After two games Moyes predicted a relegation battle at Sunderland, in the end he couldn't even deliver that


It's all over at Sunderland bar a few cries that we're not mathematically down yet. Another four defeats and that will be the case and we can probably expect the drop to be confirmed before Easter at the current rate of form. 


He said Sunderland would be in a relegation battle after the second game of the season. In the end, David Moyes couldn't even deliver that.  Defeat to Watford yesterday removed the Black Cats from the battle proper and confirmation of relegation will follow in the coming weeks. 

Sam Allardyce revelling in defeat at Chelsea hardly helps but credit to Big Sam for sorting the job out at Selhurst Park. This afternoon if Swansea beat Middlesbrough the gap to safety will stretch to an insurmountable ten points and there's zero sign of life at Sunderland to suggest anything other than a sub-30 point total will conclude the season. 

Another flat performance yesterday at Vicarage Road despite Moyes suggesting after the game his side should have come away with something. There is nothing to cling on to in recent performances to suggest Sunderland will be capable of winning any more games. 

One win in the last eleven and five games without a goal is shocking form for a side supposedly staring down the barrel and whose last hope was the fabled inner-strength that emerges in the relegation run-in to resurrect the club. 

At Watford, Jermain Defoe, fresh from the headlines surrounding his England appearance, was isolated again and didn't have a shot at goal all afternoon. Adnan Januzaj spent last week declaring that critics who doubted his desire were wrong, only to prove precisely how limp he can be with a tame shot when presented with Sunderland's best chance of the game in the second half. 

Jordan Pickford was - as has been so often the case - the only bright spot for Sunderland in yesterday's game. Moyes again inexplicably left his record-signing, Didier Ndong, on the bench as if he was trying to prove a point that his decision to do the same last week was actually the correct one. It wasn't then, and it wasn't yesterday - but everything the incumbent Black Cats boss touches turns to something smelly, so that was no surprise. 

As for Moyes, Sunderland supporters need to prepare themselves for another onslaught of why he's the right man for the job still ahead of likely defeat away at Leicester mid-week then at home to Manchester United next weekend. The former Red Devils boss still has the debate sewn up and perhaps he does deserve a chance to rebuild the club in the Championship. It's just, well, the evidence on his prospects of doing just that is underwhelming. 

Set aside his success at Everton and his nine month labour at Sunderland has evidenced little sign of progress. The ethos of developing young players which is attributed to Moyes applies only to loanees, big money signings or those likely up for sale - Januzaj, Denayer, Ndong and Pickford. The rest of the academy lads haven't had a look-in all season and by certain accounts a chunk are likely to leave this summer. 

As for his first team - not one player has improved this season since his arrival except perhaps Billy Jones who has had his best campaign at Sunderland but who remains distinctly limited. The likes of Borini, Kone and Khazri have regressed alarmingly. 

Moyes' impact on the fan base is more difficult to quantify but a monetary figure may be applied once an indication of season ticket renewals is received. Many have switched off from his weekly expectation-busting sermons and watching Sunderland is little more than a chore. 

The man himself said last week that "there's a building job going on and hopefully we can try and all get it done together". A hint of realisation that there will be some fall-out and a chunk of support lost perhaps - many have no desire to join Moyes on this job 'together' with him.  

But with April having just begun and nine games to go, the relegation battle is now something that will happen to others - Hull, Swansea and Middlesbrough will fight it out for the final two spots - Sunderland are simply out of the fight that their manager infamously predicted they would be in. 

 





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