Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain last week hailed his vision for bringing the "right type of player" to the club. So with Simon Grayson's side continuing its Stadium of Light death throes yesterday, is he simply the wrong manager?
Against Cardiff yesterday, Sunderland fielded five of the players Simon Grayson brought to the club this summer. But with CEO Martin Bain boasting this week of bringing the "right type" of footballer to the Stadium of Light, do the Championship bottom-three dwellers then simply have the wrong type of manager to lead them?
Whilst new boys Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams were sidelined by a groin strain and a bout of illness for the visit of Neil Warnock's men, Aiden McGeady did at least get through half an hour on his return from lay-off.
But make no mistake, Sunderland were dreadfully organised and shaped up without a clue yet again in front of a dwindling home support.
Grayson's defence post-defeat was to bemoan the late withdrawals of McManaman and Williams along with fullback Billy Jones; but had he really planned to start yesterday - and prepared all week to do so - with a back three, only to realise it was a bad idea twenty minutes after kick-off?
Sunderland began against Cardiff with some sort of 3-5-1-1 or 5-3-1-1 depending on whether you consider fullbacks Matthews and Oviedo as possessing sufficient spark to be classed as 'wing-backs'.
With his side stretched by the Bluebirds, Grayson decided to abandon that plan and resort to a flat back four - a traditional line-up if you like - but lined up as one which had heads scratched in the stands and little additional clue amongst those lined up in red-and-white on the pitch due to the mess Sunderland made of forming it.
Tank-esque centre-back Tyias Browning was deployed at right-back whilst right-back Adam Matthews was deployed at left-back and left-back Bryan Oviedo was shoved ahead of him as some odd-looking wingman.
No wonder Lee Cattermole, in particular, appeared dazed and confused throughout the rest of this encounter and the thickest man on the pitch, Lamine Kone, struggled to remember where he was and what he was supposed to be doing - allowing Cardiff's first and giving away a stupid penalty for their second.
In the wake of a fifth defeat in six games, Grayson attempted to lay blame on his players - criticising their inability to translate a video they had been shown at 2pm of how Cardiff would attack them.
Oblivious to his own apparent tactical ineptitude at lining his men up in a coherent formation to do just that, the Black Cats boss is clearly struggling in a bottom half Championship job - one which his CV supposedly dictates he has experience in performing.
Jumbling his way through press conferences and post-match interviews, Grayson is all over the place at the moment - as are his team. Complaining his side are easy to beat and inclined to moments of madness which cost points, the man whisked away from Preston - currently enjoying themselves in fourth place at the moment - isn't faring much better.
Sunderland are starting each and every game on the back foot with a badly organised hope that camping Cattermole and Ndong on top of the centre backs will see us right. That negativity is an all-pervading now at a toxic club heading one way.
CEO Bain has appointed two managers in his near 15-month spell in charge at the Stadium of Light. The first he clung onto for way beyond what was reasonable which resulted in relegation to the Championship, the second has his side in the drop zone to League One with the bookies rating Sunderland as fifth favourites to go down.
Simon Grayson - wrong man. Again