Photo credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty

Sunderland are in trouble. The squad is bad, the team is broke, and the man overseeing it all, once-heralded and now cosmically beleaguered manager David Moyes, can’t muster the will to even feign optimism.

Moyes has said for a while that there is no money in the bank to improve a team that desperately needs improvement. (Sunderland are £140 million in debt, and despite the squad’s talent deficiencies, this bunch is somehow the tenth-highest paid group in the league.) And yet the transfer window is now open, with rumors swirling this way and that of all kinds of clubs looking at all number of players, so fans of the Black Cats naturally hope against hope that something will happen, that some hero will swoop in and buttress their fight for Premier League survival.

Well, optimistic Sunderland fans, Moyes has some bad news for you, and the news is this: Kevin Phillips isn’t walking through that door. From the Guardian:

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“I’d be kidding you on if I said the players we’re hoping to bring in this month are going to make a big difference because, first of all, we probably couldn’t get that level of player and, secondly, we probably wouldn’t have the finances to do that,” said Sunderland’s manager ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Brom. “To suggest that a player we might bring in would be making a big difference would not be correct.”

So Sunderland suck too bad to convince anyone good to join the team, and even if they could, the club couldn’t afford to sign him anyway. The lesson Moyes seeks to impart—one he knows all too well himself—is clear: embrace the darkness. Though hopelessness isn’t the cheeriest stance, at least it’s realistic, and it will probably save you from duking it out with a guy in a Clitheroe wine bar.

[Guardian]