It's not really uncommon for Sunderland fans to moan over the summer months, let's be honest. Actually, moaning is one of the two things that Sunderland fans are brilliant at, the other, of course, then making light of the reality once the stuff we've moaned about comes to pass and taking it on the chin.
In all seriousness, though, in the last week or so, Sunderland fans have become quite seriously fidgety about a lack of incoming transfers. After a fairly jovial last week of the season and World Cup, a little worry has crept in on social media. It's impossible to not notice it really.
So should we be worried?
The answer is probably not. Sunderland are making a specific effort to keep transfer information coming out of the club very tight this summer. There are benefits to that, of course, primarily that it stops the frustrating 'transfer sagas' that we've seen in recent summers which can often put excess pressure on the club to complete a deal which has may be got a little away from them in terms of justifiable spending.
The downside is that a lack of smoke can lead people, understandably, to presume that there is no fire. In short, it creates a perception that nothing is happening.
Now the idea that Sunderland are not constantly beavering away on transfers around the clock is absolutely incomprehensible. The squad is threadbare and the memories of last season's struggles looms over everyone like a menacing spectre. We may not know who is coming, and we may not get excited over who they are even when we do know, but new arrivals and plenty of them are inevitable.
Gus Poyet has said that he hopes and expects to have most of his squad in place by the time they head out to Portugal for what he describes as a crucial period of tactical training, so the clock is ticking a little there. Still, Lee Congerton has also said that it is likely a few deals will go right up until the deadline at the end of August. Neither should really be held to their word on either, though. Good intentions only take you so far and no one ever said signing players was easy.
However, the problem here isn't really what Sunderland are or are not doing. In terms of creating the current fidgety sentiment amongst the support, that is almost an irrelevance. The problem is the situation.
Last season, on paper, was a decent one. The club finished 14th and reached a cup final. In terms of memories, with the double derby delight, Wembley, Old Trafford, and the great escape, it could almost convince you it was enjoyable. It wasn't, of course. It was 'enjoyable' in the sense I imagine doing a skydive and seeing your primary parachute fail is enjoyable. Once you're on the ground safely, the adrenaline rush convinces you it was great fun and makes you romanticise the screaming 'oh my god, oh my god, I'M GOING TO F**CKING DIE' on the way down to an utterly hopeless splat part.
Over time, though, there is probably a little nagging feeling in the back of your head that tells you that parachute designers are rubbish and you are definitely not putting yourself through THAT again.
That is pretty much where we as Sunderland fans are right about now this summer. The adrenaline and romanticising of the 'great escape' has subsided and the memories of what necessitated it are just starting to haunt us a little, and the longer they linger the more fear of being subjected to it again kicks in.
And, it is lingering.
Since the summer, Sunderland fans have seen players leave (including important and popular loanees), free transfers arrive, rivals strengthening, and precious little news to focus their attention. In a perfect world where the squad is in good shape and faith is high, that's not an issue. In fact, a lack of information leaking out would then be a veritable positive. Sadly, that's not the Sunderland world we currently have.
Still, whilst frustration is palpable and wholly understandable, I am convinced there isn't really anything to worry about for now. It shouldn't be forgotten that Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez arrived one day pretty much out of the blue, and Costel Pantilimon wasn't far off that. It's the kind of - dare I say - 'swoop' that we can probably expect more of this summer. One day there isn't so much as a clue, the next they are holding the shirt.
Patience is just something we are going to have to embrace this summer, I think, however maddening it becomes. It's not something that comes naturally after a trauma, and that's definitely what last season was, but at least it tends to produce better results than panic.
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