Disgraceful Individuals & Disgraceful Defending: Things we Learned from Sunderland 0-4 Southampton

I'm not going to lie, writing this feature has taken a lot of will power. Especially considering the opportunity we had to escape the bottom three, yesterday's performance was absolutely pathetic.


A win for Sunderland would have seen us leap frog Crystal Palace, Hull and Leicester who all lost this weekend. We would also have been level on points with Middlesbrough and a win behind Swansea. As it is, we're bottom, with the second worst goal difference in the league and any confidence built from the last two results has dissipated completely.

No physicality and no mental strength is a disastrous combination
In front of the back four Sunderland had the combined physical presence of Tyrion Lannister and struggled to put Southampton's injury-riddled defence under any pressure. Our only shot on target in the whole game was barely worth the stat, as Didier Ndong's effort whimpered into Fraser Forster's hands. Speaking of whimpering, that sums up Sunderland's overall mental strength nicely. The lad in front of me turned around after the first goal and immediately declared this a "4-0er". He left at 2-0 and was on point with his prediction. The player heads dropped and the second goal killed off any chance of David Moyes' half time team talk having a positive affect.

Adnan Januzaj was a disgrace
I've never been more frustrated by a performance in recent memory. After his, at times, scintillating performance against Crystal Palace you'd have been a fool like me to expect Januzaj to be up for this one. He was pathetic. If he wasn't falling over under the breath of a defender he was strolling around, stropping like a petulant child with little to no desire to actually change the football match. Sunderland cannot afford to have this sort of mentality on the pitch because most teams will not roll over and die like Crystal Palace did.

We need Jordan Pickford back
To be fair Manolo Gabbiadini should have scored well before his first thanks to Vito Mannone, but Mannone's flimsy palm trying to keep out the Italian's first goal, at his near post, in vain was typical of the Italian keeper. As was the very constant faux quick distributions, almost like he was trying to pretend to the supporters he was capable of putting Sunderland on the front foot, before bottling the quick throw or kick in favour of making us wait a few minutes whilst he boots the ball into the crowd. Pickford is back in full training and simply has to be back for our trip to Goodison.

The defending was unacceptable
I am sure Gabbiadini is a canny footballer, I'm certain of it in fact, but for John O'Shea and Lamine Kone to persistently have the p...mick taken out of them was ridiculous. His two goals were excellent examples of Kone's can't-be-bothered mood as he may as well not have bothered being in the vicinity.

Then there was the forth, oh my word. I couldn't give a you-know-what whether we are 3-0 or 10-0 down, there is absolutely no excuse for a group of professional footballers to 'defend' situations like we did in the final few minutes. Wahbi Khazri had only just come on however Ryan Bertrand, who had been playing from the start, managed to shrug off the Tunisian 3 yards into his 50 yard run which led to Jason Denayer's own goal.

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