Sunderland broke two unwanted records this weekend – and if they’re not careful there is a very real possibility of a hat-trick.
Defeat to Arsenal – number eight from 10 league games – means this is now officially the club’s poorest start to a season in any division and the worst in Premier League history.
Manchester City also had two points from 10 matches in the 1995-96 season, but their goal difference was superior, -12 compared to Sunderland’s -13.
Bookmakers have Sunderland as odds-on favourites to go down and 1-6 to fail to beat Derby County’s record low total of just 11 points from a Premier League campaign.
Manager David Moyes admits the Wearsiders’ current plight makes him feel “lousy”.
With more than a quarter of the season already gone, Sunderland find themselves seven points adrift of safety.
When asked about the odds, Moyes said: “It’s damning, I agree.
“Obviously, bookies have to do their job and they have to do what they think is right, but we can only do our job and we are doing it to the best of our ability, trying to do our best.
“I thought you could never question the players about their attitude, their commitment or their desire to try to win the game.
“Could you question quality at some times? Of course you could, especially against that team.
“So the bookies can do what they want but the players tried to do the best they could.”
“It does make me feel lousy and I do,” added Moyes, who said he was spending Saturday night in a “darkened room” after the collapse to Arsenal.
“I don’t feel good about it but what a football manager has to do, Saturday is always the worst night if you lose, you’ve got to take it.
“Sunday gets a wee bit better, but not much, and hopefully by the time Monday morning comes, you are ready to go again.
“You’ve got it out of the system and you are up and running again.
“And I’ll do that again on Monday.”
After the 4-1 home hammering from title challengers Arsenal, there was no talk of walking away from the man who took the Stadium of Light hotseat just over three months ago.
Moyes said: “When you’ve had 450-500 games in the Premier League, you keep doing what you’ve always done.
“You keep doing what you think is right.
“You try not to get too caught up in the whole thing. I don’t think we can do.
“If we were going in blasting every player, I don’t think things will necessarily get any better.
“We are trying to train correctly, trying to put into practice what we think will be good for them.
“So we try to follow all the right things you would do when you’re in a difficult situation. And we are in a difficult situation.”
Moyes felt the final scoreline was unfair on his side, who went behind to a 19th minute Alexis Sanchez header, the 5ft 7in forward beating Lamine Kone to the ball to head home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.
Arsenal should have been out of sight by half-time but failed to add to their tally, Sunderland drew level from the penalty spot, with Jermain Defoe netting in the 65th minute.
But parity lasted all of six minutes, Arsenal sub Olivier Giroud scored with his first touch before heading in a second five minutes later.
Sanchez added his second and Arsenal’s fourth from close range in the 78th minute to seal a comfortable victory for the Gunners.
“We’ve stuck at against a team of better quality than us, we grew into it, got back into it, but, in the end, the difference was what they were able to bring off the bench,” said Moyes.
“I’m really disappointed to concede four goals.
“I’m not saying it flattered Arsenal, but I don’t think we deserved that.
“We just have to do better.”