Niall Quinn's damning verdict: 'Death by a thousand cuts at Sunderland'

Alexis Sanchez opens the scoring

Alexis Sanchez opens the scoring

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Niall Quinn has delivered a damning verdict of Sunderland's current plight saying it feels 'like death by a thousand cuts'.

The former player, manager and chairman now works as a pundit on Sky Sports and he was covering today's 4-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.

Sunderland have made the joint-worst start to a Premier League campaign, with just two points from their opening 10 matches.

The worst if you take goal difference into account, which is currently minus 13.

They sit bottom of the table, already seven points adrift of safety. The situation is bleak. And Quinn didn't hold back in his assessment.

"Most people would think doomed," said Quinn, who has also hit out at the lack of leadership.

"A lot of soul-searching for them to do. Personally I think they need to revert back to the sort of game that Sam Allardyce had going on here, where they had a more direct game that players were comfortable with.

"They looked lost at times trying to do the pass and movement.

"They had a brief flurry in the second half but quite frankly the way this team is going now it feels like death by a thousand cuts the way they’re playing.

"They’ve got to something radical and different now. The fans would react better to a more direct approach.

"Poor Jermain Defoe would probably like it better, too."

Quinn questioned the lack of leadership in the side and said Moyes may have to change his style of play to get Sunderland out of danger this season.

Quinn added: "I just don’t think they’re confident enough to play the passing game that David Moyes wants them to play.

"He’s hoping that if they get one result it will spark something that will move it along and they’ll all feel happier with their life.

"There was a curious incident in my mind [when Sunderland scored] Jermain celebrated, Watmore tapped him but they all went back to the half-way line sheepishly, the other players went back sheepishly.

"I’m looking for leadership there, I’m looking for other players doing that."

Sunderland's woes were added to with the withdrawal of injured skipper John O'Shea before half-time, Papy Djilobodji on in his place to partner Lamine Kone.

Quinn added: "Those two centre-halves, they were soft centred.

"They had no sense of danger and worse than that, they had no pride in their leadership. They just did what they had to do and that was nowhere near good.

"David Moyes will get criticism.

"There will be lots of criticism flying about but without that spirit that Sunderland teams have had, they are nothing and they may as well revert to a game that will make it easier for them."