We all hoped last summer that we'd end the season with the Championship trophy winners gracing the Stadium of Light turf, and whilst that will most definitely be the case today when Wolverhampton Wanderers roll into town it would be fair to say that things just haven’t gone to plan during the last ten months on Wearside.
For all Sunderland have disappointed, underachieved and generally flopped in dramatic style, Wolves have achieved the exact opposite.
We have won six games all year; Wanderers have lost only six. Whilst we have limped towards a mid-thirties total points haul, today’s opponents have blown the division away and, by avoiding defeat today, will win the league with over 100 points.
For a side that slipped through the leagues with Sunderland-esque style, their league win is the culmination of a rebuilding job that surely will be the blueprint for the incoming owners of Sunderland AFC.
Wolves have won the Championship with a swagger and a style that bodes well for cementing their position in the top flight in years to come. Their possession-based, slick passing style that builds from the back is reminiscent of a top Premier League side.
Within their ranks, individuals such as Ruben Neves - described by some as the best midfielder ever to be seen at Molineux - have driven the team to success and will not be out of place in the Premier League.
Whilst nothing rests on this game, Sunderland still have their pride to play for.
Many of our players were plying their trade against the same opposition that their Wolves counterparts will be eagerly testing themselves against next season. But how many will actually be on show in red and white today, remains to be seen.
With Chris Coleman released from his contract, Robbie Stockdale will take charge today. This will be his second spell as caretaker manager this season, having covered the period after Simon Grayson was sacked. Stockdale has a long history with the U23 squad and, with injuries mounting, this may be an opportunity for him to blood aome youngsters.
I hear the cries of "don't break them inagainst such a top side', but what better team is there? Wolves are the embodiment of all we hope Sunderland may yet become. Showing the young lads their recovery, close up, will serve only to inspire.
With nothing riding on today's game, why not look at Max Styjek, Denver Hume, Elliot Embleton and Luke Molyneux? Let's face it, many of the senior players won't be here after today.
Many - like John O'Shea, Marc Wilson and Billy Jones - are out of contract, whilst others simply don't want to play League One football. Already Bryan Oviedo and most of the loan players have said as much. It's not big a stretch to think the likes of Lamine Kone, Lee Cattermole or Aiden McGeady will think likewise.
Surely today becomes the perfect opportunity to look closely at those likely to face the challenge of restoring the fortunes of the club. These are the players who need to see, firsthand, what this club can be like by experiencing this match today.