Bruce is our boss, much as expected for several days, and whatever reservations others may have, it's exactly the right appointment, says Pete Sixsmith …
Well, it didn’t take long to get a new manager in, suggesting that Niall Quinn had lined Steve Bruce up before the end of the season – depending on whether we stayed up. Had we done a Newcastle and ended up in the Coca Cola Championship, it would have been a much lesser light than Bruce – maybe Kinnear or Shearer.
So far, the reaction has been muted. I didn’t notice thousands of people outside the Academy welcoming a new Messiah, or toothless Wearside crones claiming they hadn’t slept all night because they were that excited.
In fact, there didn’t seem to be anyone there at all, which suggests that Wearside crones and serial bed sheet misspellers were too busy welcoming Take That to the Stadium. Maybe they thought that Gary Barlow had taken the job?
But seriously, folks, it has divided fans, probably about 65 – 35. Neither Martyn McFadden nor Paul Dobson of ALS were over enthusiastic on Five Live, and there has been a fair bit of negativity flying around on the message boards.
For what it’s worth, I think it is the sort of appointment that we need at this moment. We have an ideal opportunity to establish ourselves in the Premier League. There are no onfield distractions in the area, although of the field I am sure the Newcastle soap opera will rumble on for the next decade. And what we need is the kind of stability that has made Everton and Villa top eight stalwarts over the years. These are the clubs that we have to look to and Bruce may just be the man who can take us to that level.
You get there by appointing someone who knows his way around the division, who has a good coach to work with him, who is ambitious and who rarely seems to fall out with players. If that was Quinny’s tick list, then everything pointed to Bruce rather than inexperienced club coaches like Bilic, eccentrics like Strachan and self publicists like Mancini.
Bruce has worked for owners who are obnoxious, paternalistic or parvenus.
Now he has a chance to work for a billionaire rather than mere millionaires like Jordan, Sullivan and Whelan. He also has the opportunity to put a team out in front of a crowd that is double that of his previous two clubs and craves success. His whole career has been one of progression – look how hard Palace, Birmingham and Wigan fought to keep him.
I have been critical of him in the past – his resemblance to Mrs Doubtfire has been commented on a few times – but I genuinely welcome him to Sunderland. He may not have the volatile, unfulfilled promise of Roy Keane but we need a steadying hand and I think he will give it to us.
If you type the words Bruce and Boss into Google, you are directed to page upon page about Bruce Springsteen. He’s a success and plays major stadiums in Europe. Could this be an omen?
* Bruce is seen posing beside the Bob Stokoe statue "just to rub it in", says Eomatrix, who got in just before Ellis in posting the image to probably the best Ready To Go thread known the man.