Sunderland's form has picked up slightly under Chris Coleman, with three games without defeat recorded ahead of Boxing Day.
But a 3-0 loss to Sheffield Untied was a crash back to reality with a thump, and their lack of quality up front was as glaring as their poor defending.
Sunderland were without top scorer Lewis Grabban, who is expected to be recalled by Bournemouth in January.
In his place there was a chance for striker James Vaughan, who was signed in the summer after a prolific League One season for Bury.
At Sunderland he is yet to convince, and the 29-year-old has just two goals in 21 Championship appearances.
Yesterday at Bramall Lane he was poor, and touched the ball only 22 times in 78 minutes before he was substituted, without having a single shot.
Vaughan did little to convince Sunderland fans he can be relied upon when and if Grabban leaves, and supporters believe he is not of the required standard.
Several supporters took to Twitter to blast him as the worst striker or player they have seen play for Sunderland, and given the dire quality of players to pass through the club over the past few seasons, that is a really low bar for Vaughan to set.
Here is a look at the reaction to Vaughan's performance...
Don't know where to start. Shocking performance, unable to do basics, and please, please, find a replacement for Vaughan, the worst #9 for #SAFC I've ever seen.— James Taylor (@cynicalkind) December 26, 2017
We defo have the worst squad in the league but if you start with Vaughan and Wilson in the starting 11 then you don't know ANYTHING about the game called football! #SAFC— Dean Lamb (@Chubfubbler) December 26, 2017
Carried on where we left off on Saturday. No surprise when we have no alternative to the extreme lack of quality we have in Vaughan, Gooch, Honeyman and Gibson. #safc— @SUNDERLANDAFC⚽️ (@SAFCFANSVIEW) December 26, 2017
Think James Vaughan's the worst Sunderland striker I've ever seen, plenty of competition for that anorl— David. (@DavidD_73) December 26, 2017
I defended James Vaughan for a long time but christ he's more out of his depth than Grayson was. Asoro is half his size yet we hold the ball up better when he's on. Vaughan could literally be the worst striker we've ever had— Wearsiders (@Sunderland1879) December 26, 2017
Wonder if James Vaughan will stll be cupping his ears to the fans like he did at Burton— Ian (@safcianpeterlee) December 26, 2017
One of the worst footballers I've ever seen and not just for Sunderland
James Vaughan is the worst player I have ever seen in a Sunderland shirt.— Guy Incognito (@_GuyIncognito__) December 26, 2017