Reviewing The Moyes News
It was the Mirror who led with the news that David Moyes would be sacked if Sunderland fail to beat Bournemouth on Saturday. Published at half-ten last night, twelve hours later the story had become established fact and was spread across several national newspaper's websites.
In truth it never looked bona fide anyway. The article was written by a faceless journalist whose profile hints he's more accustomed to reporting on boxing for the Mirror than the finer nuances of North East football management.
Then, bang on cue, whilst Wearside made itself a morning brew, someone at Sunderland AFC fed the Sunderland Echo the line that Moyes was under no "immediate danger" and the status quo was resumed.
Admittedly it would be perhaps slightly ludicrous to sack a manager who is banished to the stands for the game in which he faces a make-or-break fixture. But only a win will ease the pressure now.
This weekend's game precedes a week off for the beleaguered Sunderland boss as the Premier League halts again for an international break.
And with experienced long term absentees Sebastian Larsson, Jan Kirchhoff, Lee Cattermole and Vito Mannone getting closer to a return to the first team, Moyes' aim now will be to make it to Christmas with a few more points on the board and assemble a full squad which might be capable of competing.
Will he make it? And more importantly - is there any money to strengthen the side in January?
Everton Lead The Way In Living Wage Example As SAFC Move to Cut Staff
The 'Caring Club' days of Sunderland AFC belong to the past, sadly. Many supporters are now immune to the crazy world of football, which makes lottery winners of mediocre players and exists in a bubble which still shows no sign of bursting.
But every now and then Sunderland AFC still seem to show themselves up as doing their utmost to be uncaring. The appointment of a new Chief Executive in the summer should have afforded SAFC, global brand, an opportunity to refresh its image.
So it is with interest that we note Everton FC, who still retain their cherished tag of the 'people's club', have become one of only five football teams to win accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation.
This comes at the same time that Sunderland have reportedly made some administrative staff redundant, with more expected. And, we've anticipated these measures for some time in truth. That was surely always within the remit of CEO, Martin Bain, when he arrived in July.
The Merseyside club have handed 250 casual and match-day staff a pay rise taking them to the living wage and it has pledged to ensure more than 700 contractors will also receive a similar increase.
The move follows a concerted campaign by Everton supporters group, The Blue Union.
Back on Wearside - we all get that SAFC have no money, though to land yourself in so much debt following ten years in the richest league in the world takes a concerted effort. But still, most understand that some cost saving measures are inevitable, especially if and when relegation occurs.
Supporters also understand that whatever the outrageous level at which footballers may be paid, that to compete at the highest level, SAFC have to match the market rate for player's salaries.
If the new CEO has a mandate to restructure Sunderland AFC and create a leaner beast which can flex its financial muscles then some pain may be expected, and having felt the devastating impact of redundancy I can only sympathise with those who may be affected.
But, it is to be hoped that those who earn huge salaries at the expense of 'our' football club are not to be spared a little humbling sacrifice too. Because few positions within the corporate Sunderland AFC can truly argue they have performed well in recent years.
Meanwhile, David Moyes takes his Sunderland players to the Nissan factory tomorrow. Some of these 'stunts' are starting to feel a little frantic. First inviting the press to an open training session before a dismal defeat to Stoke, and now an apparent motivational session for the players to meet the people who pay their wages.
May we suggest that they leave Lamine Kone behind. The centre-half who has taken a kicking in the media this week for his apparent attitude, probably earns equivalent in a week to what three production line staff at the Washington car plant earn in a year.
Pickford & Jones Preview Bournemouth
Jordan Pickford has been all over the media this week. First he paid a visit to a boxing club in Birtley, seemingly to give the press an angle to talk about Sunderland fighting for survival and to show that the young goalkeeper is up for the scrap.
In truth we're starting to wonder if these players know just how bad Sunderland have performed this season, with Pickford claiming:
We have to do our jobs against the teams around us and we're fully capable of beating them, so the challenge is to take something from the game this weekend and build on it after the break.
Bournemouth lie in tenth spot, with two wins, two draws and one defeat in their last five outings.
Meanwhile, the forgotten man - at least we had tried to forget him - Billy Jones is in the Sunderland Echo, telling us:
Bournemouth are very attack-minded at home it seems, but we know that if we can get a clean sheet we’ve got a great chance of winning.
We're all for positivity, but we've reached the point where this buoyancy amongst the playing personnel following the weekend's latest capitulation is starting to grate. Results are what matters now.