Perhaps the most exciting part of being a fanatic football supporter during pre-season is the constant speculation over who will and won't be signing for your team. When you go in on a morning and see the lads at work it's, football-wise, generally the first thing you talk about, and if you're sad like me you live for that little buzz you get when you know a player has agreed terms or is up in the North East for their medicals. And it doesn't matter who they are, generally - just the notion that a new player is coming to your club is very entertaining.
Every day that passes during pre-season where Sunderland haven't signed someone new just feels like another day wasted - particularly when you see how desperate we are for fresh blood in our team.
It's quite pathetic really but when you're as obsessive over this football club as I am the feeling can sometimes become unbearable - asking yourself things like why hasn't Aiden McGeady signed yet? Has there been a breakdown in the talks? Are we not prepared to pay his huge wages? Has he received a better offer from another club?
There's probably a really logical explanation - some have speculated it's down to a money issue between the player and Everton, rather than with us for once. I suppose that the BBC didn't help matters last week when they prematurely broke that the deal was done, only for all traces of their claims to disappear off the face of the Earth just hours later. Having had the confirmation of McGeady's arrival unfairly waved in front of our faces it almost feels as though something has definitely gone wrong, even though the reality is that everything is probably fine and that sometimes these things don't get done overnight.
The loans of Ty Browning and Brendan Galloway from Everton seem like fairly risk-free and sensible deals but they're not what you would call exciting signings, and having seen the club let some of our better players leave in recent weeks it would be nice if some uplifting news come through sooner rather than later. We're desperate for some permanent acquisitions - some positivity would go a long way in helping the fans (i.e. me) to feel reinvigorated by the prospect of playing in the Championship next season.
On the flip-side, our recent change in the management department has filled me with a semblance of (false?) hope regarding the potential of holding onto the likes of Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri in the Championship next season. I never for one minute expected that we'd still have the pair of them at the club at this stage and part of me hopes that Simon Grayson is able to convince both players to stick around next season. Both men were burnt badly from playing under David Moyes but with a more positive man in charge there's always the chance that they could stick around, right?
I saw the brief video of Khazri happily joking around in training with Josh Maja the other day and watching him have a laugh with his teammates had me wondering if there's even a small chance of such a fantastic player stopping to help guide us out of the Championship. He'd easily be the best attacking midfielder in the division and the temptation of being given such a huge spotlight might be one worth considering for Wahbi.
Actually... meh. Who am I kidding?
We're threadbare up front and out wide and I suppose that our priority now needs to be strengthening in those areas. We have plenty of time to do so and I have no doubt that the manager is working hard in order to get players through the door but you can't help but worry, can you?