In what is now a regular feature, Monday is routinely 'excuse day' for Sunderland's manager and players in their current dismal run.
Following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at West Ham, which leaves us rooted to the bottom of the table, Jack Rodwell takes his turn talking to the local media to deliver the rehearsed line that David Moyes, chief executive Martin Bain and the players have been trotting out in the last week or so about the club needing stability:
We probably have gone a bit backwards. It's not easy when you are chopping and changing all of the time, as players, as managers, but that's no excuse.
Yes it is an excuse Jack, but he's upbeat:
It's the eleven players on the pitch who have to do it - we have gone a bit backwards, but we are the ones who can put it right.
Hmm, after thirty-two appearances in a Sunderland shirt without a win to your name, you probably aren't one of the ones who can put it right Jack.
David Moyes' assessment of the latest lapse which saw his side throw away a point in the dying minutes of the game:
I don't think for a minute the lads thought they'd won a point. I couldn't say we turned off at the corner but I'd have liked the players not to have turned around and run away from it. When we gave the corner away we should have stayed on the ball.
They ran away. Do they rehearse it in training?
The Olympic Myth
There's a strange disconnect between the actual Olympic Stadium experience and the media perception of it.
Whilst Sunderland fans were returning to the North East with disturbing tales of antagonism and threats at West Ham, the London-based media continue to blindly believe that the Hammers are the rightful heirs to some sort of London 2012 joyful 'Blighty' spirit.
Indeed, Jonathon Liew of the Telegraph embodied that blinkered view of the East London project with a piece utterly oblivious to the unpleasant experience Sunderland fans have reported.
Liew, who has a penchant for a bit of floweriness pondered:
What makes a home? Pictures, possessions, people? All important of course....what really makes a home is memories. Which is why the importance of Winston Reid's 94th-minute winning goal went so much further than three points.
Yep, slamming a last-gasp winner past a crowd of players who had turned their back on it, who between them make up the worst side the Premier League has assembled since Aston Villa of last season, is the stuff of memory-making for the Hammers.
Worse still was his own antagonism for Sunderland fans making their way out of the Olympic Stadium:
All around them, and all the way back to Stratford station, were the sounds of jubilation and triumph. Truly there is no place like home.
Contrast that if you will, with the experience of one Sunderland fan among many who was quoted in the Sunderland Echo yesterday:
It was the first time in a while we've had to get back to coaches with eyes and wits about you, checking all angles and being alert. There was loads of seniors and women on the coaches.
A stark juxtaposition of views. Likely nothing much will be done about the East End welcome until someone gets hurt; and that may well come on Wednesday night as Chelsea arrive for a League Cup tie.
What M'Vila Wants
Yann M'Vila's good friend, Chris Mavinga, with whom he rose through the ranks of French football, has given an interview to a French website. When quizzed about M'Vila's future he had this to say:
The coach will extend Yann's contract if he wants to play [for Rubin Kazan].
And on Sunderland:
This is a club where he enjoyed it, I think he prefers to play in the English Premier League. It is not yet known if he will go back, but he wants to.
Ominously, if things look terminal in January, there isn't a hope in hell he will come back here.
Victor Anichebe Makes It Ten Times Worse
Half the world is now aware of Victor Anichebe's social media faux pas. That's the beauty, and indeed the horror, of the internet - stuff spreads fast and people make instant judgements.
So it was with mild bemusement we watched the fall-out from the great reveal that Sunderland's striker, veteran of 13 minutes and a couple of fouls, does not write his own tweets.
We all knew, as much as we secretly hoped it wasn't true, that footballers don't manage their own social media presence. But, Anichebe, or his 'people', clearly lack any sense of humour, humility or indeed an eye for an opportunity.
Because, he, or they, spent Sunday afternoon blocking Sunderland fans who had laughed at him:
And it wasn't just me:
Even stranger, he seemed to attempt an excuse last night by blaming it on a relative, but then deleted that too.
Regardless, a witty response and a 'whoops' would have engendered some wry smiles and a few laughs. Instead, the striker who already has a reputation as something of an under-performer, now simply looks like a precious under-performer.
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