Good form. Sunderland only manage it when they really have to. Prior to our capitulation at Southampton, we had won good points against Spurs and Crystal Palace.
Going into the Southampton game we should have been raring to go, ready to improve our run of form and finally claw ourselves away from 20th place. Instead we looked lazy and disparaged, but this isn't new is it?
May I take you back to November last year? (You have no choice, but I thought I'd be polite) Sunderland had wins against Bournemouth, Hull and Leicester - with a slight blip against Liverpool. It remains our strongest run of the reason and there was so much potential to be found.
Victor Anichebe was coming into the side and we had a pretty complete midfield. Our next game, against a struggling Swansea, was important for us to begin putting points between ourselves and the bottom three. We didn't turn up and got thrashed 3-0. It was a really horrific performance; no one looked interested, our back four looked like they had never seen a football and our build up play was worse than Trump's attempt at a wall. It was truly embarrassing and the issue has been prevalent for years. Players turn up for games thinking they've already put the shift in for the previous few, why not take a break?
How is this possible? We are bottom of the table!
I think it stems from a lack of real passion for the club. There are exceptions, of course - Defoe, Cattermole, Watmore and Pickford - but some players seem to play when it suits them. I think Allardyce was starting to be successful in this regard, forming a tangible relationship with fans and players in order to have consistency.
Moyes is trying to steer the ship with players he knows and trusts before bringing in unknown quantities, which makes sense considering his limited funds and a team made from scraps. The issue isn't the quality, it's the effort. We know we can perform - just look at our great escapes - the issue is the motivation to do so. Look at Burnley and Hull putting a shift in every single week compared to Sunderland's lacklustre efforts until they really need it.
If we survive, everyone needs to take a seat and sort this out.