Chief Sports Writer Hyder Jawad believes that the Blues boss will stay despite mistakes...
Steve Bruce is sometimes ridiculed by Liverpool supporters for having "a big fat head" and even he laughs. But the tag (which has stuck) is a misnomer, for the Birmingham City manager is among the most humble and modest of men.
It would be more accurate to describe Bruce as having a big fat house, for his luxury abode in the Warwickshire countryside befits a man of his status.
And that could be the problem. Just as the builders have finally completed the laborious job of turning his residence into heaven on earth, reports are rife that his days in charge of Birmingham are drawing to a close.
The local estate agents are licking their lips.
Bruce is licking his wounds.
One look at the Premiership table tells the story: Birmingham are in 18th position and, seemingly, going down like the one-legged man doing the hokey-cokey.
The 7-0 defeat at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup on March 21 seemed to emphasise everything that is wrong about Birmingham: not enough quality, not enough vision, not enough spirit, not enough cohesion, not enough unity.
Bruce was "embarrassed" by the result and performance but, really, it had been on the cards for some time. The only surprise was that anybody was surprised. The 3-0 defeat away to Manchester United last Saturday was an improvement, but only just.
With Portsmouth gaining momentum and West Bromwich Albion playing better than their own results might suggest, it will take a mammoth effort from Birmingham to avoid a drop into the semi-obscurity of the Coca-Cola Championship.
So, where does that leave Bruce? Should the Birmingham directors, hitherto loyal and dutiful, dispense with the man who led the club into the Premiership ahead of schedule in 2002?
The truth is, Bruce is probably more safe than it might appear - perhaps even safer than David O'Leary, who is performing just as unsuccessfully as the manager of Aston Villa.
While Bruce has been hindered by injury problems - just about every player has been out at some time this season - there is more to Birmingham's problems than this.
Bruce is not a master tactician and, though he would never admit it, has failed to successfully replace Robbie Savage and Bruce has never signed an out-and-out goalscorer, despite spending a fortune on Emile Heskey, Mikael Forssell, Walter Pandiani, Clinton Morrison et al.
The greatest surprise, given that Bruce was one of the finest defenders of his era, is that he has been unable to keep Birmingham tight at the back. Kenny Cunningham is a shadow of his former self, while too much responsibility has been placed on the shoulders of Matthew Upson, who is out injured. Martin Taylor is as mediocre at defending as he is at growing a beard.
Birmingham are a mess. And yet Bruce, for all his mistakes and for all his misfortune, remains relatively popular and sack-proof. He is still perceived to be the good bloke who is loyal and who, at a crucial time in the summer of 2004, remained with Birmingham when the Newcastle United job was there for the taking. They do not forget these things at St Andrew's.
O'Leary, by contrast, is alienating himself from a section of Villa supporters, the local media, and (if rumours are true) perhaps even some of the players. O'Leary probably cares for Villa but his public relations are so bad that he does not make this obvious.
He wears better suits than Bruce, has a smaller head (in the physical sense) but has none of the charm and magnetism that makes the Birmingham manager so popular. Whereas Bruce's favourite subject is Birmingham City, O'Leary's favourite subject is David O'Leary.
Under O'Leary's stewardship, Villa are no farther forward than they were when Graham Taylor left in May 2003. The difference is that O'Leary has had all the advantages (ie, the freedom to dispense with players such as Bosko Balaban, Alpay Ozalan and other human forms of dead wood) that were denied Taylor.
O'Leary sold Peter Crouch, who has since become an England international, while he seems to have been the last to realise that Villa have the best youth policy in the country. To be fair, Doug Ellis was the first to see it and deserves credit for this.
Bruce is fortunate in that he is popular and can point to mitigating circumstances. There is also the issue of who would replace him. There are no obvious candidates. Bruce, as he says himself, might still be the best man for the job.
O'Leary is fortunate in that he will not be sacked while Villa remain ripe for takeover. But it is questionable whether he is the best man for the job. His list of excuses for Villa's inadequacies is as long as Crouch's left leg and, frankly, boring.
O'Leary has promised "big changes" in the summer but that could mean anything. Besides, the long-suffering Villa supporters, among the most patient in Britain, have heard it all before.
It was Fred Karno, the impresario who discovered Charlie Chaplin in 1909, who famously said that a head size is the real measure of a man - the smaller the better.
In this case, Bruce is the exception to the rule. Besides, his "big fat head" is nothing compared to the size of his heart.
And that is one reason why he should remain the manager of Birmingham City.
As for O'Leary, the issue is less clear-cut.