Sunderland fans were dished up yet another dose of misery at the Hawthorns. Are there any positives at all?
Honeyman puts a shift in
The inclusion of George Honeyman in the starting 11 raised a few eyebrows, but truthfully, the young midfielder was just about the only player in pink and purple prepared to work up a sweat. He ran at Albion's defence both with and without the ball, caused a bit of panic and tried to put himself about. Unfortunately, he's far from the finished product and wasn't able to alter the tides, but he at least showed a bit of resolve that this team has been sorely lacking.
Larsson, the set piece master
Sebastian Larsson is described by commentators as a deadly threat from free kicks every single time we get one. This claim isn't backed up by evidence or reality, and he was particularly shocking today. It's two years since he last scored one, and on today's showing, he should never be allowed to take another. Several horrendous attempts today confirmed what we've been only too aware of for years: Larsson has no business taking free kicks.
The two goals that killed us off today were both well taken, particularly Brunt's, but that's scant praise in the face of a defence which allows opponents as much time as they please in our box. O'Shea in particular is several years advanced from being useful. Far too many times this season, we've been undone by not having a single player interested in getting between the attacker and the ball, content instead to stand back and politely observe. Moyes, for all his faults, can't legislate for sheer incompetence on the part of his only fit defenders.
Hope is fading fast
By this point in previous seasons, we'd at least done enough to give ourselves a prayer, whether it be through new signings, dogged defending, or sheer resilience. Now, it looks like the wheels are falling off. There's no passion, no fight, no money, no new signings, and the fans are really starting to turn on both Moyes and Ellis Short. The season is, of course, a long way from being over, but Sunderland fans can see the vultures beginning to circle over Wearside. The mistakes of the past ten years are staring us in the face, and we're desperately trying not to look back.
At least we're signing Joleon Lescott.