Reality check? Not really '“ this is what Sunderland are capable of doing

Even the most confident Sunderland supporter could have foreseen the dreadful result at Swansea on Saturday.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 5:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:37 pm
Fabio Borini was set to come on before David Moyes changed his mind

As well have we’ve done in recent weeks, we know deep down that there’s always a slip up around the corner.

It was a performance and result we could have seen from any Sunderland side over the last 5-10 years. Just when we think we might be getting somewhere it all comes crashing back down again.

They say you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Swansea were rock bottom, their second manager this season under severe pressure, conceding nine goals in their last two games off the back of statistically the most one sided game in recent history at Spurs.

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We didn’t just look that gift horse in the mouth, we gave it a full oral inspection, a floss and polish, cleaned its tongue and popped in a breath mint or two before giving it straight back to the owner. There’s no way that Sunderland team should be losing so comfortably to that Swansea side.

I think it took 90 minutes before we registered a shot on target. I didn’t have a problem with Moyes for going with pretty much the same side that tore into Leicester just a week ago. Watmore’s pace was a real miss, but it shouldn’t have affected things as greatly as it did against the league’s worst side.

We were far too cautious, surrendering possession in stark contrast to the Leicester victory. We prodded and poked our way through the game when we should have been into them from the start. Pienaar struggled down the left hand side. Anichebe moving over to the right made Van Aanholt more ineffective going forward. It had a cautious feel to it and that was reflected in our ineptitude as an attacking force.

Some of our substitutions were once again a little odd. Fabio Borini was ready and waiting to come on, then the third went in. Fabio disappeared back into the dug out, then five minutes later Manquillo comes on. Why? Surely it’s best to give Fabio some minutes to get him up to speed. You need him back in the starting XI immediately, give him game time.

Adnan Januzaj sulked his way through the final twenty minutes and Wahbi Khazri was once more nowhere to be seen. Could he really have regressed so much since May? For me, he was the obvious choice to replace Watmore. If Moyes won’t use him then he has to sell him in January and use the funds to bring in better.

A reality check? Maybe not. We all know Sunderland are capable of doing what they did on Saturday. But they could well upset the odds on Wednesday night against Chelsea. You don’t know what you’re going to get, but with Watford following Chelsea in two home games on the bounce we must win one of them to keep our heads above water.