Mere months into his reign as Sunderland manager, Bruce was involved in a falling out with Welsh defender Danny Collins. Soon afterwards CollinsÃ¢â‚¬â€fansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Player of the Year two seasons runningÃ¢â‚¬â€was transferred to Stoke City.
And the decision this week to sign defender Titus Bramble from Wigan Athletic once again shows BruceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s willingness to follow his instincts no matter whom they may upset.
Bramble is remembered on Wearside for a multitude of defensive errors during his time at arch rivals Newcastle United, so much so that many took to renaming him Ã¢â‚¬ËœTitus ShamblesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
However it is now those same fans that the former England under-21 international will have to win over, having moved back to the north-east for an undisclosed fee and signing a three-year contract.
The man who started his career brightly at Ipswich Town was brought to Tyneside by the late Sir Bobby Robson for Ã‚Â£6million and soon found himself the subject of ridicule. Indeed the term Ã¢â‚¬ËœBramble-esqueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ became synonymous with inept defending.
It is testament to BrambleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character then, that he was able to put such horrors behind him and prove to be an integral part of a Wigan side that has developed into a solid Premier League outfit.
He will now seek to reproduce such form in the red and white stripes of Sunderland, once again guided, as he was for two years at Wigan, by Bruce.
Bramble follows Cristian Riveros, Simon Mignolet and Ahmed Al-Muhammadi to the Stadium of Light as SunderlandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fourth signing of a, thus far, relatively low-cost summer transfer window.
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