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Comment: A difficult job but a difficult man, Moyes dragging Sunderland down once again

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse at Sunderland, the growing liability that is David Moyes just went and embarrassed himself and everyone associated with the club. Untenable? Surely.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So David Moyes told a female reporter she might get a slap if she didn't watch herself. On duty representing Sunderland AFC talking to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

We should have seen it coming. This most difficult of men has been slowly unravelling for weeks if not months. Now in this most difficult week of the season, in this most difficult season, this difficult man has dragged our club into difficult headlines. It can only end in one outcome.

There have been attempts to explain away Moyes' behaviour but many will find it difficult to accept any mitigation or apology. Even set against a backdrop of pressure or jest, playing the big man to intimidate a younger woman operating in a professional capacity is stark in its boorishness.

This is a club that above all others had required a prolonged period of public representation in a professional manner with good humour and good grace. This is a manager paid handsomely to be the figurehead of Sunderland AFC but who has continued to treat those who follow this club with an apparent seething disdain and contempt.

Moyes has cut an irritated figure since he arrived in July and sadly this is merely the culmination of nine months filled with ludicrous comments which have dogged the club all season from this manager.

The forecasting of a relegation battle two games into the campaign; decreeing after half a dozen league games that the players under his charge were not good enough; a manager who told prospective signings that they wouldn't make a difference to his side; who proclaimed as 2017 dawned that being in the bottom three was where this club 'should be'; and who was widely ridiculed just over a week ago for suggesting his record signing was not 'British' enough to face Burnley.

The silence from the club itself is perhaps deafening to some too. Sunderland AFC has history for closing the gates, sticking its fingers in its ears and hiding behind a curt statement.

Today, when dawn broke across Wearside and absurd headlines surrounded the club's manager, most with an ounce of sense could foretell that this latest embarrassment would escalate rapidly. By late morning though, a club media person was trying to hurry clamouring journalists along in their questioning of the manager claiming Moyes had "been very gracious and has answered all of the questions".

But he hadn't. He hadn't answered all the questions. Nor had he been gracious. He had referred to the BBC correspondent, Ms Sparks, as "the girl" and suggested he had spent his morning having breakfast with his wife as if that proved he was nice to woman after all. And he hadn't satisfied the press pack. So the press pack have come back for more. This time with a renewed fervour and this time unrestricted by the impatient voice of the press conference PR person trying to keep a lid on it.

And so it continues to escalate. Others in the media have now come forward to claim they've witnessed similar 'off-camera' remarks uttered by David Moyes. An MP has become involved and the FA have stepped in.

This will run. It should have been cut off at the pass. David Moyes has already become something of a joke whose comments can be twisted at will for mirth. Now he's just a liability. And untenable.

By the time Manchester United visit the Stadium of Light on Sunday - the club which signalled the beginning of his rapid decline - Moyes' career trajectory may yet have reach its lowest point.

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