Moyes on Ellis Short
David Moyes is confident that he retains the backing of Sunderland owner Ellis Short. The 53-year old boss was handed the longest contract of any of Short's nine managers with a four-year deal in July.
In quotes contained in a Press Association release, when asked if he felt he still had the confidence of the American billionaire, Moyes said:
I've never thought anything different. The length of the contract he gave me, his words tell you that.
With Sunderland entertaining high flying Arsenal tomorrow, Moyes believes his side are under less pressure than their opponents, for one game at least, despite the fact that defeat would see them break the record for the worst start to a Premier League season:
We probably go into the game carrying a bit less pressure because everybody doesn't expect us to get anything from it, so we go into it and try and see if we can cause a big upset.
One good thing. It'll all be over swiftly tomorrow with a lunch time kick off getting the weekend's likely pain out of the way quickly.
Djilobodji Likely To Be Koné Deputy During Cup of Nations?
Papy Djilobodji last played for his national side, Senegal, in March 2015 in a friendly match against Ghana.
Some had thought that his signing for Sunderland from Chelsea, and more minutes played in the Premier League, might lead to a chance of a recall to the international team ahead of the African Cup of Nations and ongoing World Cup qualifying campaign.
That now looks unlikely with Senegal coach, former Birmingham City and Portsmouth midfielder Aliou Cissé, omitting him from his latest 24-man squad. There is no place for the Sunderland man in Senegal's upcoming World Cup qualification match against South Africa on November 12th.
Djilobodji appears to be right out of favour with Cissé, having never been called up by the 40-year old head coach of his home nation.
Meanwhile, injury to Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly means Sunderland's Lamine Koné is propelled into the limelight as the number one choice for Ivory Coast. If fit, Koné will certainly travel to Gabon for the Cup of Nations finals, even more so with the news that Bailly may yet miss out. The Manchester United man is not expected back to full fitness until the end of December.
Therefore, with one centre-half certain to be away and one now unlikely, Papy Djilobodji will be expected to step into the boots of Koné at Sunderland during the tournament which runs from 14th January for three weeks.
Djilobodji has suffered a pretty miserable start to life in a Sunderland shirt. His individual errors have cost his side points and have accounted for a recall to the starting eleven for veteran John O'Shea in his place. An £8m signing in the summer, he is already being mooted as one of the worst signings of the season.
Coates Continues To Excel
Sebastian Coates, on loan from Sunderland at Sporting Lisbon, continues to impress in Portugal's Primeira Liga.
The Uruguayan international defender is now Sporting's second top scorer with three goals in eight appearances. He never scored in a Sunderland shirt, and in truth was more adept at conceding goals than stopping them during his spell at the Stadium of Light. But he's attracting headlines in Portugal.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claimed this week that talks are ongoing between Sunderland and Sporting over a view to a permanent transfer in January, with a fee of £4.5m mooted.
What are the chances of a recall to Sunderland in January to cover the absence of Lamine Koné?
***Swipe of The Day: Chris Sutton
We've covered this ad infinutum now, but the dismal nature of Sunderland's first quarter of the season has the boys and girls of the press and their pundit colleagues frothing at the mouth and shoving each other aside to get a dig in at David Moyes.
We've had former Manchester United players, assorted pundits and even referees getting in on the act. You will have arrived at your own judgement of the current shambles that is Sunderland in the Moyes-era, but the lazy nature of British punditry has only three concepts to repeat ad nauseum on that topic - Moyes is negative, Moyes used to manage Manchester United and Moyes isn't Sam Allardyce.
So it was no surprise to see Chris Sutton wading in yesterday and featuring all three in a BBC article blasting Moyes for his perceived glumness:
There is a negative feeling about the place with the manager David Moyes and his players talking about how they have gone backwards.
It is hard to find any positives from Sunderland's situation but at least they have not been cut adrift at the bottom - yet.
Chris Sutton doesn't like Sunderland much, though in truth he doesn't like anyone. We've never seen a BBC pundit with so much scorn to pour on everything he sees.
But, Sutton holds a special place for us. Gus Poyet once branded him 'disrespectful' and he seems to have held a lifetime grudge for us killing his FA Cup final dream when he was a youngster at Norwich City. Those obnoxious Wearsiders from the second division booted his beloved first division Canaries out in the semi-final in 1992 and he's never really gotten over it.
But, oddly it was only two months ago that Sutton was slamming David Moyes' positivity for discussing his long-term goal of establishing Sunderland as a top-ten side:
I think it's pretty outrageous to be thinking Sunderland are going to be a top-10 club.
Positive or negative, which do you prefer Chris? Neither when there's some scorn to pour it seems.