Steve Bruce has come out and defended himself for his delayed start to the Sheffield Wednesday manager’s job following criticism from pundits Ruud Gullit and Danny Murphy last weekend.
At the beginning of January, he was appointed to replace Jos Luhukay but got the Championship side’s blessing to have a break before taking up the role.
That reason however has been attacked by Gullit and Murphy following the Owl’s FA Cup defeat at Chelsea on Sunday evening.
Gullit said: “If you think it was Manchester United, do you think he would have done the same?”.
Alex Scott replied: “I’m just thinking about the year he’s had off the field.”
Gullit added: “No no no,” Gullit added. “If it was Man United in the same moment, would he do the same thing?”
Murphy then added: “I think the main thing is he’s making a rod for his own back.
“The club has to take some blame for allowing him to say ‘I’ll take it, but not until then’. They’ve facilitated that, which is wrong.
“If he starts poor do you not think the Sheffield Wednesday fans are going to bring this up? He’s sunning himself, watching the cricket for some reason, it’s not something any manager I’ve played under would have done.”
That then made Steve Bruce’s son Alex respond on Twitter to the what they had to say.
He wrote: “Maybe if Ruud and Danny had been managing since 1998, lost a father, a mother, a job, had health issues of his own to to cope with all in the space of around six months they and others would understand why he needed a short break from football.”
Maybe if Ruud and Danny had been managing since 1998, lost a father, a mother, a job, had health issues of his own to to cope with all in the space of around six months they and others would understand why he needed a short break from football. https://t.co/FaeXfkSFMJ
— Alex Bruce (@AlexBruce84) 27 January 2019
Which got support from another BBC pundit Ian Wright…
Can’t imagine how that would have felt to have to listen to that when you know exactly what’s happened. Family and health is and always should come before football. ?? ?
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) 27 January 2019
Steve Bruce himself, who starts his job on Saturday against Ipswich, backed his decision to the delayed start. he said to the Telegraph: “I have had two operations and I’ve been recovering in Barbados,.
“I did not hide anything from Sheffield Wednesday and they were perfectly happy with the plan. It was done with their full support.
“I wouldn’t have taken the job if they were not aware of the situation and what I needed to have done. I was completely open and honest with them when we talked about me taking the job.
“It is extremely disappointing that people have tried to make something negative out of it.
“People also have to realise that I had an extremely tough year in 2018, losing both my parents and I’d promised those close to me that I’d take a break. It took a lot out of me emotionally, it really did, and this is something I needed to do.”
Speaking on talkSPORT to Jim White earlier this week, Murphy apologised but still defended some his comments: “I have to hold my hands up because I gave an answer without knowing all the information, which is my fault.
“I would never want to belittle anyone’s grief or stress, because I’ve experienced that myself in losing my father.
“This isn’t personal about Steve Bruce, I like Steve Bruce, I’ve met him and he’s a good guy.
“I actually told Fulham when they initially went down that if they want to get back up straight away, he’s your man.
“Let me make that clear, this is not a slant against Steve Bruce’s capabilities, he’s a super manager and Sheffield Wednesday have done well to get him.
“The point I made, without having that knowledge, and I do still think and stand by it, is that the perception unfortunately with football supporters is if he comes in and doesn’t start too well, because he’s managed Sheffield United, it doesn’t look great.
“We all say things sometimes and look back and think I wish I dealt with that differently, and I do.”
“I gave an answer without all the information and that’s my fault.”
“I would never want to belittle anybody’s grief or stress.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) 29 January 2019
Sheffield Wednesday fans took to social media after finding out what Danny Murphy had to say and it’s fair to say they reacted strong to his comments – take a look at those angry tweets on the next page.