I know that football has been a way of making a living financially to those who live within the game - players, agents and managers - but that to me doesn’t means those players have the right to go around and sulk on the pitch and not look interested. I think football is compared to other jobs too much because, at the end of the day, it’s not the same at all. If I sulked around and didn’t look interested in my job things would only go one way - out of the exit door.
I understand some player's may have had their head's turned and they are only human in that respect but surely it’s not too much to expect them to at least be somewhat professional when playing? There were over 42,000 fans at the Stadium of Light at the weekend - is that performance really the best those spineless idiots can deliver? I don’t think so.
Let me be clear, Stoke fully deserved to win. They were first to every ball, had a game plan and stuck to it effectively and went forward very well. But it’s a massive concern to me that they looked more up for it. Whilst they have been poor recently they’re not in anywhere near as desperate a situation as Sunderland yet they wanted the result more. That’s massively concerning.
Almost every player failed to take responsibility off the ball, in terms of defending and pressing. When our players were on the ball, nobody bothered to try and give them an option. They were all hiding. Pathetic.
I don’t agree with every decision that David Moyes has made but I’m seriously getting fed up with the idea that he’s the problem in all of this.
Is he blameless? No. But is he the main problem? Definitely not. He has had nothing to work with at all. That’s not an excuse for Moyes either, it’s fact.
The fact he's neglected to use some of our youngsters recently puts him in the spotlight but if you don’t think any of them will impact the game, then why use any of them?
As well as the ‘performance’ at the weekend, one thing that really gets me angry is when the fans who left at three-nil down are criticised. The notion that those fans who left ‘aren't true supporters’ is, with all due respect, complete bollocks.
Those fans have watched Sunderland regularly capitulate and chuck winnable fixtures away in recent seasons such as against Hull City, QPR, Norwich, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Stoke. Three of those sides are now in the Championship, three of them are in the bottom six of the Premier League. Stoke is the best of all of those teams yet they’re ninth in the table. They’re a good team but they’re nothing spectacular. We shouldn’t be losing at home to them like that. Period.
Those fans are sick of seeing this over and over again and had every right to leave. I know football supporters must stick with their team through the good and the bad but that implies there’s a balance of the two. Trust me, there isn’t at Sunderland. If there is, it’s more like 95% bad and 5% good. There comes a point where the club has to start genuinely giving something back to the fans who help keep the club going. Without fans, football is nothing.
In a world where Leicester have won the Premier League and Crystal Palace, Southampton, Stoke, Bournemouth have all come up since we were last promoted and done better than us, why is it too much to expect Sunderland to at least be well clear of the Premier League’s bottom three consistently? It’s not or at least it shouldn’t be.
When you look at who we’ve signed since the 2012-13 season, which is where the cycle of underachievement started, we’ve spent over £100m and that’s not including add-ons or signing on fees. Surely if you’ve spent that much in five years, you’d be fair to expect to get better, not worse.
The Stadium of Light is one of the biggest stadiums in the country with some of the best fans around and while I know neither can guarantee success, it’s criminal that we haven’t done better in the last decade since coming up. The SoL may not sell out every week but it averages attendances of around 40,000 fans, which is higher than many other Premier League clubs.
Those factors, coupled with the money we’ve spent and the calibre of managers we’ve had, mean that I’d expect Sunderland in their tenth successive year in the top flight to have managed properly and be at the same standard that Stoke and Southampton are. If that ever happens, it’ll be a long and painful process.
There has, however, been one positive recently but it has nothing to do with Sunderland. Everton allowed Bradley Lowery to be a mascot at their game with Manchester City at the weekend and from what I’ve seen, they were brilliant with him.
Every time I see that brave boy, my heart melts. Call me cheesy but I’m inspired by his approach to things. He doesn’t seem to let his situation get him down. However long he has left on this planet, he fully deserves to enjoy every second of it.