Date: 14th August 2015 at 9:30am
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We only have ourselves to blame. We all got too excited for the new season and stupidly thought that things had changed at Sunderland. How wrong we were.

After the four-and-a-half hour bus journey down to Leicester, I was disgusted to see us concede three goals in 25 minutes. Fair play to Leicester, they worked hard and deserved the result, but I don’t think there was a single positive to come from Saturday bar the fact we scored twice.

08 August 2015 Premier League Football - Leicester City v Sunderland ;    Tension on the faces of the Sunderland supporters. Photo: Mark Leech

It often makes me wonder what the players have actually been doing during pre-season. It was the same old problems. The defence were slow to read the game, we failed to defend a set piece, Patrick van Aanholt was out of position all of the game and I don’t actually know if Billy Jones is a footballer.

Going forwards we were slow and players failed to find space and create many clear-cut chances. These are the exact same problems we were having last season. But is it any wonder with a squad that only boasted two new faces in the starting XI from last season’s squad?

The only two new faces to start were Younes Kaboul (who quite frankly had a shocker) and Jeremain Lens who will take time to adapt to the Premier League. People criticise the current squad for lacking effort but maybe they are trying and this is the best they can produce?

Lee Cattermole had his one game in seven where he loses the plot, Seb Larsson did a lot of running but had no-one in space to pass to and Jack Rodwell gave the ball away all day as usual. I sometimes think Rodwell has won a competition to play in a one off game of football with his heroes.

Adam Johnson had one of those games where he just went missing and Defoe was given too much to do on his own. You’re never going to progress in the Premier League with a squad like ours which is full of players who can play like they’ve never kicked a football ever in their life at any point in a game.

08 August 2015 Premier League Football - Leicester City v Sunderland ;    Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon tries to organise his defence. Photo: Mark Leech

What we need is a few quality signings. There’s no point looking around in the bargain basement for bang average players because all you’re going to get is poor performances. Take a look at Stoke, West Ham and, as much as it pains me to say it, Newcastle. They’ve all spent money this window and have a stronger squad in return which will easily survive in the Premier League.

A striker and a few attacking midfielders must be on the shopping list as well as a couple of defenders because what we have at the moment won’t cut the mustard in the Premier League.

We’re heavily tipped for another loan move for Fabio Borini. Yes, he would be a decent signing and enjoyed a fine spell on Wearside two seasons ago, but what do we do at the end of the year when he leaves? We’re back to square one. Another player heavily linked is Adnan Januzaj. He would be a decent signing for us as he is attack-minded and will be looking to perform and impress Louis van Gaal.

Then again, why would any “big names” want to sign for Sunderland after the past few seasons? A club which seems to be going backwards. All I know is, if we don’t sign a player of some quality soon, we will struggle to stay in the Premier League this season. There’s only so many times you can pull off the “Great Escape.”

 
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