This campaign marks the tenth anniversary of Sunderland’s return to the Premier League, and if the history books are anything to go by, it won’t be met with relegation. Yes, Sunderland have failed to hit the ground running, but that’s just what they do.
Only twice in the previous nine seasons have the Black Cats picked up more than four points after as many games in the Premier League.
And perhaps an even more reassuring statistic is that Sunderland were in exactly the same position as they are now back in the 2013-14 campaign.
After four games they’d managed to pick up just one point in a draw against Southampton, something they achieved this time out against the same side. They found the back of the net three times in their opening quartet of games, a figure again matched this time out, and they conceded exactly the same amount of goals that year after four games as they have under Moyes (eight).
That poor start coincided with a very respectable 13th-placed finish in that campaign, their best in the league in the last four years.
Offer that position to Sunderland players and fans alike now and they’ll snap your hand off.
A sizeable 10 new players have arrived at the Stadium of Light since the transfer window opened, and of that number, eight have already featured for the Black Cats this campaign.
Such a turnover in squad members obviously takes some getting used to, and we have seen glimpses – rare as they may have been – of what this side is capable of doing.
An unfortunate own goal from new signing Paddy McNair to hand Manchester City all three points in their first game perhaps knocked the confidence out of this Sunderland side, and unfortunately they’ve struggled to get going since then.
Furthermore, the 85th minute goal conceded against Southampton at St Mary’s to force the points to be shared and suddenly it seems as though much of this season’s problems are as a result of mere bad luck.
But there’s no doubting the fact that Moyes will eventually turn things around in the north-east. After all, the man has never faced relegation as a manager.
Up next for Sunderland is a trip to Tottenham Hotspur, and the Black Cats can take advantage of a hectic fixture list which will see Spurs play their third game in eight days.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.