Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sunderland’s Uncertain Start Under Moyes Makes Them Candidates For Yet Another Relegation Battle

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

When Sunderland appointed David Moyes as the successor of Sam Allardyce, who left his job after being appointed by the F.A to be the manager of the England squad, fans hoped for a change. Moyes, in his press conference also made it clear that he aims at changing the cycle in which the club seems to have stuck in for some years now as they always seem destined to get sucked into the relegation battle and end up fighting for their lives to survive in the top flight. Moyes fully realized the challenges which he would have to face when he took the job and one of the biggest ones which he also mentioned was getting new players into the squad on transfers. The club is not the most attractive when it comes to convincing a player to come and play football, also there’s much more money now with the other clubs who offer some serious competition while negotiating with the players who are tempted to come and join Moyes at the Stadium Of Light.

Sunderland, so far have again failed to have a good start to the season and are yet to get off in the points table by losing their first two games of the season in the Premier League. While it was always a tough ask to have their opening game against Manchester City, the fans expected the team to take some points in a fired up derby against newly promoted Middlesbrough at home in their second tie. Moyes’ men lost to Boro by 2-1 while City defeated them by a similar scoreline at the Etihad.

Moyes has been able to get six players in so far nonetheless but admits that the club would need some more additions in order to compete in the season. There were also some very significant comments made by the manager after his team lost their second game. Moyes said, “I’ve got full faith in the owner [Ellis Short], but there’s no doubt that our budget is not at the level of many other clubs you see buying players at the moment.  I’m confident we’ll get a few in before 1 September but the quality of the players that Sunderland can get at the moment is probably not what I’ve had in the Premier League. Not even close. You look at our competitors and what they’re spending and we’re having to deal differently.”

Also, the Scotsman has given a hint to the fans of the club to prepare for yet another relegation battle. By his own words, “There have been managers come and gone and everything has been very close to the bottom every season. I’ve said I want to change that but I can’t do that overnight.”

The comments would come as a huge disappointment for the fans who seemed hopeful after his first press conference but credit must be given to the manager who has come out and has bravely stated what can happen realistically. Everyone knows that neither the club nor it’s players and the manager wants to be there anymore but it’s a good thing to keep it realistic and then fight hard to change it which is exactly what the former Everton boss intends to do in the coming days. Whether he would be successful or not depends a lot on how the club acts late in the transfer window and it won’t be long before we find out where the club will be at the business end of the season.

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