If the fat lady is not yet singing, she is certainly warming up her vocal chords following the dour goalless draw against Burnley.
Our failure to break down the travel-sick Clarets – coupled with Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Watford – means that we are now seven points from safety with just ten games remaining.
If Sir Alex Ferguson helped to create a winning mentality at Manchester Utd, his successor at Old Trafford, David Moyes, has helped manufacture a losing mentality on Wearside.
Perhaps that is a little unfair given that we’ve been knocking on the relegation trapdoor for the past four seasons – and given the meagre resources at his disposal – but please hear me out.
Last season, Big Sam refused to mention the dreaded 'R' word, employing numerous sports psychologists to improve the players’ mindset and optimise performance.
He emphasised his team’s strengths rather than dwelling on their limitations and got his players to buy into his winning philosophy.
However, this season, Moyes was mentioning the prospect of relegation as early as the second game, and his continuous negativity has proved infectious to the point that it has firmly manifested itself into the fabric of the club.
Players take to the field expecting to lose, when they go through on goal – with the exception of Defoe – they expect to miss.
We saw that against Burnley, with Borini and Jones hopelessly lacking conviction in the final third.
Moyes’ team selection and tactics are often baffling and his loyalty to his former players is extremely worrying, as several of them – Pienaar, Lescott, Januzaj, Love, McNair and Rodwell – are clearly not up to standard.
In this sporting tragedy: Short is the creator; Moyes is the destroyer; with Bain cast as chief executioner.
If this is what stability looks like I’d rather not have it.
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