Cats Eye View: Summer is a chance to rip up Sunderland squad and start again after another woeful display
Pitiful. Pathetic. Lacklustre. Inept. Woeful.
Label it however you like but the first half performance against Swansea City was among the worst this season.
Granted, the bar has been set very low and we’ve probably seen worse but the opening 45 minutes was right up there. Abject, there’s another.
The only reason the second half was any better was because the damage had already been done by Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton.
Sunderland were desperate. They have been all season. And the thousands of empty seats dotted around the Stadium of Light just highlighted how fed-up the fans have become.
It isn’t often that Sunderland fans would agree with Alan Shearer when it comes to all things red and white.
But the former England captain was bang on the money in his damning analysis on Match of the Day.
Lack of effort. Lack of concentration. Lack of quality. Lack of creativity. Lack of direction. Sunderland are lacking all over the park.
David Moyes has come under increasing pressure, no surprise given the season he has presided over. Just six league wins.
Any manager would count themselves lucky to still be in a job after that run of form and the Scot came under fire again, alongside owner Ellis Short and the players.
As well as the chants around the stadium, there were also spontaneous outbursts from individual fans - ‘Go Moyes’, ‘Time to go Moyes’, ‘Rubbish Moyes’.
With further talks planned for the end of the season about how Sunderland look to bounce back from relegation, time will soon tell whether Moyes remains at the helm for the Championship push.
But one thing is for certain. This squad needs ripping apart and starting all over again.
Come the final whistle, Moyes made the decision to make a sharp exit down the tunnel instead of taking time to applaud the fans.
Given the stick he had endured during the game he felt it would have antagonised things further if he had done. It almost certainly would have.
He was criticised for it but it was a situation where he would have been damned if he had and damned if he hadn’t.
The players should ALL have taken the time to applaud the fans that have given them so much support, unwarranted really given the dross they have served up.
Only around half of the matchday squad chose to do so. Skipper John O’Shea was looking round encouraging players to join him in thanking the support.
Some others couldn’t get down the tunnel quickly enough, perhaps with one eye on their next move.
Sometimes you just have to take your medicine and they should have all thanked the fans.
Sunderland are braced for a mass exodus and in the main the majority won’t be missed. Jermain Defoe and Jordan Pickford, two of the players who did thank the fans, will be sorely missed.
But the vast majority won’t be. Provided, of course, Sunderland can shift them off the wage bill as they look to breathe fresh life into the club this summer.
If any of the players were looking to make a mark and impress future employers they failed miserably against Swansea.
Javier Manquillo, Fabio Borini, Jason Denayer, Victor Anichebe, Wahbi Khazri, Didier Ndong - who is allowed an off game after being one of the few to impress this season - among those
to produce a poor display.
They weren’t alone. Nobody came out of it with any credit as battling Swansea enjoyed a comfortable afternoon.
Relegated Sunderland went down with a whimper this season. Despite the brief spirit raising win over Hull, Sunderland returned to form against Swansea.
There was barely anyone left in the stadium to applaud those players that did make the effort at the end.
The season end can’t come quickly enough as Sunderland prepare to rebuild in the second tier.