Verdict: Billy Jones massive headache; Fabio Borini's massive ego & the Wahbi Khazri massive; Sunderland 2 West Ham 2

After so many sterile mind-numbing games at the Stadium of Light this season, if t

by Brandon_Rawlin Sunday, 16 April 2017 01:22 PM Comments

After so many sterile mind-numbing games at the Stadium of Light this season, if the result wasn't much use to either side, Sunderland 2 West Ham 2 was almost enjoyable. 


If you've woken up with a hangover this morning, you're not alone. The four-day weekend has that effect. But spare a thought for Sunderland's Billy Jones. The right-back was stretchered off with concussion following a clash which resulted in him smacking his head off the ground and sent to hospital. That will smart this morning, 

It's not the first time Billy has needed his head examining. The 29-year-old full-back should have undergone tests on his triangular forehead a month ago after missing that open goal against Burnley where Jones managed to convert a certain winner from four yards out into the miss of the season. 

It's worth lamenting that cock-up again as it happens as Sunderland picked up their first point since the game against the Clarets yesterday versus West Ham. Somehow David Moyes' team are still just three wins from safety as Hull and Swansea conspired to keep the dream of a May miracle alive. 

Said in jest of course but if we can beat Middlesbrough and Bournemouth in the next two, and pray the Tigers lose against Watford and Southampton, then a trip to Hull might just see hope spring eternal again in this most hopeless of relegation battles. Had we picked up a win in that sequence of must-wins against Burnley, Watford or Leicester we still might have been believing we could escape. 

And speaking of examining heads, Fabio Borini continues to dominate headlines this morning for his embarrassing 40-yard sprint to 'prove a point' to David Moyes after scoring Sunderland's leveller. A senior pro at the club, the Italian who turns 27 later this month is one of the highest earners at the Stadium of Light and had been one of the biggest 'names' thanks to his exploits as a promising forward in his early-20s when he first arrived.  

Borini has been appalling this season but has chosen to blame the unfolding relegation on a lack of unity in the dressing room. Dropped to the bench and with his manager rebuking his agent this week for talking up the player's prospects of leaving the club with seven games still to bother himself playing, Fabio is in danger of becoming one of the targets for the crowd as Sunderland limp closer to a certain drop. 

The 'boo boys' got a little practice in yesterday with howls of derision aimed at David Moyes each time he got off his seat, but once relegation is confirmed there remains two further home games for the Stadium of Light to voice its displeasure. Few will wave Fabio Borini off with warm wishes after his horrible season and a crowd which can forgive almost everything bar a lack of effort has a whole load of anger banked up after giving Sunderland a relatively easy ride so far for this horrible campaign.  

One player who has never let his head drop is yesterday's man-of-the-match Wahbi Khazri. Restricted to sub-10 minute cameos for the bulk of the season, the Tunisian has at least shown endeavour when he's entered the field of play. Suspicion remains that David Moyes chucked him in from the start yesterday to prove a point having endured a growing cacophony to play the midfielder. 

The Scot bowed to public pressure and probably thought Sunderland supporters would accept his wisdom in not playing Khazri assuming the Black Cats would lose again. Khazri was excellent on the right, popping up all over the pitch and for a side who have failed to score from a set-piece all season, it was almost comical to see him score direct from a whipped-in corner. 

He was only playing because Sebastian Larsson was suspended. And the Swede has struggled to beat the first defender with regularity in his set-pieces for most of the season. David - hate to say say we told you so.