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pre west brom craic…
let's not play shit

David Moyes has been chatting ahead of today's visit of West Brom about how we need to improve and learn from last weekend's capitulation against Palace “We got 2-0 up and didn’t see the job out,” said Moyes. “Had we done that, we would have been out of the bottom three and we would be having a different conversation. That’s why we have brought the nerves and the anxiety on ourselves. You always try to do the basics well, but we’ve not done it in all the games. I’m disappointed with the mistakes we’ve made. We’ve not kept a clean sheet, and that’s somewhere we have to start from. We definitely have to get stronger, be more resolute defensively. We’ve worked on it this week, and hopefully we will try and improve on where we let ourselves down last weekend. This game is slightly different [to that against Palace]. West Brom will play a bit deeper and wait on us, their style is to do that. I don’t think they will necessarily come flying out of the blocks. But they have scored five of their seven goals from set-pieces, so it is important that we don’t concede too many set-pieces or free-kicks. That’s what West Brom are very good at - they get good deliveries in, and they have three or four very aggressive headers of the ball. Our delivery on set pieces has been terrible,” he added. “We’ve practised, the players do it every day, but then when it comes to the big stage they can’t get the ball in the right areas. We have to do better. We can’t blame the centre-halves or the centre-forwards for not heading it in the net if they don’t get the deliveries.”

Moyes has been talking about his favourite subject again, how hard a job he has on his hands at SAFC. “I want to succeed here. There’s a big job to be done here but I don’t think it’s impossible. There’s an awful lot of things needing to be fixed at this club but I think they can be fixed, I really do. The revolving door needs to be stopped,” he said. “Things need to be put right but to change them there needs to be a period of stability. My words could be interpreted as too downbeat. But honest is all I can be. I think people would rather you tell the truth than untruths. The players have had to take criticism from me. We need a really committed team and a team that can concentrate. At the moment I don’t know what I’m going to get from my team.”

Moyes also chatted about the recent resignations of Club Doctor, Ishtiaq Rehman and Danny Philpott, the assistant academy director. “The doctor situation was something I was aware of before I came in,” he said. “He’s had some really difficult decisions in recent weeks and I think his feeling is maybe that it was time to go. Danny Philpott had come in with the idea of getting the main [academy] job but they [Sunderland’s board] didn’t want that. Whatever decisions are made, the club will only ever do things for the best. Martin [Bain, the chief executive] is a correct fella. I can only say, anything he’s doing, he’s doing for the right reasons.”

Moyes also had a little more to say about corruption and greed in football. “When a transfer is completed let’s get what the club has had to pay the agent straight out there,” he said. “I think there might be a few gasps from supporters and the media. I’m not condoning what’s been revealed this week but it might actually be small stuff compared to what else is going on, to some of the money being given to agents to do deals. I’m amazed at how many agents are representing the same player – there could be 25 and they say they’re acting as ‘intermediaries’. Maybe that’s why the agents’ fees are bigger, because everyone’s getting paid down the line – this year’s been one of the worst for that.”

The happy go lucky Scot then moved on to injuries, which seem to be plaguing our season. “We have quite a few injuries,” said David Moyes. “We lost Pienaar in the game, and we’re also without Adnan Januzaj and Lee Cattermole as well. They’re all missing this weekend. (Victor) Anichebe has injured his groin so he has not trained. He will not be available Pienaar did his hamstring which is not too bad, but enough to make him unavailable. Lee has neuro- pain down his legs, coming from his back, and is having an epidural this week. Januzaj has done his ankle ligaments. Six weeks may be a bit optimistic - it could be longer. He has done a lot of good things - he can eliminate opponents and get beyond them, he was starting to get used to it, and he has grown and settled in well. It’s disappointing. He got it in the first half and we have to give him credit because it was strapped up and he said nothing, He is a tough boy because it is a bad injury. We will miss his quality. Wahbi Khzari is looking in better shape physically,” added the boss. “He did not come back in great shape, but looks better. The biggest thing for me is that I expected him to keep ball better. Even in the pre-season games, he gave it away too often. I see him in the team to be that type of player, but we need him to be more reliable when he gets ball.”

West Brom gaffer Tony Pulis reckons that David Moyes can keep us up, but that he'll have his work cut out. "You have to spend a long time working out how you're going to get results," he said. "You've got to play to your players' strengths; you've got to work a system out that will enable that team to get points. Irrespective of how they play and don't play the important thing as a manager is to give yourself enough time to push the team forward. I've a lot of respect for David and he's joined a club that has to fight and scrap and work hard to get the points that's needed to maintain Premier League status,” he added. "I don't think he had that at Everton at all. He built and put in place a club that was looking more at (the) top six than bottom six so this is a new experience for him, but he's a top man, a top football manager and I'm sure he'll get through it."

Meanwhile, Victor Anichebe is looking forward to his former side, West Bromwich Albion, visiting the Stadium of Light this weekend after a hard week of basics under David Moyes. “The gaffer hasn’t taken any prisoners and he’s getting into everybody. He’s hammered into us about shape and defending and the basics of football. You have to do the groundwork before you do the other stuff and that’s what this week has been all about, and the game at the weekend is really important. We need to forget about everything else and push forward, so hopefully we can continue to improve while getting better results. I’ve seen some of West Brom’s results and they’ve started really well and I have some good friends there so I’m happy, but I’m here now and I hope we can get a good result at the weekend. West Brom are always a tough team to beat – and break down – and I know how much Tony [Pulis] puts into shape and organisation, so I think Saturday’s game will be really tight but I think it’s clear for everyone that we need to improve. It will be a tense game but we will prepare well and we know how much it means.”

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NOTHING HAPPENING...
STRANGE DAYS

There is very little news emanating from the club this week as David Moyes attempts to concentrate on drilling his defence. However, injured Seb Larsson reckons that Jermain Defoe is due an England recall. “As you have seen in team struggling if you give him chances he will score. That’s all you can ask of a striker. I don’t see why he can’t get a recall. I know he wants it and hopefully if he keeps going he will get it.”

We've also been linked with FC Basel's keeper Tomas Vaclik but it seems a move is unlikely.

SAFC have also sacked Dr Ishtiaq Rehman after the Patrick van Aanholt heart saga, so like I said nowt going on...

Jordan Pickford is targeting a win against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Let's face it, nothing else will do. “Everyone has been disappointed since the weekend because it was a kick in the teeth, but we need to focus on Saturday and the results will come,” he said. “JD is firing again and we did well (against Palace) but we just need to stay together, be demanding of each other on the field and keep solid for 90 minutes. We have got a good team spirit but we just need to keep plugging away at it and we will come out the side well. We have got a chance to put it right on Saturday, a chance to get three points and get the winning run started. It will be massive to get three points before the international break to give us some momentum for when the lads come back to go again against Stoke, so I just think we have got to stay focused on Saturday. It is a massive game for us and we really need to get three points from the game.” 

Victor Anichebe reckons that the players are as pissed off as the fans right now. I doubt that very much mate! “The fans are frustrated, we’re frustarted,” said Anichebe. “People outside can think sometimes that we don’t care but honestly, that kind of defeat, and I haven’t even been here for that long, it’s not nice, it’s really not nice at all, especially the fact that we’ve dug in for so long and then we’ve lost at the end with something so stupid. But this week, the gaffer’s not really taken any prisoners, he’s really getting into everybody, moreso getting back into the way he used to be as well, really hammering into us about shape and defending, the basics of football. You have to do all the groundwork first before you even go and do the rest of the stuff, so that’s what this week’s been about. Normally we’re off on a Wednesday but we were in, that’s really important. The game at the weekend’s really important, and not just that. From now we have to forget everything else and just push forward, and hopefully we can continue to improve and get better results. Obviously after the game, I wasn’t happy at all and I’m sure everybody else wasn’t either. It was quite difficult to take, you know, especially being 2-0 up and to go on and lose the game. But sometimes in football these things happen. Obviously we don’t want it to happen again but they do happen, and the only good thing we can take out of the game is that we performed better, and Jermain Defoe’s in good form at the moment. So as long as we can continue to do all of the good things well, and then start to keep clean sheets, that should be the foundation - clean sheets. And it’s not just the defenders, it’s the whole team. If everybody can come together as a team, keep a clean sheet, then we can go on and continue to perform better. They’re the positives that you can take from the game. But it was a sickening defeat, it was really, really difficult to take. But as footballers we need to bounce back and Saturday’s a huge game.”

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POST SAM MADNESS
BY FRANCIS TODD MALONE

Well, that escalated quickly, as they say.

A little more than three months ago, Sam Allardyce was working out how he could improve our fortunes. His stock was at its highest, having saved us from another 'inevitable' relegation - and we were delighted to have him around. Finally, it looked like we had got someone who could make the most of us. And he looked like a keeper, someone who enjoyed his surroundings and would be happy enough doing his best with us for at least a few years.

Then, given the chance to get the best out of under-achieving international players, instead of under-achieving club ones, he accepted the offer, telling the world it was the dream job and dumping us pretty quickly as a result. in fairness to him, most club managers in this country would have seen it as a decent trade-up. At more than £3million a year, the pay wasn't bad either. We sort of accepted it, even though we all felt a bit radgy about it.

Fast forward 10 weeks and, after being tempted to discuss trips to the Far East for £400,000 with people wearing GoPros he should have been running a mile from, it was all over. After making sure of a pay-off which should keep him in pints, dancing suits and winter breaks for a while, he disappeared, leaving the internet to trade banter about greed and impressive 100 per cent international records.

Then, barely 12 hours after losing his job, he started his comeback with mutterings about "entrapment". Before too long, he'll rock up somewhere - you know it as well as he does. I'm not sure whether it'll be pre or post-Christmas, but I can picture him on the Goals on Sunday sofa, trading shanter with Chris Kamara. Then, the chairman of a football club who needs a spark of something will take a punt on him, just like Chesterfield took a punt on Ched Evans. The comeback will be complete.

The question is, should it be at Sunderland?

The Daily Telegraph's investigation has been going on for 10 months - who knows how much more shit is in this storm? It's not only our former gaffer who has been caught out, there will be plenty of other 'good football men' who won't be sleeping too well at the moment and in a few days their identities will be in the public domain.

But, as Allardyce was quick to point out, did he actually say or do anything which should prevent him doing what he does best again, managing a football club? Plenty of respected journalists are saying the man deemed best-equipped for the job in July should not have lost the gig for showing poor judgement and greed. Yes, their attitudes would be different were they on the payroll of the Daily Telegraph, but we're not talking match-fixing, drugs or even nicking charity boxes here. Every week, we see greedy players bending rules. rather than breaking them. Should it matter that a manager has a bit of previous for this, particularly as he's already proved himself to be a good fit with us, when others are tolerated on the touchline. Ones who headbutt opposing team players for example... 

Yes, Allardyce dumped us in a flash when a better offer came along. Yes, he's a bit arrogant. Yes, they say you shouldn't go back, that things are never the same second time around - and yes, you like to think everyone connected with your own club likes kids and animals, isn't a little bit wide, and doesn't have dubious political beliefs and tattoos to match (hang on, we've been there already with this one)....

When the FA were taking the headlines, closer to home it was business as usual, with the club telling us Adnan Januzaj is likely to be out injured until November. It was hardly a case of bad news being buried. We hoped the bloke might rejuvenate his own career and ours, yet apart from lift us over the line in a League Cup tie against Shrewsbury, he's hardly impressed.

We remain a busted flush, a cross between Casualty and a Labour conference. People with more optimism than me are writing us off amid talk of 15 and 19-point seasons. The results aren't good but, even more worryingly, the performances (opening match excepted) are worse. We don't even look capable of competing with the best, never mind burgling a point off them here or there.

Careering towards the Championship, Ellis Short picking up the phone and burying the hatchet with someone who is available and capable of changing things does not seem a stupid idea to me at the moment. Nor does having a serious chat with someone he's held in high regard for years. Writing out the compensation cheques wouldn't be much fun mind... 

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Big Sam: so typically sunderland
By Eve Sayers

With each passing week, it seems more and more likely that there is a genuine curse on Sunderland AFC.

Whilst Sunderland fans could not begrudge Sam Allardyce his dream job of becoming England boss, they can certainly begrudge him for his stupidly selfish actions that have found him out of a job.

It was a miserable summer for Sunderland and with a heavy heart, the red and white faithful waved another Premier League manager goodbye. It was gutting to do so, but it was no secret that Allardyce desperately wanted the England job, and he deserved his shot.

Now, just over two short months later, it’s gone wrong for Big Sam. It’s hard to sympathise with him. Personally, I don’t feel one ounce of sympathy for him. It’s hard enough to understand when a football manager puts themselves into a stupid enough position to jeopardise everything they have, but you can often put that down to them being misled. Allardyce, however, is old enough and ugly enough to know that what he’s got is not worth jeopardising for £400,000.

From his autobiography, his own words, he said: “For the record, I’ve never taken a bung in my life. I might have enjoyed a meal and a bottle of wine on an agent or two, but that is it. I was earning £1.5million a year, so I didn’t need a little bit extra from an agent. It would have been madness.”

So why did Sam wait until he had secured his dream job, the position he’d been working towards for 25 years, to decide that needed a little bit extra? It was admirable to see how much he wanted the England job prior to his appointment following a disappointing Euro campaign. And everyone knew how gutted he was to be overlooked in favour of Steve McClaren in 2006, so it’s impossible to get your head around why Sam would do such a thing.

Hailed from working-class roots, Sunderland fans could relate to Big Sam and perhaps that is why many of us connected to him on such a level. His honesty in press conferences was commendable, but now, his seemingly honest persona is no more. I may have the tiniest bit of respect for him speaking to Sky Sports but his statement of “entrapment has won” seems somewhat arrogant.

He’s been caught out and we’ve lost our best manager in years for one game against Slovakia and a pint of wine. If that isn’t the most Sunderland thing you’ve ever heard, then I don’t know what it is.

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SAM OUT...
SOCCER MADNESS

Sam Allardyce has left his post as England manager after being stitched up by The Daily Telegraph and their investigation into corruption in English football. The FA have released the following statement. “Allardyce’s conduct, as reported today, was inappropriate of the England manager. He accepts he made a significant error of judgement and has apologised. However, due to the serious nature of his actions, the FA and Allardyce have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.”

Allardyce then released this statement. “Further to recent events, the FA and I have mutually agreed to part company. It was a great honour for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome. This afternoon, I met with Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn and offered a sincere and wholehearted apology for my actions. Although it was made clear during the recorded conversations that any proposed arrangements would need the FA’s full approval, I recognise I made some comments which have caused embarrassment. As part of today’s meeting, I was asked to clarify what I said and the context in which the conversations took place. I have co-operated fully in this regard. I also regret my comments with regard to other individuals.”

In other news, Adnan Januzaj has been ruled out for up to six weeks after sustaining an ankle injury against Palace. What next!

Imagine

Imagine you didn't leave for England
It's easy if you try
The Mags below us
And we're winning live on Sky
Imagine all the Sunlun
Not miserable for today... Aha-ah...

Imagine there's no football teams for countries
It isn't hard to do
No-one to sting you or nothing to resign for
And no relegation, too
Imagine all the Sunlun
Being led by... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll rejoin us
And we'll be mid-table with Koné, M'Vila and Ndong

Imagine we keep possession
I wonder if you can
No need for misplaced passes
Adored by 40,000 fans
Imagine all the lads in red and white
Winning games led by... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll rejoin us
And we'll be mid-table with Koné, M'Vila and Ndong

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BITS & BOBS...
OF NEGATIVITY

Seb Lasson is as frustrated as any of us at Sunderland's start to the season and to make matters worse for the Swede he's still recovering from his op and can't help his team mates out. “I don’t know why this is happening. I spoke about it after the game to a friend of mine. If I knew the answer, it wouldn’t be happening because I would have told someone ‘do this instead’! It doesn’t help of course, that the pressure is on and there is negativity around the place, but we have to use that and turn it around. We have to do that earlier, not wait until the last couple of months of the season. Let’s turn it around before Christmas and give ourselves a chance to have a decent season, regardless of what people say. We have been written off before and I’m sure we have been written off again by a lot of people – let’s prove them wrong. It’s very disappointing, especially what happened at the weekend because that could have given us our first win and put us on our way,” he said. “But it didn’t happen and we have to deal with that massive disappointment. You have to learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I know players can say things and people will say things like ‘he’s nuts, he’s crazy’, but that’s my opinion. There is definitely enough quality in there. We have to stick together, gel more as a team. And when you get yourself in a position when you are 2-0 up it is about getting to know yourselves as a team and being smarter to see out games. If we can tweak those bits we will be OK.”

In other news, Sam Allardyce has been stitched up in an undercover operation by the Daily Telegraph during which he explains to reporters how it is "not a problem" getting around FA rules that stop third parties "owning" football players' economic rights, a practice that was banned in 2008! Fat Sam said: "It's not a problem, you can still get around it. You get a percentage of the player's agent's fee that the agent pays to you, the company, because he's done that new deal at the club again or they sell him on, and you're not getting a part of the transfer fee anymore, because you can't do that. But, you get, because of the size of the contracts now, the contract will be worth thirty, forty million, at 10% and you've done a deal with the agent where you're getting 5% of the agent's fee, which is massive for doing about two hours' work." The paper claims to have struck with the England manager worth £400,000. The FA has so far declined to comment on the allegations. It would be amusing if they sacked him for the greed he showed after waiting all his life to do the England job!

Meanwhile, Sky TV gobshite Jamie Carragher has been slagging off Sunderland again. I guess after the start to the season we have had we are an easy target for pundits. He said: "It is the same every season, they have not won in August and September for four years in the league, and that is unbelievable. I have a problem with Sunderland because it winds me up to see them do a lap of honour every year after they stay up. They are awful for most of the season, then the Houdini act comes out. I don't know how they do it. I think David Moyes comes in and [finds] it's a problem a lot worse than what he thought, in terms of the quality of the players," Carragher added. "They had a poor window, perhaps because of the Sam Allardyce situation, and he [Moyes] didn't get in in time. I was glad when Moyes said the players need to take responsibility [after the Palace defeat] because too many players don't and that's not just a problem for Moyes, it's a problem across football for managers. In terms of the goals they conceded, the last one is just embarrassing. You think about Lamine Kone, who was fantastic last season and just signed a new contract. He's your big leader at the back, and Jan Kirchhoff, who they got from Bayern Munich, is another who should be a leader. But who was marking Benteke? As a manager, what can you do about that?"

Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe insists that we need to bounce back against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. “It’s important we take something from the game but it’s also important for the lads to forget about last Saturday. We have to go back to the training pitch, work hard and try to put in the same kind of performance, and hopefully if we get a little bit of luck we will get the points that we need. We’re improving but when you’re 2-0 up and concede within 30 seconds it isn’t good enough and I think all the players know that,” added Defoe. “There were a lot of positives to take from the game – the amount of chances we created and our energy levels, and we put more crosses into the box which is what the manager wanted. It’s not often you score two goals and come away a little bit down but we just have to keep going; it’s still early days and we’re six games in but we don’t want to wait until the last couple of months – or last month – to get results. We need to get the points now and we want to show how good we are as a team.”

Finally, David Moyes reckons that the forwards are doing their job v Palace, but the defence needs to tighten up. "Jermain did what he had to do," said Moyes. "In truth, the boys up front did what they had to do to get us in front; Duncan [Watmore] had some great runs, showed great energy. But when required, the boys at the back didn’t do it. It’s happened too often, certainly in my time here."

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MORE BAD NEWS...
SORRY FOLKS

David Moyes is certainly a realist and when it comes down to it analysing defeats, like Saturday's v Palace, he doesn't gloss over the crap position we are in. However, it makes quite depressing reading! “It’s been a tough period,” admitted Moyes. “I want to be successful, I want to win games. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, that’s for sure. I did expect to win games, but we’re struggling to win games at the moment. But the club’s been in that position last year and the year before. Probably last year was worse in some ways. We have to try to do what they did and find a way to get out of it. We’re working towards finding a team that can win. At 2-0, you might have said this was Sunderland’s day. I can only put it down to us not doing the basics well enough, not heading it and kicking it when we get the chance, picking up and marking, which we should do. We didn’t do that well enough when we needed to. I don’t know that I’m necessarily an ‘arm around the shoulder man’. I want to see men stand up and take responsibility, when it’s tough you stand up to take the challenge on. Our worst defensive performances are coming at home. We’re asking the players ‘go and take the ball, play, try to be creative. But maybe when we open up we find ourselves in trouble. Sometimes it’s not the obvious [changes] that might be needed. We’ve got to get some stability because at the moment it doesn’t look like we can keep a clean sheet. I don’t think we necessarily crumbled or anything like that, far from it. We gave them some opportunities. But we had a chance to make it 3-1. We didn’t (take it) and from that we suffered. We never get a chance to be a 2-0 team. Within 15-20 seconds, or whatever it was, we let a goal in. If we’d have done better then maybe we could have done something to shore things up, make sure we were harder to beat”

Lamine Kone also chipped in with his thoughts on the Crystal Palace collapse. “This result against Crystal Palace is very difficult to take. We were 2-0 up after an hour, to then lose the game 3-2 is very difficult for the team, the club and the fans who come to watch. The problem? Maybe it is down to concentration. What happened, it is not normal. Yes, we made it difficult for ourselves [after conceding straight away]. I don’t know why. We hope that we can win the next home game against West Brom this weekend, we have to now quickly look to win the next game. It is a new defence,” added Kone. “I have been playing alongside Papy, but it is okay. There is no problem and Didier is a good player. He ran a lot, he has a lot of energy which is good for the team. He is very aggressive in his play and he is a really good player. We need Didier. Jermain is very important for the team too. He scored two goals – he is very important for the next game against West Bromwich Albion. Three points is very important for us against West Brom, especially before the international break.”

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post PALACE craic…
REACTION

Sunderland were beaten 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace after throwing away a 2-0 lead. A Jermain Defoe double sent Sunderland on the way to their first win of the season, but three second-half goals from Palace served to heap further embarrassment on David Moyes and his disastrous start on Wearside.

David Moyes had this to say afterwards: “For us to do the defending job so basic is poor and that's what costing us at the moment. We're just not being reliable enough defensively and because of that we're finding it tough. We never gave ourselves a chance - after getting two in front we conceded within 30 seconds. We didn't do the basics. We had a chance to clear for the first goal and didn't then we had a chance to defend the back post for the second. If we had [done the basics] we would have won the game. I'm really disappointed to concede three goals from two up. We need to do much better."

Jermain Defoe was pretty down afterwards after scoring two, but still seeing us lose "When you have a good performance and come away with no points it is a difficult one to take. We are improving but when you concede 30 seconds after you score a second, it is not good enough. All the players know. You have to win the game when you are 2-0 up, especially when you need the points. It is hard to take because it is not like we were outplayed or they were the better team. Second half we created a lot of chances. Even if we had drawn, I would have been disappointed. When you score you celebrate but you have to then concentrate and switch on straight away. It is a funny one because there were a lot of positives we can take from the game. We created chances, the energy levels were better, we passed when we needed to and there were more crosses into the box, which is what the manager wanted. We got the two goals and you think you are going to win the game. I thought we were going to score again when we went 2-0 up. It is not often you score twice and come away disappointed," he added. "It is still early days, only six games, but we don't want to wait until the last couple of months. We want the points now to show people how good we are as a team. We have to keep our heads up and keep working hard. It is important we take something against West Brom, we need to forget about this one. Get back on the training pitch and work hard and try and put in the same performance, hopefully you get a little bit of luck and start to get the points that you need. They are probably thinking how did we come away with three points? Hopefully that will be us next week."

In Other News Here's The ALS/ITV Blog, By Sobs...

A busy week for us Sunderland fans, what with two trips to London, but there was the win, and the chance to see that McNair isn’t the centre half, or defensive midfielder we’d been told he was, but, once we reorganised, a decent turn pushing forward.

That’s the positives, but among the negatives was some old photo dredged up by a "newspaper" of PVA in the same room as some kind of smoking paraphernalia. It’s not illegal, but it’s not clever, even if it was in his holidays, although coming as it did just after the medical nonsense that caused his late withdrawal from the Spurs game, it was a piece of nasty, pointless "journalism" that does the game, the club, and the individual, no good at all.

While the cup win was nice, the League’s the real business at the minute, so Moysey’s job was to take the feelgood factor from that and plonk it onto the pitch against Palace. Asoro and his like-for-like replacement Maja has shown enough on Wednesday to be considered players with real potential – potential that we need to see realised sooner rather than later, given the paucity of bodies in our attacking ranks.

Given that we hadn’t won in August or September since the days of Steve "finished tenth, y’knaa" Bruce, which you might just have noticed being mentioned in the media, a win was, according the bookies, about as likely as a Craft Brewery being opened by a bloke without a beard. Which turned out to be right on the money as we let Palace score immediately we'd got our second, not even having time to establish the two goal lead as a real thing, allowed a second and third, both from crosses from our right back position, to chuck the thing away. Moan all you like about the ref being apparently biased and Palace being more interested in nudging our players out of the way, but not winning that game sums up Sunderland.

The season just got a whole lot longer

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