One game in and the pressure is already on. The fixture list has not been kind to Sunderland and with the club notoriously bad travellers, there is a danger that Il Duce's Black Shirts could be cut adrift come the end of October.
Just how the Italian will cope with the pressure of losing regularly will be interesting to see. This is the man who once demanded to be substituted at West Ham because the referee wouldn't give him penalties. To say that his temperament is brittle is the understatement of the year!
His first mistake of the season was probably to go into the first game with five new faces in the team. Allardyce has received criticism for sticking with 11 players who were at the club at the end of last season to start the game against Cardiff, but it probably makes sense to ease players in, gently blending the ingredients together, rather than stirring the mix violently and hoping for a dramatic reaction. Messers Rat and Downing will get their chance soon, and Morrison may also get into the mix, but we ended last season well, so why fix what isn't broken?
The same isn't true of Sunderland, of course. Yes Di Canio got an initial reaction but if you explode a bomb in a dressing room, even the most lethargic players will react - a certain Danny Graham excepted of course. However, once the blood was cleaned from the walls, Sunderland reverted to type - and they are a moderate and grossly overpaid bunch.
Mistake number two may be the creation of a divided dressing room, with the Di Canio Foreign Legion parachuted in over the summer. Ten new faces already, and Il Duce reckons he needs another five. So, no long term future for any of the players already at the club when he arrived presumably? You can hear the mutterings of dissent down in London!
Fulham at home was a gimme fixture which Sunderland needed to win. The opening day defeat has pricked the Di Canio bubble and there may be big trouble ahead!