Sunday, July 22, 2018

Surely this must be the year that Sunderland are relegated?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 4 Nov 2016

Sunderland boss David Moyes in a familiar pose this season

Sunderland boss David Moyes in a familiar pose this season

You have to feel sorry for Sunderland fans. Every season their team pretends that they are rubbish for much of the season, and then miraculously make a recover in time to escape relegation.

This season has been the typical poor start from Sunderland. One theory is that the Black Cats players felt that this season they would make their escape from trouble even more spectacular.

Another theory is that the Sunderland team is just not good enough for the Premier League. Surely this has to be the year that the Black Cats go down to the Championship?

A truly woeful team of players

In the recent past Sunderland have been saved from the drop by a host of different bosses riding in on their white horses. They have then disappeared and another poor soul has been left to attempt to repeat the feet of keeping the Black Cats in the top-flight.

When current boss David Moyes joined the club they were low on numbers and quality. A number of signings later and the north east club are now just low on quality. The current Sunderland squad is a poor one and it would take a massive feat of managerial brilliance to keep them in the top-flight this season.

Aside from striker Jermain Defoe, there seems to be very few players of Premier League standard. Ivory Coast international Lamine Kone was interesting Everton in the summer.

He is also believed to be of interest to West Ham in the January transfer window. They clearly have not seen the defender play since he signed a new deal with the Black Cats. He has been poor in a terrible defence.

One other player that has impressed for Moyes side has been young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The youngster would no doubt be of interest of Premier League clubs if he decides to move on in the near future.

Failed since leaving Everton

David Moyes did a very decent job bringing stability to Everton for a decade on a tight budget. However, he also did a very good job of managing expectations. By the time he left Moyes had hit a wall with Everton and could not help the Toffees take the next step.

His next two jobs at Manchester United and Real Sociedad were disasters. There were of course mitigating circumstances at both clubs. He inherited an aging squad at United, albeit it a squad that had just won the title.

Moyes saved Real Sociedad from relegation in his first campaign. However, he left before the turn of the next year with the club in a similar position. In essence he failed at both clubs to achieve anything but mediocrity in United’s case and nothing in Sociedad’s case.

In truth, it seems that David Moyes is now behind the times. At 53-years-old he is not that old, but his ideas may be slightly too old school to work in the modern Premier League.

In other words while Sunderland needed somebody with the magical skills of David Copperfield this summer, they ended up with Tommy Cooper (the comedian not the boxer) instead. Moyes no longer looks capable of managing a Premier League team.

If the Scottish boss wanted to rebuild his reputation taking the Sunderland job was not the best move on his part. It was always going to be a very difficult job and he looks like he has bitten off more than he can chew in the north east.

Hot favourites for the drop

There is no getting away from it Sunderland look like a team heading to the Championship. They look like they have Championship players with a Championship boss. It is a real shame for the fans, who are very loyal to their teams cause.

The Black Cats have played ten Premier League games this season, losing eight and drawing two. They travel to face Bournemouth on Saturday and their  position may not be much better after the game.

At the moment Sunderland are favourites for the drop at odds of 2/7. Those odds are difficult to argue with considering the team’s displays this season.

Sunderland have been flirting with relegation for a long time. It seems at the moment that it is unlikely that there will be another great escape this season.

Can the current Sunderland team pull-off a great escape?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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