Also, saw this on Football365's weekend preview:
Troubling times for Sunderland, and gambling on Di Canio last season does seem ill-advised in hindsight, even if he did seemingly save them in the short-term. Now is not the time for sympathy though, we've got a crisis of our own to overcome, and the only consolation of this season so far has been that Chelsea and City have both spent massively more than we have and haven't started the season any better!Only once in the last 14 seasons has a club taken one point or fewer from their first seven games, the Portsmouth side of 2009/10 that sank without a trace. Lose to Manchester United and by Saturday evening that's the reality facing Sunderland.
Having conceded three goals in each of their last three games, the last people that Sunderland defenders and Kevin Ball wanted to see was Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.