Devil’s Advocate: stand by our man Moyes despite the Stoke nightmare

Rob as seen by Jake
Rob as seen by Jake

Monsieur Salut writes: Genius in adversity or just Pete Sixsmith in tip-top form yet again? Read his terrific report from the Stoke City game and make up your own mind. And here’s another excellent piece, this time from Rob Hutchison, who argues passionately against yet more upheaval …

Days out with my daughter are to be cherished. She’s 18 now so pays for her own tickets, and I pay for the food and petrol. She’s not missed an away game all season. We had a wonderful Saturday this weekend, apart from the two hours mid afternoon, barely a smile, barely a song, barely a laugh.

The Victor Anichebe song was the highlight of the afternoon. “I bet he falls over before he touches the ball,” I wagered.

Reasons to be cheerful? Hitting the M6 southbound and getting away from the place as quickly as possible. Only hundred quid out of pocket, bargain. It was pretty much up there with miserable away days under Bruce, O’Neill, Poyet, and Mad Paolo at WBA, not a chink of light anywhere, none, nul, zilch.

We’re in traditional Ellis hatchet territory right now, the time of the mackem managerial cull so when will it happen, after Southampton? After West Ham? After Arsenal?

Not this time is my reply. It has to stop. Right now.

When David Moyes arrived in the summer, the situation was catastrophic, Sam fiddled about until the FA finally decided to go native. With a four-year contact under his belt and the perceived assurance that he’d be given time, Moyes stood strong and ripped up Sam’s wish-list and decided to do it his way, with youth and potential rather than overpaying on bloated quick fixes to buy his way out of trouble.

His press conferences were dour, honest and pulled no punches. All the intimations were that it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and that was before the injury crisis deepened.

And that’s precisely where we are now, slithering down the slope, unable to grab a foothold to stabilise the slide. He got it bang on did our David.

Ideally the youth was to be blended in with the experienced pros gradually to get stability at this level. Thanks to the injuries that’s been impossible. Mannone, Cattermole, Kirchhoff, Larsson, Kone, Borini, PVA, Denayer. Chuck in just a handful of those and the team becomes unrecognisable. Kaboul’s loss has been huge, but if a player ask to leave for personal family circumstances, them the club has done the right thing by him. Hey ho.

That’s not to say DM can be absolved from blame. The window was catastrophic, in the manner it all fell apart, peripheral signings arrived (yes McNair & Love were meant to be peripheral) but you feel just one key target (N’dong) was landed when three or four were required.

Letting Lens go without replacing him seemed madness, and not signing a striker went beyond the pale. Kone was beaten at his own game which made me smile at least. But it really is time to play the long game now. The wage bill is in a different place to twelve months ago, and it’s plain that as at Everton youth and development will be the Moyes model aimed at being the solution and bringing stability and progress, and that will take time.

It’s a massive gamble, given where we are and what we have to work with, but the belief in planting seeds now will give us oak trees in the future gives us more of a plan than we ever had under Poyet, Advocaat, Di Canio and the like. Sam was the exception, was meant to be fixer and I firmly believe that if he were still at the club without the summer debacle over his position we would now be up the table in something of a comfort zone. B

ut that didn’t happen, so we have to get on with it.

Unfortunate? Very. Predictably Sunderland? Absolutely.

So yes Stoke was wretched, West Ham will probably be worse still, and Southampton, and Arsenal, but if they are, so be it.

It’s time for patience, tolerance and belief that given time David Moyes may bring us the stability that had been missing for the last decade.

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12 thoughts on “Devil’s Advocate: stand by our man Moyes despite the Stoke nightmare”

  1. It looks as if we are well and truly heading down the plug hole this time. As others have said, it isn’t Moyes entirely of course who is responsible for the mess. However, he arrived seemingly without a clue what the problems were, combined with a complete lack of clue how to put it right. His acquisitions range from the dreadful to cringe worthy, and as the manager he carries the can for that. We may not be in a position to attract top players but this lot are not even worth scraping off the bottom of a proverbial barrel if we are left with one to apply the strigel to.

    Sorry lads but Moyes is bloody hopeless. He will take us down and his face will be a grimmer sight than the football as he really is one miserable looking motherf*cker. His outlook is as grim as the team and our prospects. I didn’t want him in the first place and anyone who thinks that he has done anything to change that perspective is sadly off the mark. We’ve had it and it will be no spectacular grandstand finish under him. We are snoring our way to Barnsley and Preston.

  2. Good article Rob, we must ask ourselves ‘do we want quick fixes, that invariably have no stamina? Or should we, for once, agree to go with someone who was never going to be a quick fix. Much more of a sound foundations man – that’s what we will get from Davie, – but it can’t be a surprise to anyone that this will take time – and as you rightly point out that would be even without the catastrophic injuries we are currently enduring.
    Unfortunately it does look like another visit to the Championship is heading our way, but it’s not like we haven’t been there before and had some good times and memories to boot! This is becoming more and more of a misery year after year waiting for the last six games of the season to see some sort of ‘entertainment’.

    • Fully agree Brian.

      I think changing the manager yet again would be madness.
      In truth, who are we going to get with a better CV than Moyes? He has a proven record of building a quality team at Everton, and he was particularly noted for his shrewd transfer dealings.

      We may well be relegated this season, although I don’t think it is inevitable because there are several teams in a similar position to Sunderland.

      Even if we do go down, I think DM would be the best available man to get us straight back.

  3. I agree that there’s little else but to be patient yet over the years Sunderland fans have made Job look like an impetuous six-year-old. I’ve been going to games with my daughter for the past 25 years and we always make sure we find a decent pub with good food so that at least we’ve had some enjoyment on our travels away.

  4. I agree totally with John. What we have been doing with short term fixes does just that and no more. It is horrible to contemplate relegation but when you look at what four (or is it more??) years of escapes by the skin of our teeth has got us we must try something different. I see the best bit of news for SAFC in all that time is that Ellis Short tried to employ Moyes five times. He now has his number one choice in place and will back him to the hilt.

  5. I know it’s a very different world, but whenever people mention long-term plans I am reminded of Stokoe’s comment when taking over a relegation-threatened (in the second division) SAFC from Alan Brown – “people have had enough of 5-year plans.”

    Apparently, Pickford is on Koeman’s Xmas list, so that’s what, £20 million to spend on another couple of Papy’s? If Jordan hitches a lift with Kone, we may even have another £5miilion on top of that, Ladrain’s value has plummeted since his injury-plagued pay-rise, poor lad.

    Our fans were superb at Stoke – it has been the only saving grace in the comments working alongside the Stokees today.

  6. We’re down , with Moyes or without . Getting out of this nightmare untill we can at least compete would be a mercyfull release . The transfer window was woefull , in and out and struggling teams seem to get more than their fair share of injury’s , symptom’s or cause ? We’ll be lucky to get double figures points wise ,but hopefully the books are balanced and Short can find a buyer . Yes , it’s that desperate .

  7. It’s all very well saying we didn’t sign this player or that player ….but I suspect it wasn’t didn’t but couldn’t as the players Moyes wanted would not come to Sunderland.

    • I think’s it a bit more than that. M’Vila wanted to come and while we can applaud SAFC for not being held to ransom by Rubin Kazan, how many others are there who might have come had the club been willing to get closer to either the selling club’s valuation or a player’s demands? The manager often gets the stick for the quality of players brought in but if his hands are tied by wage structures and transfer policies he is limited as to what he can achieve in the market place.

      Sam would have struggled getting results with the injury list and missing players this season. On Saturday van Aanholt, Khazri and Defoe were the only starters from the team which put together the run that saved us last year.

      What worries me most is that the intensity of the team’s performances is not a patch on what we were seeing at the back end of last season. We’ve hung on to Kone but he no longer looks up for the fight. Defoe rightly gets the plaudits but I sense that subconsciously he feels he is fighting a losing (solo) battle and that will affect his performance, no matter how hard he tries to stay positive in public.

      We need to stick with Moyes for now and see where it takes us. We might have all laughed at the Mags and the Canaries last season but at least those who go to watch them are seeing decent performances and results. Having said that if (or more likely when) we get relegated, I fear that we will be more like Villa than the other two who went down.

  8. I agree with this 100% Rob. Even if we go down we should stick with Moyes, we’ve proved year after year that the sack-revival-slump-sack cycle just doesn’t work. Yes Dreary Dave’s dismal disposition and dour demeanor do him no favours at all but hey, we can’t all be Claudio Ranieri.

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