A FRUSTRATED David Moyes claims many of Sunderland’s relegated players don’t deserve to move onto better things after turning in a performance to suggest they already have their hearts set on leaving Wearside.
The Black Cats play their penultimate game of a ten-year Premier League stay tonight at Arsenal, before closing the campaign at champions Chelsea on Sunday.
And if Sunderland perform like they did against Swansea City on Saturday, when Paul Clement’s side won 2-0 to secure top-flight status for a further year, then Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte should enjoy comfortable games.
Moyes did not attempt to hide his disappointment yesterday when he agreed that Alan Shearer was within his right to say the performances from Sunderland’s players against the Swans was “lazy” and “disgraceful”.
The Sunderland boss was even more annoyed after he was handed the match analysis statistics, with running figures and the like all down on previous matches this season; one that has hardly been impressive anyway.
He wonders whether Sunderland’s confirmed relegation has played a part, claiming there were indications some of the players on the pitch performed as if they had an eye on a future away from the club – admitting he has had to deal with a “difficult dressing room” too.
Moyes, who also revealed there are more players “complaining of injuries” ahead of the trip to North London, said: “Overall, we have been unable to get a good enough spirit to make sure we got results in a lot of games. It’s been a problem.
“It was hard coming in to work on Sunday because we were training, it was hard because I was massively disappointed with the performance on Saturday. What we are privy to and what we are able to see is the physical output and all those things which we can always judge so we are disappointed.
“The players have to be the ones who see (it isn’t good enough) it’s for everybody to see. The players are the ones who cross the line, they have to show what they can do, many of them are thinking there is something better, well, that would have to be their choice.
“Probably a lot of them think they have something better to go to, but people who have been watching might say ‘no, you’ve not'.”
Even though there had been 23 other league defeats before the visit of Swansea, Moyes still felt his team had at least performed to a steady enough standard in the majority of those fixtures.
He said: “I would still have hoped we had a much better output than we had. We were all disappointed by the way Saturday ended. We said that after the game. But we knew it was going to come somewhere.
“People have tried to indicate that the players have not been at it. But that is not true. They have definitely been at it. Saturday was the first time I have thought: That wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t say that in our other games in my professional opinion. In my professional opinion Saturday was not good enough.”
Adnan Januzaj, on loan from Manchester United and linked with a move to Fenerbahce, has been left out of the last couple of games, but injuries dictate he will have to be involved at the Emirates. The Belgium international has not impressed, scoring just once in the EFL Cup this season.
Moyes said: “He’s still here, he hasn’t kicked his last ball for Sunderland because we have quite a few players who might not be available, so there is more than a good chance Adnan will be in.
“I wanted to try to put out boys who I felt were going to remain at the club but there are other positions where I’ve had to play others. I just felt that was the right thing at the time, but I think our numbers will be such that Adnan will probably be back involved.
“He’s an incredibly talented footballer, matched by very few. But I think he would admit he’s been disappointing, because of his lack of goals, that would be the biggest thing. I think when we told everybody Adnan Januzaj was coming from Manchester United, I don’t think anybody would have said that didn’t look like a really good loan signing. So it can happen.
“Will he be back next year? I think Adnan seems to have bigger fish to fry.”
Victor Anichebe and Jason Denayer will definitely be missing at Arsenal after picking up hamstring and thigh problems. Midfielder Lee Cattermole is available again.