Just when Sunderland begin to look like they’re turning a corner, they manage to find a way to break your heart. Winston Reid’s last-gap winner for West Ham at the weekend just about sums it all up.
I’m fed up of just striving to stay in the Premier League. As this is our tenth successive year in the top flight, we should be doing much more than that.
Seeing as we’re facing them this week, Southampton are relevant here because they’ve shown how it’s done - not just once, but over a few seasons. A more recent example is Bournemouth; they have come up and overtaken us within their first two seasons in the Premier League - that feels somewhat embarrassing that teams are coming up from the league below us and instantly surpassing us. I mean that in no disrespectful way to Eddie Howe’s side, as they have right to get better which each passing season, and I have nothing but huge admiration towards them for it.
It’s simply a disgrace that we are still battling to avoid relegation and I'm fed up. A small part of me would rather be in the Championship and winning games, rebuilding for the future. And - this might come to you as a surprise - but I would prefer to do that with David Moyes in charge.
Whatever division we’re in next season, I believe we should stick with him. It's annoying to see some of our fans singling out Moyes as the main problem behind Sunderland’s struggles - whilst he isn’t blameless, he’s not the main issue we face at Sunderland.
Our incessant injury problems, the late goals conceded at Manchester City and Southampton, the players bottling a two-goal lead to lose at home to Crystal Palace, Younes Kaboul leaving in the middle of the transfer window - these are all things Moyes has contended with that have affected us immensely, yet he can have done very little about. Whilst it’s his job to motivate his squad, those players should have the professionalism to be able to see games out.
When we drew at Southampton in August, it was probably the last time that we had most of our first-team available and it's arguably the best that we've played. We looked like a side that IS capable of competing in the Premier League.
I heavily disagree that we should be discounting our manager's record when at Everton, too - whilst Moyes took charge at Goodison Park over a decade ago, the job he did there is very similar to the one he's expected to do here over a long period of time. It’s not irrelevant to me. Moyes didn’t get things right at Everton straight away - it took him time to get it right, and to establish them as a good top-flight side. Is that not what we want? Like it or lump it, it’s going to take longer than nine games to get things right at Sunderland.
It’s not been just about the manager anymore. It’s bigger than that. The players and those in charge at the top of the club are just as deserving of criticism as the manager is, if not more so.
I think in the long-term Moyes will be a good fit for us. In my opinion, we must stick with him. Give Moyes time.