Perhaps it's perception over reality but Sunderland's record against the fellow strugglers last season seemed curiously poor. A Hail Mary win like at Chelsea and point that should've been three at City were tremendous efforts that ultimately proved telling but I don't know if I'd bet the proverbial whatever on them beating Burnley at home. That being said, I'd be surprised if they ended up deep in the relegation picture this time out and though I'm skeptical of Poyet I agree that a year of incremental improvement is lot better than being a fiasco, as was so recently the case.
Our late surge to safety, while stunning, was such a freak occurence that I'm almost tempted to strike it from the record. I always think back to last season's home defeat to West Ham, the last in a long line of 'do or die’ games that we failed to make any impact in. Poyet was a man at the end of his tether afterwards, the team wasn’t good enough and he'd tried too many different combinations of players and formations. But, whether by design or sheer dumb luck, he and his staff managed to create that platform in the end, and they appear to have worked fairly sensibly over the summer in order to build on it and just generally calm things down. By no means has it been scintillating stuff, but compared to that dire game against West Ham, I'll take it. The tipping point will yet again come in January when we have to act quickly to bring in reinforcements who can hit the ground running. We've paid the price for backing managers to the hilt financially so many times before, only to be let down by under-performance and complacency.