Bruce explains Ghaly exit
Steve Bruce has explained his reasons for pulling the plug on Hossam Ghaly's move to Birmingham.
By Peter O'Rourke
Last Updated: 04/08/07 4:40pm
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has explained his reasons for pulling the plug on Hossam Ghaly's move to St Andrews.
Blues pulled out of a deal for the Tottenham midfielder on Friday citing "footballing reasons" for the decision.
Bruce has now revealed Ghaly's unacceptable attitude in training and a row with the player was behind the Egyptian's shock exit.
"His agent left a message and said that he [Ghaly] wasn't happy with the standard of players here," Bruce told the Birmingham Mail. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing - and I've kept the message on my voicemail.
"When he had his one-to-one session with (fitness coach) Dan (Harris), he was moaning we 'don't do this, don't do that' at Tottenham, it 'wasn't right' and 'ridiculous'. He had a right petted lip on. Yes, strong words were said and he was told in no uncertain terms that if he didn't like it, he should clear off.
"There's no way I'm going to have someone criticising the squad, especially when they are supposed to be their new team-mates. And I'm not having anyone upsetting the togetherness and spirit we have worked so hard to build up here.
"I've had this before with a former captain [Kenny Cunningham] complaining about all sorts and I'm not going to keep fighting things like that. Yes, we train our players hard and we expect them to put the work in.
"What we do here was good enough for a World Cup winner [Christophe Dugarry] and so was our club and players.
"Hossam Ghaly came from Tottenham's reserves and we were quite prepared to give him an opportunity to play regularly and establish himself.
"He had had the summer off and after reporting back hadn't trained properly for a couple of weeks or so as the transfer negotiations got going. For the previous four or five days he'd done nothing. He was way, way behind in his fitness."