With his previous employment history, Steve Bruce is never going to earn a warm place in the hearts of Aston Villa fans.
This was the man, remember (actually, who could ever and will ever, forget?) who scored an infamous 97th-minute winner for Manchester United at Sheffield Wednesday, a goal which more or less ended the title hopes of Ron Atkinson's Villa the best part of two decades ago.
And a man who, during his time as boss of Birmingham City, presided over a sequence of six unbeaten derby matches, winning four and drawing two: unbeaten in games against Villa for three seasons running.
So, it is particularly galling that Bruce considers Villa to be one of his 'lucky' teams, in terms of his record against us. And all the more galling that Bruce is exactly right. A trip to Sunderland on Saturday, then, is not exactly the perfect fixture for a Villa side looking to banish a West Bromwich Albion-fulled hangover.
Sunderland beat Villa twice last season, home and away, in two of the most infuriating games of the entire campaign. At the Stadium of Light, Villa looked in no danger whatsoever until Richard Dunne - befitting his ignominious role as the leading own-goal scorer in Premier League history - inexplicably volleyed into his own net, under pressure from exactly no-one.
In the return fixture, Villa were again comfortable enough until Emile Heskey was sent off for indulging in a bit of shoving. Phil Bardsley, demonstrating far more ability than he ever showed during a six-month loan spell at Villa back in 2007, scored the only goal of the game with a fantastic long-distance strike.
Looking back, that Sunderland defeat at home was probably the lowest point of the campaign. Just a few days later, the season took a turn for the better; Villa signed Darren Bent, from Sunderland.
Bruce had plenty to say about that at the time, literally frothing with righteous indignation at losing his top scorer and conveniently overlooking two things. One: Bruce himself has never been afraid to switch employees for the sake of his career (leaving Wigan for Sunderland the first example), which is only what Bent was doing. Two: Villa made an offer for Bent, and a generous one at that - and Sunderland accepted. Very quickly too. The option to reject it was always there.
Sunderland fans were obviously disappointed. More than that; outraged. I had a certain amount of sympathy with them at the time, having seen Villa lose top players in Gareth Barry and James Milner in recent years. And, since the Bent transfer, seen two more - Ashley Young and Stewart Downing - quit Villa for 'bigger' clubs. It's painful and it feels like a betrayal, and I understand that.
What Sunderland fans couldn't get their heads around was that Bent was effectively swapping a shot at European football - as I recall, Sunderland were 7th in the Premier League when Bent left - for a relegation battle, which is definitely what Villa were being sucked into. Even though Bent insisted his decision was down to football reasons, fans of his former club remained disbelieving of his reasons.
Come the end of the season, Villa were in 9th place and Sunderland, having recovered well from a real late slump in form, a place and a point behind. Much of Villa's revival was put down to Bent, and the eight league goals he contributed.
The player himself also cemented his place in England's starting line-up, and he's retained that throughout the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Considering his emergence at international level, and Wayne Rooney's suspension, it's highly likely Bent will lead England's attack at next summer's tournament.
Move to Villa for footballing reasons? Judging on what's happened to Bent over the last nine months, it doesn't now seem such an outlandish claim.
Anyway, back to Saturday's game. It's certainly going to be a tense affair for Bent, and for Villa. Despite complimentary remarks on his time at Sunderland from the player, and a generous acknowledgment of his 18-month contribution to the cause from his former manager, the Villa striker knows he's in for a difficult 90 minutes.
As are Villa. The 'difficult to beat' tag has vanished in recent weeks but it may be that this away trip will suit Alex McLeish and his team. First priority will be to keep things tight and stay competitive, and McLeish is good at getting that from a team; if he selects the right personnel, particularly in midfield.
If Villa can get that right, Bruce's lucky run may just come to an end.