Birmingham lose to Aston Villa; Steve Bruce grabs for the Refereeing scapegoat.

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Steve Bruce isn’t having the best of times at the moment. His Birmingham side are not doing great (they won’t go down of course, the Premier is far too full of terrible teams for that) and they are about to be bought by a strange man who struggles to shake David Sullivan’s hand in public and wants Bruce on the first train out of the second city. Now he loses a derby and it isn’t his fault at all, it is the ref’s. At least that’s the subtle implication of his post-match comments:

For me there were two blatant penalties but whether they will do anything about it, whether Mr [Keith] Hackett [the Premier League’s referees’ chief] will do anything about it, I’m not so sure. If he genuinely got them wrong then so be it. But you would expect them – they are professionals now – with big decisions like that to get them right and he got them wrong which obviously cost us.

Glad you got that out of your system Steve, now we can all move on and forg…

“I was absolutely adamant at the time. The first one, how the referee missed it I don’t know because I think we have all seen it. The second one he has got to be convinced that De Ridder is diving. De Ridder said at half-time he was caught. Having seen it on TV he was caught. But as usual with Mr Bennett, especially with us anyway, we never seem to get that decision. He has got two big howlers in a big game today.”

And relax… that’s better. So, should Steve have been getting so hot under the collar? After all, he is probably going to be out on his ear soon anyway. Or, did Villa deserve it and it is another case of a manager refusing to take the blame and scapegoating the ref?