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What the papers say: 'Moyes feigned intent to stay & players rebelled over cancelled Xmas bash'

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Some startling stuff in the national newspapers as the Sunderland car crash finally smashes itself up and bursts into flame. Accusations that Moyes had feigned his intent to stay for weeks, players who rebelled over a cancelled Christmas party and 'stars' who couldn't even perform basic training drills.

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Hull City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Moyes: The Fall-out

This has a way to run yet. Sunderland are back in crisis mode with another failed manager ejected from the Stadium of Light.

And the fall-out has only just begun. Revelations, recriminations and character assassinations are once again thronged around this relegated club.

Sunderland v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

No doubt more will follow in the coming days but tales of professional footballers rebelling whilst employed by Sunderland AFC will come as little surprise to those who have watched the maelstrom at the Stadium of Light this past few years.

As for the man himself, David Moyes emerges with zero credit from one of the most disastrous managerial reigns ever witnessed at a club which a long history of disastrous managerial reigns.

Here's the choicest morsels from the national newspapers in the immediate aftermath of Moyes' resignation.


The Mail

David Moyes' negativity killed morale throughout Sunderland... they're in a worse state than when he arrived and should have quit last summer

A startling revelation perhaps from Craig Hope in the Mail, with a claim that David Moyes had decided to quit a month ago whilst all the while pretending he hadn't:

David Moyes has been feigning an intention to stay on as manager of Sunderland.

His mind, however, was already made up. He was gone. It was decided when supporters turned on him for the first time on April 15 during a 2-2 home draw with West Ham.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
Had Moyes already decided he was going during this game against West Ham in mid-April?
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Indeed, Hope asserts that all of Moyes' rebuild talk, even down to his assertions that he had identified targets for the summer recruitment campaign, was all a clever lie:

That is when he began to manoeuvre himself into a position of apparent power, insisting he would only remain at the club should owner Ellis Short match his ambition for next season. If he went, it would be on his terms.

So after quitting on Monday and having forgone £3million in compensation had he been sacked, Moyes had exacted his plan. To some, it might look as if his reputation is intact. But don't be fooled.

All the best conspiracy theories begin in the Mail.


The Telegraph

David Moyes resigns as Sunderland manager after furious clashes with players and staff

An insight into the inglorious end to Moyes' reign at the Stadium of Light with tales of lost tempers and rebelling players:

David Moyes’ final weeks as Sunderland manager were scarred by a series of furious clashes with both players and staff as he struggled to control his emotions during a dreadful ten months on Wearside.

Moyes’ relationship with his players had almost completely disintegrated by the time the Scot resigned on Monday and he would only have agreed to stay on after relegation if he had been allowed to completely overhaul the squad.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
Jason Denayer and David Moyes
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Not the first manager in recent years to have been turned on by the playing personnel at Sunderland of course. But Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards claims it may have all begun when Moyes cancelled a festive 'do':

He was disgusted with the attitude of the players already at the club. In turn, several were disillusioned with him. Sources have indicated the disgruntlement began when Moyes cancelled the players’ Christmas party after a poor start to the season and escalated during the January transfer window when he made it clear he wanted to replace many of them.

And it goes on:

The Scot had misgivings about the quality of the players he inherited from Sam Allardyce in July, but had initially been willing to make the best out of a bad situation.

However, as the season unfolded, he privately accused several of failing to try hard enough, either in matches or in training and frequently lost his temper.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League
Fabio Borini at Middlesbrough, looking sorry for himself
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Sun

David Moyes was ridiculed by some of his own players before he even started his doomed spell at sorry Sunderland

Get a load of this in the Sun:

As news filtered through last July that David Moyes was being handed a four-year deal at Sunderland, one senior star wrote in the first-team’s WhatsApp group: “Four months more like."

As for those players who seem to have believed their own hype after Sam Allardyce raised them way above their normal level to survive just months before:

It was at Sunderland’s base in the picturesque spa town of Evian that the size of the task in hand started to dawn on him.

His squad were incapable of completing even the most basic of training drills.

And in private, Moyes was wondering how his predecessor Sam Allardyce had managed the keep the same flops up in the previous season.

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League
Couldn't even perform basic training drills?
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And lest we forget who is really to blame for the five-year car crash at the Stadium of Light:

What Short failed to tell his manager was that he was trying to sell his debt-ridden club.

And Moyes soon realised funds were not so freely available when, to his annoyance, his attempts to sign Watford’s Troy Deeney and Leicester’s Leonardo Ulloa were blocked.

In a frantic end to the window, ten players eventually came in at a combined cost of £27.1million, with free transfers and loan transfers the order of the day.

So the Sun conclude that Moyes had simply given up and could not face his battered reputation taking any more hits:

His remarks left his squad uninspired, demotivated and resigned to relegation – how could they believe when their manager did not believe in them?

One long-serving player recently commented how he could tell Moyes “didn’t care” anymore.

And the same star rounded on him again after Sunday’s final-day defeat at Chelsea, when a handful of Sunderland’s foreign legion – some of which Moyes had signed – claimed they were injured and ducked out of the game.

And that was that.