Why Steve Bruce could be the first managerial casualty of the season

Written by Henry Clark

Pre-season for newly promoted sides can be an exciting team, full of survival hopes for the season ahead. It’s hardly been like that at Hull City. A club up for sale and questions over the manager’s future has left fans far from impressed.

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Say no to Hull Tigers?

Since his arrival Egyptian owner Assem Allam has well and truly divided opinion amongst fans. Last season ill-health and attacks on his private box at the KCOM stadium meant he was absent for the promotion campaign last year. Since a second appeal was rejected by the FA for a proposed name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ in 2012, Allam has had the club on the market.

But of course, no one wants to buy a championship club or a struggling Premier League one at that. Not only did a return to the top flight via football’s richest game earn the club money but also many potential suitors on the lookout for a club on the rise.

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Splashing the cash

For a club of City’s size, the Allam’s have invested a fair amount of money when many others wouldn’t take the risk; £10 million combined on Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, £10 million for last season’s top-scorer Abel Hernandez plus a hefty £10 million for Spurs duo Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore.

But this summer they embark on a tough challenge when the need to buy players, particularly a striker to support Hernandez is imperative; as Steve Bruce says himself, “You’re only as good as your strikers”. Bruce is yet to make a move in the transfer market this summer, apart from signing 18-year-old goalkeeper Will Mannion from AFC Wimbledon.

In fairness you can’t put much of the blame on Bruce for the inactivity; it was only a few weeks ago that he released a message to supporters confirming his desire to stay at the club despite new owners possibly having new managerial plans to implement. In the statement Bruce, who led the side to their first FA Cup final, a European debut and 2 promotions, reiterated that his intentions were to stay with the club despite the confusion over ownership.

Ideally Bruce will be looking to make 5 or 6 quality signings to make the Tigers a serious Premier League team, with realistic hopes of achieving survival in the 2016/17 season; since City were last in the league many feel that sides have become a lot stronger – there are no guaranteed points in the league now, whether your facing Manchester City or Watford. Many names have been mentioned with a move to the club including Spurs’ Ryan Mason, Bordeaux defender Lamine Kone and Wales Euro 2016 hero Hal Robson-Kanu.

But Bruce seems to have little confidence knowing he can approach a deal with a realistic chance of completing with the financial backing with the owner. He is in desperate need for some support from upstairs with just under 4 weeks until the new season kicks off. Many teams will be nearly completing their summer business, giving enough time for new arrivals to ‘gel’ with their teammates in pre-season.

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Leaving it too late?

It’s a worrying prospect as a City fan heading into the season without any much-needed signings or a change of ownership that many have longed for. Bruce has been mentioned in the frame for the England hot seat, however I do see this unlikely to come to fruition. However he could potentially receive damage to his career further tarnishing his record with another relegation that he could do little about. For a man who has been a great servant for the club, one of the few managers to have not been axed months after their appointment, I find it disgusting the manner the club are treating him directly after winning the £200 million game. And I think it’s fair to say that no one would blame him, as sad as it would be, for him to walk away.

Hull fans, are you concerned ahead of the season? Do you see Bruce being with the Tigers come the end of the season? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by dom fellowes