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Why Can't We Win 'Winnable' Games?

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Guest blogger Michael Bowers skims over the disaster that was Saturday's home defeat against in-form Watford.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Here we are, once again - after a very good showing last week at Arsenal, I find myself more deflated than ever that we never carried our performance levels across to this week and we've found ourselves on the end of another pasting by a promoted side. When will it end?

Watford have certainly done the best of the three sides that came into the league from the Championship this year but I still feel it’s a game we should be winning.

I did a YouTube reaction to the game and received a comment from a Watford fan who disagreed with my stance.

He said:

"Going into this game we had double your points. We've scored far more goals than you and conceded fewer. We were clearly favourites. Fair enough being annoyed at a loss, but considering all factors, we should beat you."

Yes, Watford had double our points tally. Yes, they’ve scored more. Yes, they’ve conceded fewer - that’s kind of my point. If we are to go by that logic then Leicester should automatically beat Chelsea tonight because they’re higher in the table, scored more and have conceded fewer. The league table doesn’t lie, right?

I can see what this guy was getting at. If I were a Watford fan, I would see the Sunderland match as a game where we should be getting three points. But I think most Sunderland fans were feeling the same way about this fixture, especially considering the three sides we have to play next.

If Watford - who brought in more than a dozen players this summer - can start as well as they have done then I don’t see any reason why Sunderland can’t do this.

Before the start of the season, I'd hazard that most fans would have targeted the newly-promoted sides as teams we should be picking up points from. We’ve now lost to all three of them, two of them at the Stadium of Light.

In fairness to the lads we performed far better in the second half but trying to find positives having once again missed an opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone is both difficult and annoying.

I don’t mean to disrespect any club in any way whatsoever, it just frustrates me that we can’t win games against the likes of Watford, Norwich and Bournemouth. It’s a problem that’s gone on for too long now - we seemingly take our foot off the gas when facing promoted sides. Are the players not up for it? Are we feeling the pressure knowing the difficulty of the quality of opponents we face in coming weeks? I honestly have no idea.

I’d say that I'm more positive now about our chances over the coming weeks than what I was at the weekend, as against the so-called 'bigger sides' we tend to do alright - well, in past years we have anyways. Hopefully - I'm not holding my breath - we’ll make it three wins from the last six visits to Stamford Bridge with a victory on Saturday. Right now, I’d probably take three draws.

Oh, and (begrudgingly...) I say well done to Newcastle. The three points collected yesterday at White Hart Lane are an award for a very good win and team performance by them, and it gives me hope that even sides as bad as Newcastle are picking up points against the better quality opposition.