After two league games, Sunderland are currently 18th in the table after losing their first two games to Manchester City and Middlesbrough.
After the Middlesbrough game David Moyes was interviewed and asked if Sunderland were going to be the mix for relegation this season.
David Moyes said “It’s been the same for last few years; I think it will be again. You can’t argue with the facts”.
I understand that, over the past 4 years, Sunderland have struggled and have been fighting relegation each season. However, from what I have seen from Sunderland so far this season and from what I saw under Sam Allardyce, Sunderland fans have a reason to be optimistic.
Last season, under Big Sam, Sunderland played some high-quality football, beating teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton after the New Year.
This season against Manchester City, on the opening day of the season, Sunderland were defensively well drilled and organised. They were able to exploit the space left at the back by Manchester City, which meant when Sunderland got forward they looked dangerous.
Before City got the winner I thought Sunderland were going to steal the win.
In the Middlesbrough’s game,they had a shocking first half and were deservedly 2 goals down going into the break. However, throughout the 2nd half, they were the better team and could have picked up at least a draw if Donald Love had scored after Brad Guzan’s fumble.
I believe the Sunderland squad is solid enough to avoid the battle at the bottom. Duncan Watmore caused Middlesbrough lots of problems on Sunday and looks like he’s developing into a great attacking midfielder. Patrick van Aanholt was Sunderland’s best player at the weekend and got his goal, the Dutchman positivity is something that will benefit Sunderland greatly. Jermain Defoe is a brilliant striker and will cause every team problems.
They have also made some decent signings; Adnan Januzaj looks like he will add the pace and a directness that Sunderland have lacked over the last few years. Paddy Mcnair, given the time to adapt to playing every week in the Premier League, will definitely make Sunderland’s backline stronger.
I understand David Moyes trying to keep expectations to a reasonable level at the Stadium of Light. However, what has gone on before is irrelevant. Sunderland fans were quietly confident of a good season before Big Sam left for England. So, as the new manager coming into Sunderland, David Moyes needs to carry on the optimism left from the Sam Allardyce’s reign and instil a belief that this season won’t be the same old story for the Black Cats.