Attitudes Of Sunderland's 'Star' Players Are Shocking
It doesn't matter what the manager says publicly, or what the players say when they speak to the press, there's always something more telling going on behind the scenes when you are a club struggling further down the table.
The body language of the Sunderland players in recent weeks has been abysmal, particularly from the ones which you would expect to be leading and at least trying to encourage the other members of the side.
Fabio Borini is the biggest culprit - this guy must be the huffiest player I've seen in quite some time. It's all about Fabio, isn't it? Look at the way that he behaved when Jermain Defoe had the audacity to take those two penalties against Liverpool. Ever since then he's been disgraceful and has been one of our worst performers - I'm beginning to question whether he's had his head turned.
Patrick van Aanholt is another. Tensions boiled over at the end of the game when he and Adnan Januzaj clashed - it's apparent that there's something not quite right with some of these players, mainly the ones that are perceived as 'better' and that have received interest from other, more well-positioned clubs than Sunderland.
Whatever the case may be, we are not going to get ourselves out of this mess if our players cannot find it within themselves to take some responsibility and deal with the situation.
Christ, I miss Lee Cattermole. I miss him so, so much.
Djilobodji Cannot Be Trusted
Great one week, shite the next - remarkably, we've managed to stumble across the eight million pound Titus Bramble.
I was at the Burnley cup game last week and had it not been for Jason Denayer we would have conceded three or four goals. Papy was awful... and I just can't work him out.
There's something strangely endearing about him, though. I really want him to do well.
He's actually quite elegant on the ball and when he's on his game he's a very competent defender, but the inconsistency of his performances sets alarm bells ringing and I feel that we have to focus whatever resources we do have on finding another central defender whilst the January window is still open.
Not Using Substitutes Was Telling
Speaking about his decision not to make substitutions during the game, David Moyes said, "we were trying to score goals and I didn't really feel I had the players on the bench any more capable than Fabio Borini, Jermain Defoe or Adnan Januzaj. We don't really have anything to change it around, I felt the best attacking players were already on the pitch."
Usually I'd be inclined to agree, but having watched the way that Fabio Borini played this weekend - with his shitty attitude - I don't know how giving a youngster like Joel Asoro a chance to get at Stoke's tiring defenders wouldn't have been worth a risk with the game already lost.
There's something bigger at play here... the manager clearly doesn't rate this young players, and he's trying to prove a point. We need investment. We need fresh blood to give us an injection of life. Will we get it?
Mass Overreaction, Or Back To Square One?
As you have probably noted, I feel less than impressed with what I witnessed from my seat at the stadium this weekend. Am I overreacting?
Possibly. I mean, if we can get three points off West Brom at the weekend then the outlook will be far more optimistic.
Things can change too. We aren't expecting much to happen between now and the end of the transfer window, but personally I feel that we will make one or two additions and that David Moyes has publicly lowered expectations just in case they aren't able to deliver. As skint as we are, it's nothing that some clever accounting and perhaps a sale or two can't fix.
I think the overriding feeling I'm experiencing now is of worry. I'm worried that we aren't going to improve our side before the window closes. I'm worried that we'll lose our next two games and the teams around us will pick up points to get further ahead of us in the table.
Who'd be a Sunderland fan, eh?