Among football fans in England and in Europe, there is a common perception that irrespective of how poorly Sunderland might have played all season, they somehow seem to find a way to string together enough momentum to save themselves from relegation from the English Premier League. However, after enjoying 10 years of uninterrupted Premier League football, they were finally relegated this season and that probably sealed the fate of their manager, David Moyes, who resigned today in an unexpected development.

Moyes throws in the towel

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes was made the manager of Sunderland prior to the beginning of the 2017-18 season, but the abysmal performances of the club over the course of the season saw them being relegated to the 2nd tier.

There was widespread expectation that Moyes would actually be able to keep the north-eastern club away from relegation, but a record of only 6 wins across 38 games is certainly a reflection of the Scotsman's waning abilities as a top flight manager.

Moyes had a meeting with Ellis Short, the chairman of Sunderland, this morning, and at the conclusion of the meeting it was decided that it was time to end his four year contract at the end of the very first year. Moyes wished Sunderland well in their efforts to climb back to the Premier League as soon as possible, as he would now be pondering his own future following disastrous spells ever since he left Everton back in 2013.

Could he have handled this differently?

Sunderland's bitter local rivals Newcastle had been relegated last year but their interim manager Rafa Benitez did not resign, and instead, stayed on to guide the club back to the Premier League this season. Hence, there was widespread belief that Moyes would continue with Sunderland and try to win the Championship (English 2nd division) to take the club back to where they belonged.

In fact, he had even said, "I know what needs to be done to get back in the Premier League," indicating his willingness to continue as the manager of the club.

The club published a statement from their departing manager on their website, in which Moyes said, "I would like to thank Ellis Short and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club." The search for a new manager must start in earnest now, and it is hoped that Sunderland will be able to appoint a manager that can facilitate a quick return to the Premier League.