Moyes won't be sacked but he needs to walk
I'm aware that I've said this more times now than anyone probably anyone cares to hear, but David Moyes is just not the right person for the Sunderland manager's job and I don't think that - even if given the time that it would appear is going to be afforded to him - he ever will be.
For me, he's sadly proven over the last thirty-three Premier League games that he's not forward-thinking or motivational, and that regardless of our problems on and off the pitch he is unable to adapt and play in a way that gets the most from the players he has at his disposal. He's more conscious of protecting his own reputation than he is of protecting the reputation of our football club, and that is perhaps what annoys me the most about him.
When asked after the game if he would consider resigning from his post as Sunderland manager, Moyes said:
No. I’m here. I’m the manager. I’ll take it on the chin.
He also went on to say that he's "not used to losing". In his post-match email, he noted that he thought "we controlled the game" - this despite us being 1-0 down for over eighty minutes of the match - and that "we did some good things and got into some good areas".
Baffling, I'm sure you'll agree.
David - whilst I'm sure that you have complete faith in your own abilities, I urge you to reconsider your feelings on leaving Sunderland. Although I'm sure that the three years worth of wages that you have left on your contract are very appealing and are helping to satisfy your appetite for sticking around, you simply have to walk away for the sake of this football club. You've seemingly lost the good faith of the majority of our fan base, and even the local media are starting to question why you are still here.
Please, just go. Do it before even more despair can be heaped on this already broken club.
Result highlights the task we face next season
When assessing the performance you have to keep in mind that Middlesbrough, before yesterday's game, hadn't won a league fixture in 2017. Whilst our opponents are clearly awful, we are even worse - and I'd fancy even a lower league side to beat us at the moment such is the rock-bottom nature of our confidence right now.
And all that this defeat does is highlight the absolutely mammoth task that we face next season in the Championship. It is so obvious that these players have no motivation, and we cannot underestimate just how disastrous it might be going into the start of the next campaign with such a defeatist mentality. Something has to change, and fast.
Middlesbrough are abysmal. They don't score goals and they play a listless, boring style of football that will likely see them instantly relegated back to the second tier; yet we barely threatened them and struggled to break them down. They won the game and did so deservedly. They defended valiantly and their players played like they gave a shit, which is more than could be said about their mackem counterparts.
They might be going down but they'll still have a squad next season that should be able to compete at that level. Sunderland's players, in the main, look like they just can't wait to get as far away from Wearside as they possibly can.
We've got five games left to restore some pride, but I really can’t see it happening.
Fan angst boiling over
The chanting and singing during the game yesterday would suggest that the Sunderland fans are beginning to lose their cool with the players, the owner and the manager - all of whom were subject to warranted abuse from the travelling supporters who had paid their hard-earned money to watch their team capitulate in an embarrassing fashion once again.
There were even chants supporting Roy Keane, who once ruthlessly re-shaped this football club and instilled a professionalism and strong work ethic that is sorely lacking amongst the current set of Sunderland players. Clearly, some people are fed up with the lack of accountability coming from David Moyes and his squad: who can blame them?
It'll be interesting to hear what the atmosphere will be like at the match on Saturday, when Bournemouth visit the Stadium of Light in what now appears to be a dead-rubber game. I'm not expecting mass protesting and jeering but with the season now effectively over there's perhaps now going to be a higher chance that fans will voice their disapproval if we capitulate in the same fashion that we have on so many occasions in this campaign already.