Manchester United Next Manager: Simulating Steve Bruce’s Reign on Football Manager 2022

Steve Bruce

Manchester United have finally parted company with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after their dismal 4-1 defeat to Watford at the weekend so we have fired up Football Manager 2022 to simulate how his potential successor may do at Old Trafford.

The Norwegian has been dismissed with the club currently lying outside of the top four in the Premier League table, and they currently sit eighth.

Plenty of reports have been flying around suggesting that there could be various different replacements for the former striker.

However, one surprise name that has been circulated as a potential interim appointment is that of Steve Bruce.

The former Newcastle United boss has left St James’ Park and may now be regarded as a potential figure to steady the ship.

So it would be rude of us not to parachute him into the role on Football Manager 2022 and find out just how he would do if he was given the job!

Because of the restrictions within the game, we’ve given Bruce the job at the start of the season, so he has a full transfer window and a pre-season with his new players.

How did he get on? Read on below.

Read More: Simulating Mauricio Pochettino at Manchester United

Steve Bruce at Manchester United

Steve Bruce Manchester United FM22

We can imagine it now: Streamers, fireworks, parties in the city centre. The United legend is finally home! Think Ronaldo’s return but with actual enthusiasm.

Still, Bruce did not fare very well at Old Trafford.

The ex-Newcastle manager did not exactly pull up trees, something we could not possibly have foreseen given his absolutely flawless record elsewhere. We kid.

But this did not go well at all.

Take a look at just how badly Bruce did at Old Trafford in this ridiculous save below!


Steve Bruce transfers FM22

Perhaps scarred by his time from Newcastle, Bruce did not splash the cash in the summer.

He did do a deal to sign Samuel Shashoua from Tenerife for £3.4m, although he is loaned to Hamburg swiftly after.

And there’s also a free transfer; ever the wheeler-dealer, Bruce brings ex-Tottenham Hotspur flop Paulinho to Old Trafford.

He does oversee a fair few departures, though.

Jesse Lingard goes to Wolves on loan, Anthony Martial joins Chelsea for £24.5m, Nemanja Matic moves to Real San Sebastian on loan and Juan Mata joins Hertha Berlin on a short-term deal.

In January, Lee Grant and Phil Jones leave the club permanently, along with Fred. Amad Diallo and Alex Telles also leave on loan.

In January, Bruce also oversees a swoop to sign Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax for £30.5m; Thilo Kehrer arrives from PSG and Luis Alberto comes in from Lazio after that.

Those last two signings were not his, however…


Man Utd under Steve Bruce

United actually start really well under Bruce.

They beat Everton, Southampton, and Norwich in their first three games and then draw with Leicester. They beat Wolfsburg in their opening Champions League game but then lose to West Ham.

They bounce back with three more wins, against Leicester in the Carabao Cup, Aston Villa in the league and Villarreal in the Champions League.

And then the bad times begin.

United do beat Liverpool and Tottenham in October but they also draw with both Brentford and Chelsea, lose to Atalanta in Europe and then get knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Burnley.

A win over Atalanta at the start of November raises spirits but they then draw with both Manchester City and Leeds United and lose to Wolfsburg and Watford.

Things start well in December, as United beat Wolves, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley and Crystal Palace in the league – that run also includes a blip of a defeat to Villarreal in the Champions League.

A loss to Arsenal on Boxing Day, though, plants more seeds of discontent; United then draw with Southampton and Everton and with Liverpool in the FA Cup. A loss to Norwich follows before the Reds win the FA Cup replay 3-0.

A 1-1 draw with Leicester is the final straw and Bruce is sacked.

United remain in the Champions League, but this has been a really up and down tenure from the former defender.

Who replaced him?

Simeone replaces Steve Bruce FM22

Diego Simeone.

Just as in our Mauricio Pochettino simulation, the Atletico Madrid manager is parachuted into the hotseat after Bruce’s sacking.

However, it is actually Nick Cox, who is United’s current Head of the Academy, who takes the reigns until the end of the season and he somewhat steadies the ship.

United beat AC Milan and reach the Champions League quarter-finals but they are thumped 4-0 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid.

A headline-grabbing run sees United go seven games without a win in April but they round off the season with three wins in a row in May, beating Newcastle, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal.

Where did they finish?

Steve Bruce Man Utd

United ultimately finish third.

They get 66 points on the board and finish a point ahead of Chelsea in fourth.

Liverpool win the league title with 85 points, one point ahead of second-placed Manchester City.

United do not manage to win a single trophy, and they are now looking to the future with Simeone at the helm.

Bruce did not really get all that much time but, given the results, one can certainly understand why.

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