David Moyes took charge of Sunderland in July 2016 after Sam Allardyce took the England job. Moyes did not get off to a great start as the Sunderland manager. Sunderland, under Moyes, made the worst start to a Premier League season ever. They managed zero wins, two draws and eight defeats in their first 10 games. Moyes eventually guided Sunderland to their first win of the season on November 5th when they beat Bournemouth 2-1.
The rest of Sunderland’s season has been equally as disappointing as the start. They’ve managed just five wins all season and sit rock bottom of the table amassing just 21 points in 34 games. Moyes’s men now look to be staring relegation in the face. The question must, therefore, be asked how Moyes is still managing Sunderland.
Moyes has had an awful season at Sunderland, here is why it’s criminal for Sunderland to continue with David Moyes for so long.
Moyes early season negativity
Not only did Moyes guide Sunderland to the worst start to a season in Premier League history but he also had some very odd things to say at the beginning of the season. On the 22nd of August, just two games into the season Moyes claimed Sunderland would be in a relegation battle this season.
While he may have believed that and even a lot of fans may have thought it, to come out and say it two games into the season is ridiculous. The only thing Moyes achieved with that statement was upsetting the fans and damaging the Sunderland player’s mentality. By saying that in August he basically said to his players it doesn’t matter if they try in games all season because they will be in a relegation battle regardless.
This is just one of the reasons it is criminal that the Sunderland board still employs Moyes as he clearly didn’t even expect to try and finish well this season.
One win in 2017
In 2017, David Moyes has taken charge of 14 league games. Sunderland’s record in this time is one win, four draws and nine losses. This record is completely unacceptable for a manager and raises further questions as to why Moyes is still in a job.
Only Middlesbrough have a similar record in 2017 winning one, drawing six and losing nine. However, unlike Sunderland, Middlesbrough sacked their manager Aitor Karanka in March. While the change has not really helped Boro, it does show the fact Sunderland still haven’t sacked Moyes is ridiculous.
With the lowest points earned in 2017, Moyes is extremely lucky to still be in a job.
Two goals in nine games
As well as an appalling win record in 2017, Moyes has also been unable to get Sunderland scoring. In their last nine games, Sunderland have failed to score in eight of those games. Their only two goals came in a 2-2 draw with West Ham United.
No other team comes close to having such a bad record. Furthermore, David Moyes has had Jermain Defoe fit for all of these games. The prolific goal scorer has scored 14 this season despite Sunderland’s awful form. However, Defoe has not scored since February 4th this year. This is extremely unlike the forward and proves that David Moyes is getting away with murder at Sunderland. Because if he is unable to get Sunderland to score in more than one of their last nine matches with a striker as good as Defoe up top he really is robbing a living.
The Sunderland method
It is also surprising the board have not sacked Moyes earlier because of the success they have had in previous seasons once they sack an out of form manager.
In March 2013 Paolo Di Canio took over Sunderland after Martin O’Neil was sacked. When Di Canio took over Sunderland looked to be getting relegated. But, Di Canio managed to somehow save Sunderland’s season and keep them up. Then after a poor start to the next season, Di Canio was sacked and Gus Poyet took over. Then despite being bottom of the table in 2014 with only six games left, Poyet managed to guide Sunderland to safety beating the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. Their 2-1 win at Chelsea under Poyet was also Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge. The next season was not so good for Poyet as he and Sunderland were on the verge of being relegated. However, Sunderland sacked Poyet; Dick Advocaat took over and once again pulled off a great escape with Sunderland.
The cycle repeated itself again the following season. Advocaat was not doing well and so Sam Allardyce was brought in. Allardyce saved Sunderland from relegation once again. Unfortunately for Sunderland Allardyce left for the England job and Moyes got the Sunderland job.
This shows Sunderland do have a successful method when it comes to avoiding relegation as they generally sack a manager once he has a bad run of form. But for some reason, Moyes has escaped this pattern and is still in charge. With such poor runs of form at the start and end of the season, it really is criminal that Moyes has yet to be let go.
Hull and Leicester’s success
During the 2016/17 both Leicester and Hull have looked like being relegated. Both clubs responses to this were to sack the current manager and replace them with a new one.
Mike Phelan became full-time manager of Hull in October 2016 and sacked on January 4th, 2017. During this time period, Hull managed just two wins, a similar record to Moyes at Sunderland. The Hull board decided they were not happy with Phelan’s results and let him go. Marco Silva took over Phelan on January 5th. Since taking over Silva has improved Hull greatly and they now look to be staying up this year.
A similar story took place at Leicester as well. Last year’s champions looked in serious danger of getting into a relegation battle under Claudio Rainer. Again like Hull’s board, Leicester decided to sack Raineri and replace him with Craig Shakespeare. The result has been positive for Leicester who can move to 10th if they win their game in hand.
With the success Hull City and Leicester have had once they have sacked their managers after a poor run of form, it is seriously bemusing that Moyes still has a job. Surely the Sunderland board must have seen the results Hull and Leicester have garnered under their new management and thought they should try it as well.
The fact David Moyes is still employed after having the worst start to a Premier League season ever and then winning just one in 2017, plus the fact Sunderland usually have success when replacing struggling managers is the biggest crime in football today.