Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (left) and Papy Djilobodji applaud the fans.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (left) and Papy Djilobodji applaud the fans.

Sunderland are a big club. They’re a huge one. This might be easy to forget after the club has spent years struggling, but it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Even in recent years, there has been some very talented players playing on Wearside. Darren Bent, Bolo Zenden and Jordan Henderson, to name only a few. However, in the last couple of seasons there has been very little to shout about for the Sunderland fans, barring a couple of great moments from Jermain Defoe.

Sunderland lost again at the weekend, a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Arsenal, now officially making this the joint-worst ever start to a Premier League season and after years of struggling, the blame can’t stop entirely at the door of David Moyes.

That is not to say that Moyes isn’t partially to blame. The club’s decision not to sell Lamine Kone to Everton has seemingly affected his form beyond belief. It was because of Kone’s poor defending that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, one of the smallest men on the pitch, could nod in the first goal.

A glimmer of hope was gifted to Sunderland in the form of a rare Petr Cech mistake, bringing down Duncan Watmore for a penalty which was converted by Jermain Defoe.

Olivier Giroud came on to score two, while Sanchez bagged another goal, rounding the game off nicely from an Arsenal point of view. Then, as expected, the boos rang around the Stadium of Light.

It must be remembered that this booing is not simply the result of a poor performance against Arsenal, but years and years of neglect shown to this huge football club. Something is fundamentally wrong at Sunderland, that much is clear.

The struggles of the side are not down to a specific manager – in fact in Advocaat, Allardyce, O’Neill and Moyes, Sunderland have had four exceptionally high profile and successful managers. It is down to years of poor recruitment.

There seems to have been a huge panic-buying culture at Sunderland, that started years ago and was summed up best during the reign of Paolo Di Canio. Sunderland brought in a lot of players, but very few had the quality that was needed and this system has gone on for years.

However, six points against local rivals Newcastle and a string of big wins out of the blue at the end of the season, has seen them safe. However, these wins look even more unlikely than ever before and Moyes’ side seem desperate and destined for relegation.

One thing is for sure though, whether Sunderland go down or not, their transfer policy must change if the club is ever to be successful again.