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Bowers' Blog: 27/09/2016 - Januzaj Has Been Underwhelming; Is Khazri Really Worse?!

Nobody is quite sure what is going on with Wahbi Khazri but he was a key player last season - is it time for Moyes to bite the bullet and give the Tunisian a start on Saturday?

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Unlike Sunderland’s defence on Saturday, I’ll actually try and put some effort into this but I’m struggling to take many positives from the defeat against Crystal Palace.

When I write these blogs I try as hard as possible to keep a level head and not change my opinion too drastically after each game but I’m at a real crossroads today.

Is the season over? Absolutely not. Are we getting relegated? I don’t think we are. I still firmly believe there are three worse teams than us. We are more than good enough to be in this league. My opinion is not going to change on that.

But I bet I wasn’t the only Sunderland fan who was livid at the full-time whistle when Christian Benteke scored Crystal Palace’s winner in stoppage time.

Both Benteke and McArthur's goals were defended pathetically as each of them were allowed to run away from our ‘defenders’ to score free headers. They’re professional footballers and you’re telling me they don’t know how to mark opposition players around them?

Quickly on defenders - I will defend Papy Djilobodji because I thought he was ok on Saturday. At worst, he may have been unfortunate for the first goal but the latter two goals definitely weren’t his fault. He still has a lot to learn though.

I hate losing when we go in front but to lose from being two-nil up at home with half an hour to go is laughable, even by Sunderland’s standards.

After we scored our second goal, we let Palace back into the game straight away which was just criminal because it gave them something to go for. Had we been professional and kept it at two-nil like we should have done, then we would have our first league win of the season.

But Sunderland being Sunderland, that was not the case.

I have defended David Moyes on here openly and I still stand by my opinion that he will turn it around but even I am starting to get sick of his negativity at times.

Throw us a rope Dave - we need some confidence, and you aren't helping.

There’s no doubt that Adnan Januzaj is a talented player and at his best when he actually tries to create something, he is exciting. But at his worst, he seems determined to make himself a real contender for the laziest player I’ve seen play for Sunderland.

Whenever he goes up against someone, he either stands there and expects someone else to move for him or only half-heartedly attempts to get past him. He doesn't fully put himself into it when challenging for headers and don’t get me started on his set-pieces.

I would love for him to prove me wrong but so far I’ve been very underwhelmed by him. For his sake, if he wants to get back into Manchester United’s team beyond this season he seriously needs to buck his ideas up. If he’s not performing at Sunderland, a place where he really should stand out, he will not get into Manchester United’s team, especially if Jose Mourinho is still the manager.

On the third episode of our podcast a really excellent point was made about Januzaj and Khazri. If Moyes has left Khazri out of the team because he hasn’t been impressed with his attitude then why on earth are we accommodating Januzaj?

Khazri gave effort and commitment during the second-half of last season, he never stopped running, was good on the ball, took people on and more often than not delivered a decent set piece. What does he have to do to get into the team? Moyes knows something that I don’t here quite clearly but it’s really driving me crazy.

Tony Pulis will be licking his lips at the prospect of the game at the Stadium of Light. Palace practically gave us the first goal and were all over the place for our second. You can bet your bottom dollar West Brom will not do the same thing. If they take the lead, then what’s our answer to that?

These are the type of games we desperately MUST find a way to win.

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