clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SAFC NewsWipe: Moyes appears safe & newspapers finally notice growing fan unease at Sunderland

The talking points from yesterday's stalemate with Burnley include Sunderland's inability to take what chances they make and Ellis Short's unexpected appearance at the Stadium of Light; here's how the media reflected on the goalless draw which leaves David Moyes and his side in desperate trouble.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

On reflection, a goal-less draw was the most likely result from this fixture. A game between a Sunderland side who can't score - despite being desperate to find the net in order to stay afloat in the relegation battle - and a Burnley team without an away victory to their name all season who believed a trip to the Stadium of Light offered them their best opportunity of the season to dispense with their unwanted away record.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
More disappointment for Moyes as Dyche thwarts Sunderlands latest attempt at kick starting a revival
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Indeed, the Clarets have only scored nine goals on their travels in this campaign and only one side have scored less at home than Sunderland. So it was likely nailed on that this would be a stalemate. It is perhaps just a shame we put ourselves through the agony of yesterday to confirm that inevitable conclusion.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Fabio Borini had another frustrating afternoon though he did get himself in some decent positions
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The main talking points from this Sunderland goalless draw with Burnley - in no particular order - are that Moyes now requires a miracle to stay up; Ellis Short making a rare appearance to check on both his failing club and manager; and now no goals in four games reaffirming that if opportunities fall to anyone other than Jermain Defoe then Sunderland won't score.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Ellis Short took a look around the pitch on his first visit to the Stadium of Light since August
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Indeed, things are so grim at Sunderland right now that smooth Chief Exec Martin Bain has grown a beard to fill the monotony and Ellis Short's wife, so bored of her husband's troublesome and costly hobby, appeared to fall asleep.

Here's the conclusions drawn by the national press pack who watched the game.

The Sunday Papers

The Telegraph suggest that Ellis Short's attendance at the game had not been a long-planned appearance and his wife's resting-of-her-eyes may have indicated the pair had just stepped off a transatlantic jet - arriving in a hurry to see for themselves the state of the place:

This was the first time Short had attended a game at the Stadium of Light since August and as he watched Sunderland fail to beat Burnley alongside his wife Eve – who appeared to fall asleep in the first-half - in the director’s box, he must know where Sunderland are heading.

Short’s presence was unexpected, his renewed interest on a match day possibly unnerving for Moyes, given the Black Cats have won just one game this year, away at Crystal Palace.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Jason Denayer's battle with Andre Gray was one of the more interesting features of a drab affair between Sunderland & Burnley
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Telegraph journalist, Luke Edwards, usually takes the opportunity to quote a shadowy insider each time he visits the Stadium of Light, and this week was no different as the mole confirmed that there remains no appetite to sack Moyes:

Club sources told Telegraph Sport on Saturday night that the view in the boardroom has not changed after this disappointment and that Moyes will not be sacked, despite Short's decision to attend the game.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The Guardian reflect on a dismal March afternoon on Wearside, summed up best by Billy Jones appearing to freeze at the prospect he could be a match winner and adjusting himself to such an absurd angle that he missed an open goal to head the ball towards the corner flag:

[As] cascading rain had replaced the mist rolling in from the North Sea, Sunderland’s fragile optimism threatened to be washed away as a disbelieving Billy Jones punched the turf after heading Larsson’s cross wide.

Anticlimax and downright disappointment are no strangers to Sunderland but such familiarity failed to assuage the pain of yet another game without a win and no goal for Jermain Defoe on a day when he had hoped to celebrate his recall to the England fold.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Jermain Defoe had had his hair done for the occasion, but his teammates couldn't convert their chances
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The Mail are another to wallow in the misery that Saturday afternoons at the Stadium of Light have served up this season:

David Moyes's basement dwellers earned a point when they needed three and noises from the club are that they will stand by the Scot as they rebuild.

Disappointment for the resolute souls that populate the Stadium of Light comes almost as often as the chill winds off the North Sea that batter it.

A drab afternoon, which saw a rare appearance from Black Cats owner Ellis Short, meant both

Fabio Borini, Adnan Januzaj and Seb Larsson went close but Billy Jones prompted howls of derision when he inexplicably made a meal of a Seb Larsson's pinpoint cross from six yards out.

Then came the whistle — and a chorus of boos almost as inevitable as the result.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Billy Jones missed a sitter
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Finally, The Sun - to give them their due - are the only newspaper to have noticed that Sunderland fans are growing increasingly irate.

Sunderland fans are running out of patience with Short, with a number of fans venting their frustration online.

It's easy to see why too, as after years of performing one great escape after another, they look dead certs to be relegated this term.

A refreshing awareness of public opinion on Wearside at last perhaps, but how the local press have managed to ignore the growing dissatisfaction with Moyes and Short is to witness a lesson in sticking one's fingers in one's ears. Indeed, immediately after he was spotted in the stands with Ellis Short, BBC Newcastle's Gary Bennett launched an impassioned defence of Moyes and the regime at Sunderland - coincidence?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report