Wise Men Say: Sunderland’s 21 points shows no progress made under David Moyes

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I have wanted to get behind David Moyes from the start. I really have.

I can fully get on board that this relegation ‘has been coming for years’, and recruitment has been poor, not only in terms of quality, but in terms of the typical type of player brought in having no sell on value.

But that’s not the context in which most people present this case. In fact, context is being removed entirely in some cases.

Sunderland have finished on less than 40 points for the last four seasons so therefore relegation was inevitable.


Clearly, Sunderland are in a mess financially. Don’t ignore the money that has been spent this season has been wasted and has failed to improve the side.

That’s before we even begin to investigate the clear lack of motivation and rigidness in the side’s shape and tactics.

Yes, a bad hand has been dealt to Moyes, but 21 points at this stage of the season.

This side is poor but I would strongly argue it shouldn’t be that poor.

I am sick of people looking in on Sunderland through the national media and following this narrative that dismisses all responsibility and accountability of the current manager.

When Steve Bruce was sacked, outsiders looked in and declared he was treated unfairly. This, as we all know, totally ignores the form in the second half of that season.

Before the West Ham win on the final day of the 2010/11 season, Bruce said that was the worst spell of his career, even if the unlikely happened and the Black Cats finished tenth because of results elsewhere. The unlikely did happen and boy are we reminded of it.

That subsequent summer the side was dismantled and replaced with inferior players.

The Bruce situation seems like a marvellous situation to be in now, but again, you can’t just remove context to suit a narrative.

Similarly, Sam Allardyce didn’t just have a spike in form and guide Sunderland to a ‘miraculous escape’ last season.

In the final half of the season, Sunderland picked up 27 points. That isn’t a spike in form, it is a sustained improvement from when he began.

In fact, in his 30 games in charge, we claimed 36 points despite him initially struggling to rebuild confidence.

This season, 36 points would’ve had you 11th and a point behind Southampton and Watford.

Last season, it would have been 14th, but still 12 points away from the final relegation place.

The season before that, it would have been 11th again where Crystal Palace sat comfortably.

There have been injuries, something we must acknowledge, but only a barely fit Victor Anichebe has made any difference out of all of the players brought in.

Ndong has lots of potential and will thrive in the Championship, but that highlights the lack of imagination in the transfer market.

When David Moyes was asked why he didn’t take the job before Sam did, he said he didn’t think he could keep Sunderland up.

If he doesn’t believe this squad is good enough to better 21 points in a Premier League season then he should stick to his previous train of thought and let someone else have a go.