It has been said, by those who think that they know, that Sunderland is a hard club to play for. It may be true for those without the necessary guts and without the required strength; it is certainly true for those who are weak willed, or for those who lack that most important of traits - the strength of personality.
Over the years we have seen players come and and players go - players who were seemingly quiet, those who remained in their shell, never embracing the club or the area.
They were travellers, passing through for the convenience, for the money, but never for the glory - they were never going to be Sunderland players.
Players like El Hadji Diouf and Pascal Chimbonda had the personality and the talent. They made an impact; however, unfortunately it was the wrong impact as they had too much arrogance - they refused to integrate with the team, so they failed and they left.
Djibril Cisse had all of the personality, all of the talent and as much arrogance that it was possible to have, but he worked... just about.
So what is it? What makes a Sunderland player?
What binds Stefan Schwarz and Kevin Ball - two hugely different personalities from very different footballing backgrounds - as successful players for our club?
What separates Nyron Nosworthy, who was an extremely limited but successful player for Sunderland, and Paul McShane, who was another limited player that was completely swamped and out of his depth, as being remembered fondly?
Looking at the new signings, and it is still very early days, it is clear that the likes of Max Power, Chris Maguire and Jack Baldwin will do well here on Wearside because have the personality that will help them thrive.
They are not alone in having those traits from the summer intake, and that’s exciting.
They are not shrinking violets on the pitch, nor are they off it. They seem to enjoy the demands of the clubs and the fanbase as well as the pressure that comes with those demands - surely they will reap the rewards.
They have all the makings of becoming club legends, and this is because they have the confidence, the belief and the personality that allows them perform to a higher level. They have the right stage, the right environment and the strength of their personality drives them on.
Isn’t that a refreshing change from the likes of Adnan Januzaj and Jeremaine Lens - who failed and crumbled at this magnificent club?
The new lads are decent players, but they are certainly not stars. That being said, they have grown at an impressive rate in a short period of time that perhaps the signs are that they will continue to grow - their growth fuelled by the power of their personality.
The question, then, is how high will they reach?
We can only speculate and hope that it is no accident that we have targetted such personality traits in our recruitment process this summer. Let’s have more like Chris Maguire and Max Power playing at the Stadium of Light instead of the likes of Jeremain Lens and Jack Rodwell.
We are a League One side right now; surely the only way is up? And, as we look to climb up the leagues, hopefully we continue to target players like those recruited to Wearside this summer.
There seems to be a train of thought that the higher you climb through the leagues, that the profile of the players you look to recruit inevitably changes.
However, we must not lose sight of the strength of personality that we need in a player - this season has proved that without a doubt. If we disregard this moving forward, then the very future the of the club hangs in the balance - all of the hard work we have undertaken could come to a grinding halt.