Inter appointed Andrea Stramaccioni as a manager with an eye on the future, but their obsession with the here and now lead to his sacking. Daniel Storey on an impatient club...
Every in, every out and as many rumours as you can stand - we shall be updating this page all summer...
Premier League 13th; FA Cup Quarter-finals; Carling Cup Second round
Manager Martin O'Neill (since December 2011) Odds on being first out of his job 33-1 (18th)
Transfers in Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa)
Transfers out Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain), George McCartney (West Ham), Michael Turner (Norwich)
When Steve Bruce was sacked in November last year, Sunderland were 16th, with 11 points from 13 of their 38 fixtures. They lost their one game under caretaker Eric Black and in the remaining 24 matches Martin O'Neill coached them to a further 34 points. Across a season that ratio would give a highly respectable 53-54 points - enough to take eighth place off Liverpool in 2011-12.
As if you needed it, here is proof of the O'Neill factor. This record was achieved despite a poor run-in when the team ran out of steam after the FA Cup quarter-final. Appointing the Northern Irishman is one of the surest ways to improve a side's prospects and it was a real coup to bring him in.
However good a coach O'Neill may be, though, he cannot alter geography. Critics of Wearside can expect to hear from the tourist board but the tale of Asamoah Gyan, who seemed happy on Wearside and on gushing terms with Bruce but is now in the United Arab Emirates, exemplifies the problem of keeping the talent you need to attract in a cosmopolitan league.
Nicklas Bendtner, the top scorer, has taken his skills and headlines elsewhere and the strike force looks thin. Much more than promise will be needed from Connor Wickham and, though there are plenty of scorers from midfield, supporters are still hoping for a successor to Darren Bent.
Inward transfer activity has been limited to the manager being reunited with Carlos Cuellar as the striker hunt goes on, but on the plus side James McClean, bought by Bruce but never used by him, will hope to have a first half to the season to match the impressive second one he managed when unleashed by O'Neill.
It seems reasonable to suggest that, with the benefit of a pre-season, O'Neill will be able to extract even more than the sum of its parts from his players in the first half of this campaign. Sunderland kick off at Arsenal but most of their opening matches are friendly enough: trips to Swansea and West Ham, visits from Reading, Liverpool and Wigan. That should provide suitable lift.
Overall, though, unless much changes between now and the transfer window closing, it is unlikely that the early form will be sustained.
After a season of upheaval at Sunderland - the departure of Niall Quinn and Ellis Short's adoption of a more hands-on role - this is a key season in the club's efforts to shed their backwater image. If there is a manager who can do it then O'Neill is a great bet.