Steve Bruce has been revealed as the man to take the helm at Newcastle United. Apparently as at least 6th choice, possibly as low as 11th. The shambles of his appointment is reflected by his being unable to take charge of his first game in China.  What can supporters expect?

Bruce would be the first Steve to manage Newcastle since McClaren, the first Geordie since John Carver.

Bruce has established his name at a string of football clubs. As a player, he won three domestic league titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, a couple of European trophies and some shrapnel on the way.

As a manager, Bruce is now on his 11th job in 11 years (including Wigan twice), having led 3 clubs in 2001. He has not managed in the Premier League for 4 years, having been relegated last time he did in 2015.

Much has been made of his North East roots, with his North East wife and an attachment to the region. Having said that, he has allegedly been a favourite for the managerial hot seat on a number of occasions, without ever having taken the plunge.

As a manager, he has had several spells at different clubs. Included in his CV are a few relegations, having also repaired the damage with promotion at Birmingham City and Hull. He also made an FA Cup final at the latter of those two.

Following in the shoes of Rafa Benitez is a hard act. TV audiences have been used to the immense backing for Rafa for three seasons now. Bruce himself is one of few managers to have also been serenaded by the St James' Park faithful, most notably, as manager of Sunderland, when losing 5-1 at St James'.

Bruce has actually a wealth of experience in local derbies, having already seen some cities from both sides of a divide. He has managed both at Birmingham city and Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Wednesday, even the two Hs along the M62, Hull and Huddersfield. Critics might say that in the season after next, he may be able to lay claim to being on charge of both teams involved in the Tyne/Wear derby too.

Such criticism might be unfair. Let's have a look at his Premier League record, since reports suggest he is Ashley's chosen one on the basis of experience at that level? Perhaps the criticism is not that unfair after all. Out of 393 games played, Bruce has won 111, drawn 109 and lost 173, an average of 1.2 points per game or 43 points over a Premier League season. Ashley's target of maintaining high levels of TV incomes looks to be on the safe side of precarious.

Newcastle United certainly have a great league record at St James' when Bruce has been in charge of a team, perhaps something of a mascot? That particular record sees Newcastle having played 10, won 5, drawn 3 and lost 2. It's just a shame the teams he were in charge of were not Newcastle. In fairness, he did not lose at St James' against the manger he might more directly be compared with, Alan Pardew.

So what about his home record as a manager against Newcastle? Some might consider it lamentable that out of 10 league games, his record is won 2, drawn 4 and lost 4.

Comparisons may be made with Rafa. It is close. Rafa has only one more Champions League title, only one more Europa Cup, only one more World Club title, only one more UEFA Cup, only one more UEFA Super Cup, only five more domestic cups and only two more domestic league titles. Bruce has more promotions from the Championship.

Despite apparently being 6th choice, Bruce might actually be the best manager that Ashley could hope for. A solitary top 10 finish. The ability to avoid relegation, or at least regain Premier League status within 2 years. The only blot on his copybook is to have qualified for the Europa League, one of those cost burdens to any club. However, as beaten FA Cup finalists, that route has now been blocked off.

Ashley's aims of creaming profit remain unabated. In the meantime, Bruce knows that should he not perform, supporters already have a song lined up for him. In the meantime, he may think he stands a chance of success whilst the rest of us think he is a just a daydream believer.