Selhurst Park

Next Game

C Palace v Newcastle

Wednesday, 24 September 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Third Round

Goodison Park

Last Game

Everton 2 - 3 C Palace

Sunday, 21 September 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce is great at getting the best out of players and situations that others might give up on.

Last Updated: 07/08/13 at 17:26 Post Comment

Bruce: can he hand Chelsea another stuffing on the opening weekend?

Bruce: can he hand Chelsea another stuffing on the opening weekend?

When he took charge of Hull last season there were no expectations of promotion but he got his team enjoying their work and dragged that extra ounce of ability out of his players.

Steve can generate a fantastic team spirit in the dressing room and get it rock solid and he was just unfortunate that his chairman at Sunderland - yours truly - gave up on him so early into his tenure.

But I met him recently and I am absolutely delighted that he has bounced back and is a Premier League manager again; he will really enjoy himself this year - though playing Chelsea live on Sky on the opening weekend will be tough for him.

Steve will, no doubt, play down the challenge and try to get Hull playing as tension-free as possible and he does have previous against Chelsea from his Sunderland days, don't forget.

In what I would consider my best day in my six-and-a-half-years as Sunderland chairman, Steve led a side that demolished a top-of-the-table Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

But the odds will be stacked against him doing the same this time around.

Toughness

Cardiff won the Championship last season and after years of knocking on the door are finally back in the top flight.

I think some of the fans perhaps gave up on reaching the Premier League so it is great to finally have them in the top flight.

The toughness of the division will soon set in so you hope Cardiff get a really good kick out if it - but like all teams in their first season after getting promoted, finishing 17th will represent success.

I spoke to Malky Mackay shortly after his side got promoted and he is bracing himself for a really tough time, but his team is one of unquestionable spirit and that will carry them right through the campaign, while they are also having a go in the transfer market.

Cardiff have some tough-looking early games, including the Sky Live match with Man City, and so if they lose them you could say: 'Well, at least they are out of the way', but if they won them, think what momentum it could generate.

Getting that first three points on the board will be imperative and I'm sure Craig Bellamy's experience will be crucial in that and over the course of the season.

Bellamy is a far more mature player than the brash striker we saw at Newcastle where he always had the ability but was very carefree.

Now though he understands the importance of his leadership qualities and he will be an integral part of how things work out for Cardiff.

Purpose

Crystal Palace have had less time to prepare for the Premier League season than Hull and Cardiff, but the manner in which they got promoted, through the play-offs, will boil over and bring more purpose to their play.

It is wonderful to see that club in the Premier League - and playing Tottenham on the opening weekend - as they have had plenty of heartbreak on and off the pitch over recent years.

The Palace manager, Ian Holloway (pictured), is also a joy to listen to; everyone loves his honesty and the man on the street can look at him and say: 'Yeah, that's my kind of guy'.

You live the dream with him, whether that's good or bad, and when he managed Blackpool they were everyone's second team because of the way he came across and wore his heart on his sleeve.

I'm sure people will get behind Palace this season because of Ian and their Sky Live game with Sunderland at the end of August should be an entertaining one with Holloway and Paolo Di Canio in the dugout!

I just hope that Paolo will be judged on his coaching abilities, team selections and transfers this season and not off-pitch stuff, like he was when he was appointed Sunderland manager last year.

Di Canio burst onto the scene and took the Premier League by storm almost and had the high of a fantastic win at Newcastle and the low of a demoralising 6-1 defeat at Aston Villa - and it's clear that he wants to do things his way.

He will have to get Sunderland's dressing room, which is more multi-national than it has been in some time, rock solid and I hope that we are not talking about my old club being involved in another relegation fight.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Premier League: Crystal Palace beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park

Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Everton 3-2 and pick up their first win of the Premier League campaign.

Premier League: Frank Lampard haunts Chelsea as he earns Manchester City earn 1-1 draw

Frank Lampard stepped off the bench to score against his former club and salvage a 1-1 draw for Man City at home to Chelsea.

Premier League: Frank Lampard has mixed emotions after scoring against Chelsea

Frank Lampard was almost speechless after scoring the equaliser for his Manchester City side in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Mail Box

Liverpool Aren't Even Exciting This Season

Liverpool fans are seemingly resigned to slipping back into mediocrity, which in September isn't exactly ideal. Plus better Arsenal, Allardyce praise and an excited Saint...

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property