Niall Quinn has expressed concerns over Paolo Di Canio's transfer policy and expects a tough season for Sunderland.
Di Canio, who replaced Martin O'Neill towards the end of last season, publicly criticised the discipline of the squad he inherited and has set about making sweeping changes during the close season.
The likes of Simon Mignolet, Ahmed Elmohamady, Titus Bramble and Matthew Kilgallon have already been moved on with several players with little or no Premier League experience arriving in their place.
The Italian has brought in Duncan Watmore from Altrincham, Valentin Roberge from Maritimo, Modibo Diakite from Lazio, Cabral from FC Basel and David Moberg Karlsson from Gothenburg, alongside former Arsenal reserve goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
And former Black Cats forward Quinn is concerned that the revolution at the Stadium of Light might not be the best approach if they want to avoid another relegation battle.
"It's been really interesting watching what's going on," he told sky Sports News.
"I do think he wants to do a major clear-out and to start again. He's got his own thoughts and ideas and he's got people around him that are bringing a whole different way of life to the club, almost.
"As somebody who spent so much time at the club as a player and chairman I really hope that it works out for him.
"But it's going to be tough. He's got a lot of players with very little experience in the Premier League and I think it might be tough for him.
"He's also criticised some of the players he has now and you might see more people moving on."
Sky Sports pundit Quinn compared the policy to that employed by Alan Pardew, who took Newcastle into the Europa League by signing a number of players from the French League who were largely untested in English football.
But he says it will be difficult to produce similar results at Sunderland and says Di Canio may have to rely on his motivational and tactical skills.
"They tell me he's an excellent coach," he added.
"That may stick to him. The tactics and the coaching that he does will be important to Sunderland.
"But it's going to be a difficult year. I can't see them just sailing and doing what Newcastle did a couple of years ago."