am not criticising him. But with that being said, we must all acknowledge the fact that the idea of him being given the United job is absurd. Here are three reasons why:
He’s never done it at a big club
Now I know this is a bit of a catch 22 – it’s difficult to get the experience without being given the opportunity – but the reality is that Bruce has never even done it at a medium-sized club. He’s never fought for the top four. He’s never played in Europe. He’s never had to face the tough psychological battles that come as part and parcel of the game at the very highest level. Quite simply, he is woefully inexperienced at the level needed to cope at Manchester United.
He won’t necessarily stick around
Although his four years at Hull has started to erase Bruce’s negative reputation, the reality is that the former Manchester United player has developed something of a penchant for leaving clubs. In his first three years of management, he worked for four clubs, and between 2007 and 2011 he worked for three more. He doesn’t exactly scream reliability, something that United need right now.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) May 29, 2016
He’s a bit ‘bog standard’
I realise that this isn’t the most complimentary of comments, but it’s a fact: Bruce isn’t glamorous – in his approach to football, or in his ability to attract the best. With Jose Mourinho at the helm, United have a genuine chance of attracting the best players in the world. With Steve Bruce they’d have very little chance, because the best players in the world want to play for men they know will give them the best chance of silverware.
At the end of the day, Bruce has done a good job at Hull, but the reality is that unless he does something very, very special at the KC Stadium, he’ll never really progress beyond the level he is at right now.