GUS Poyet has promised to transform not just Sunderland’s squad but also the whole playing ethos at the club.
After steering the club to safety last season, the Uruguayan has begun his remodelling of the playing staff with the acquisition of three top quality Bosman signings - Costel Pantilimon, Jordi Gomez and Billy Jones.
Keiren Westwood, Craig Gardner, Oscar Ustari, Jack Colback, Ondrej Celustka and Phil Bardsley have now left the club while efforts are being made to offload Danny Graham, Alfred N’Diaye, David Moberg Karlsson, Cabral and Modibo Diakite.
Meanwhile Sunderland are moving to make some important permanent signings including former loanees Fabio Borini and Marcos Alonso, as well as Swansea skipper Ashley Williams.
But Poyet, who muttered darkly last season about there being: “something wrong in the football club,” has concluded there is a need to establish a ‘Sunderland identity’ at the club.
And we will make sure that every new recruit knows what it means and what is expected of a Sunderland player.
“Players coming to this club in the future will understand that they are coming to a club where there is a certain way of playing,” he told the Echo. “An identity.
“He will know that that Sunderland are going to play this way, that they are going to train at certain times, that they are going to behave in a certain way, that they are going to prepare in a certain way.
“They will be able to clearly see and respect a way of understanding football and what their job is.”
Poyet has pointed out that the big difference between Sunderland and many other clubs in the Premier League which maybe have don’t the Black Cats’ resources or size, is the fact that have a long-established way of playing.
“I do really believe in consistency and stability and having a plan and an approach,” he said.
“I know playing different football is not easy.
“With all respect to Swansea, if they do better than us it is not necessarily because they have better players than us.
“It is because they have a certain way of playing football that they have stuck to for years and everyone feels comfortable about the system and they fall back on that.
“It is the same with West Ham.
“West Ham have chosen a way of playing and they have worked hard at being the best at that approach as they possibly can be.
“They use that Andy Carroll-Kevin Nolan combination really well and have been doing it for three years where the get the ball forward to Carroll quickly and Nolan is there to support.
“They have taken it to the best level they can and that’s what happens when you have stability.
“But when you are continually restarting it is always going to become more difficult.
“You can have an impact by making changes of managers and that change might get a response and get you out of difficulties that you find yourself in in that particular time.
“But long-term it’s not doing you any favours in terms of long-term consistency.
“And long-term consistency is what we are all about - about finding that long-term consistency - and the best way to do that is to create something where on and off the pitch everyone knows what being this sort of Sunderland player is all about.”