A couple of weeks ago, Sunderland fans were gearing up for the start of the season with characteristic optimism. Everything would be better this year, under the watchful, experienced eye of Dick Advocaat. Weak elements such as Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley were gradually being phased out of the squad, while new signing Jeremain Lens was all set to be the brightest prospect at the Stadium of Light in years. Now two games in, and the Black Cats' season is already threatening to self-destruct. A promising start at Leicester soon gave way to three quick goals, from which Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher could only salvage a 4-2 loss. The next game, at home to Norwich, was even worse, a performance lacking in both quality and (more distressingly) effort. It finished 3-1 to the Canaries, leaving Sunderland rock bottom of the table already, after a supposedly "easy" couple of opening fixtures. Needless to say, this has set off alarm bells across Wearside. Most Sunderland fans know that these two results aren't simply freak accidents; they're the result of long-standing issues with the club that have to be addressed. Should Advocaat and co. fail to do so, relegation is surely inevitable. Here are the seven main problems with Sunderland AFC. It doesn't make for pretty reading.