Sunday 20 August 2017 / 10:22 AM

MOYES UNDER THE PUMP AT SUNDERLAND

It feels like a long time since I last wrote about David Moyes.

If you’re a long-time reader of Commentary Box Sports you’ll be aware that we used to publish frequent features on him, during his short and ill-fated time in charge of Manchester United.

Moyes’ star has fallen somewhat since then. Following his sacking at United, he headed out to Spain for a (nearly) 12-month jaunt at Real Sociedad.

He was sacked there, too, and was out of work until he fortuitously ended up with the Sunderland job in July.

In fairness to Moyes, he didn’t exactly have the opportunity to really stamp his mark on this Sunderland side. England failed abysmally at the Euros, far worse than anyone had been expecting, and that resulted in Roy Hodgson losing his job, with the knock on effect that Sam Allardyce, the Sunderland manager at the time, was elevated to national post.

That opened up the hot-seat at the Stadium of Light, and Moyes was the first name on chairman Ellis Short’s shortlist.

But things haven’t gone well.

In fact, that’s a bit of an understatement. Sunderland lie in bottom place, with just two points from eight games. They’re yet to win a game, and they’ve conceded 15 goals, only scoring six.

If Moyes had a honeymoon period, it’s definitely over now.

And if we’re honest with each other, the pressure on Moyes has only increased since Allardyce’s acrimonious departure from the England job after just 67 days.

Because, let’s face it, Allardyce was doing a better job at Sunderland than Moyes is currently doing. It might not be a fair comparison, but ‘Big Sam’ was brought in to save Sunderland from relegation and that’s exactly what he did.

Moyes has taken them backwards. They look the worst side in the division, despite having one of the best poacher strikers in the league in Jermain Defoe. And despite his transgressions, I’d tentatively suggest that you’d find it hard to find a Sunderland fan who wouldn’t welcome Allardyce with open arms.

He might be dubious in terms of his actions and the things he’s said, but at least he saved the club from relegation – the exact opposite of what Moyes has done so far.

In truth, the Sunderland job always looked like a poisoned chalice for Moyes. He’s never really been built for the relegation dogfight, with his years at Everton generally resulting in a top-10 finish. It takes a special kind of manager to deal with the pressure of the lower echelons on the league, and there aren’t too many of them around.

Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Steve Bruce and…Big Sam. Those are the guys who you’d want in charge of a club seemingly destined for the drop. Davey Moyes ain’t on that list. Whether he’ll be on the list of former Sunderland managers before too long remains to be seen, but if we don’t see an improvement in results, I would imagine he’ll be gone before Christmas.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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