Sunderland had three good players on the pitch, and one who tries hard. The rest are either not good enough, didn't put enough effort in, or look out of their depth.
Jordan Pickford - 7
Made two outstanding saves to keep the score down and was left unsighted for Stoke's second. Continues to be let down by the players immediately in front of him. It is possible that he lacks the experience to marshal them effectively, but that's likely just an excuse for Sunderland's dodgy defence, and is a debate for another day.
Javier Manquillo - 5
Struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League. Looked steady enough at times on the ball but he should have done better for Stoke's first. His miss-kick late in the game summed up his day.
Papy Djilobodji - 6
Looked a little better this afternoon. A few decent tackles and blocks. This defence as a unit still isn't working, despite the personnel changes.
John O'Shea - 6
Does what John O'Shea does - looked reasonably calm and batted the ball away when required. Again, this defence as a unit still isn't working, despite the personnel changes.
Patrick van Aanholt - 5
Went off injured. Still can't defend. Never will.
Paddy McNair - 5
Involved in a couple of decent moves but largely anonymous.
Jack Rodwell - 4
Was supposed to be occupying a position in front of the centre-backs to offer protection, but too often was off the pace or nowhere to be seen. Rodwell was neatly summed up when he was pushed off the ball, as if he was a small child being shoved by a slightly bigger child, with pathetic ease in the second half.
Didier Ndong - 5
Involved in most bad things Sunderland did. Still looks lively enough on occasion but allowed Joe Allen far too much room for Stoke's crucial second goal.
Wahbi Khazri - 7
Could have had two assists in the first 20 minutes. Still looks a class act, but has few options in Sunderland's midfield to play off, so he became increasingly fraught in his movement and running as the game progressed.
Duncan Watmore - 7
Can’t fault his effort and he had a few half chances and was involved in most of Sunderland’s decent forward play. The problems lie further back, and at times he and Defoe were completely isolated in Stoke’s half with nobody coming from the Sunderland end to assist.
Jermain Defoe - 6
Not at his clinical best, and when Jermain Defoe is not at his clinical best, Sunderland do not score. Had three decent chances, which on another day might have come off for him.
Billy Jones - 5
A couple of decent blocks which is usually the part of his game no one can fault.
Steven Pienaar - 5
Did little when he came on and his introduction from the bench sums up the lack of options at David Moyes' disposal in midfield.
Victor Anichebe - N/A
Again, sums up Sunderland's desperate lack of options, this time in attack. Same as the last time he came on at the end of the game - conceded a couple of fouls and threw himself about a bit.
Man of The Match:
So the three good players Sunderland have are Jordan Pickford, Wahbi Khazri and Jermain Defoe. The one who has some promise who tried hard is, of course, Duncan Watmore.
Man of the match goes to Wahbi Khazri. That he has had to take his chance to shine as a result of injuries is perplexing. Not everything he tried came off, not by a long chalk, but he was Sunderland's most enterprising player and offers a threat from set-pieces. A class-act he remains, David Moyes' challenge is to find a way to maximise his use.
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