Sunderland suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Everton in the Premier League on Monday night, as Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick to break a 13-game goal drought at club level.
In truth, the former-Chelsea striker could have added to his goal tally, as he hit the bar with a ferocious effort in the second half.
Everton were very good in the second half of clash, but Sunderland were simply awful.
The performance was bereft of any talent, inspiration or organisation with the last one the most surprising of a David Moyes side. The Black Cats look to be in serious trouble again, but what’s new there?
Moyes was never a great boss
Moyes is like a man walking around Harrods in Aldi clothes at the moment, he is just looking out of place. The Scot’s rather grim and early assessment of his team’s plight just a couple of weeks into the campaign showed the lack of faith he has in his players.
I like Moyes as a man and appreciate the job he did by stabilising Everton as a club, but he has never been a great boss, solid but never great. He always had the ability to organise a team of decent players well, but beyond that he was limited.
The Scot was never a tactical genius and his deficiencies have been ruthlessly exposed at times since leaving Everton and even during certain spells in his stint on Merseyside. Certain bosses are good tacticians, while others are not. Moyes falls into the latter category.
Poor quality of players signed
More often than not David Moyes was pretty astute at Everton, as the Scot brought in the likes of Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill to mention just a few of his stellar buys.
Of course, he did have his misses, don’t mention Per Kroldrup, but the Scot did bring in some very good players for reasonable fees. Maybe the crazy transfer market has had an effect on Moyes’ signing for Sunderland this summer.
Maybe the fact that the Black Cats US owner Ellis Short seems to have decided to abandon funding for transfers has also had a major effect on the players who have arrived this summer.
The summer arrivals at Sunderland have been like a who’s’ that? of footballers. The likes of Paddy McNair and Donald Love and Papy Djilobodji are players that struggled to get into bigger clubs teams.
Some could argue Moyes had success in doing the same thing at Everton in the likes of Tim Howard and Phil Neville, but it is difficult to see the trio developing into high-calibre Premier League players anytime soon.
Then there are the likes of Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe joining on free transfers. These are signings of sheer desperation. The pair worked with Moyes at Everton but have disappointed in recent years.
Pienaar was once a very inventive and skilful footballer. However, at 34-years-old he has spent more time in the treatment room than most club physios in the last few seasons.
Moyes was desperate to bring in another striker in the summer. However, the deadline shut without the Scot signing a striker so had to turn to the free agent market to sign big Nigerian international Anichebe.
The 28-year-old was released by West Brom in the summer after struggling to find the net last season. The striker is built like a boxer. Unfortunately, he also plays football like one too.
The description of Moyes’ overall work in the transfer market would be ‘uninspiring’. The only signing that may provide the Black Cats fans with some entertainment this season is that of Belgian winger Adnan Januzaj, who has promised so much at Manchester United, but delivered little so far in his football career.
Could Sunderland pull off another great escape?
The Black Cats seem to have nine lives, having produced a number of great escapes from relegation in recent years, including last season. Moyes’ side are currently odds of 11/10 to be relegated this season.
Sunderland has started their Premier League campaign in a poor manner in those seasons that they have pulled off a great escape, but this season the team from Wearside are looking very poor and as an outsider looking in bereft of quality, apart from striker Jermain Defoe.
The Black Cats keep things interesting for their fans, but if Sunderland does survive the drop this season, they may not finish the campaign with Moyes still in charge of the team.
A black cat is supposed to represent bad luck. Well, the Black Cats may well represent terrible luck for Moyes if things carry on in their current vein because they could be the last top-flight club he manages.
Can Sunderland pull off another great escape this season?