Having spent six years in charge of Birmingham City, it would come as no surprise if sections of Aston Villa fans have their reservations about Steve Bruce.
In all fairness, it’s not something that can easily be ignored along with his 72 league appearances for the club during his playing career.
However, two factors should come into play here that make his time at St. Andrew’s completely irrelevant, and those are experience in the Championship and being the best possible solution to Villa’s problems right now after his appointment was confirmed on Wednesday evening.
The 55-year-old has spent a significant amount of time managing in the second tier of English football, and he’s accumulated a decent record which has seen him secure promotion on four separate occasions.
Two of those successful campaigns came with Blues in 2002 and 2007 respectively, while he repeated the trick twice with his last club, Hull City, in 2013 and last season.
Bruce ultimately knows what it takes to succeed in this league, and what is required to get out of it and back into the Premier League.
Combined with his management skills and ability to form a successful squad, it’s the perfect appointment from Villa owner Dr Tony Xia as the club look to overcome a difficult start to the campaign under former boss Roberto Di Matteo.
It was never going to be easy for the Italian coach, as he brought in nine new players over the summer and was tasked with eradicating a losing mentality from the club which saw them win just three games all season in the Premier League last year.
However, a combination of questionable selections and tactics and an unwanted habit of throwing away leads eventually forced Villa’s hand, as they sit in 19th place in the table with just one win all season and 10 points from 11 games.
That leaves them 13 points adrift of automatic promotion, and while a good run of results can catapult them up the table in no time, the change needed to come as they prepare to take on rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park on Saturday.
In reality, if Bruce wins a few games and starts pushing Villa up the table, almost all will forget where he’s been previously. Conversely, if he loses a couple of games, he’ll be a ‘Bluenose’ again and will have some angry supporters to convince.
Putting all that aside though, he’s the right man for the Villa job at this moment in time as he will bring stability, a winning mentality and Championship experience to a job where it is badly needed.