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Quick Kicks: Sunderland v Everton Thoughts & Reaction

Gav gives his thoughts on the fallout from last night's game, a defeat to Everton which sees Sunderland sit second bottom of the league with a minus five goal difference despite being just four games in to the Premier League campaign.

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David Moyes has proven to be an honest and brutal speaker since joining the club and generally what he says is pretty close to the truth. So, if you don't like being told how bad Sunderland are, you might as well skip this segment.

In his post-match email Moyes assessed the performance of his team, noting that some of them simply were not good enough.

He said:

I thought we did well in the first half; we looked as likely as Everton to get a goal in that opening period.

Come the second half Everton were in the game a lot more and we made some basic defending errors and they cost us.

We didn’t stop crosses, we weren’t in the right positions to defend and they should be simple things to do that we didn’t do well enough.

We’ve got a lot of youngsters in the side and one or two new faces; while they were culpable of some of the mistakes, a few of our more experienced players were at fault too. As a back four we did not do the basic things needed to stop a team when they’re attacking.

We need a team to give us a way to go forward, we’re still trying to find a way of playing that suits all of the players and we’re also waiting for players to come back from injury.

[Jan] Kirchhoff played for the first time today and it was good to have him back after a while out. We lost Steven Pienaar during the week with a hamstring injury, which was disappointing as he’s done well and we need players like him who keep the ball.

Overall tonight I’m most disappointed with our defending in the second half.

I'm glad Moyes wasn't afraid to place blame on Sunderland's more experienced players because it's important that we establish that just coasting through games is not good enough, especially at home. Patrick Van Aanholt and Lamine Kone were shocking in the second half, whilst Papy Djilobodji channeled his inner Paul McShane and had a collective of brain-farts which led to Romelu Lukaku scoring the quickest and easiest hattrick of his career.

It's easy to point fingers when your team lose games but tactically I thought we were fine in the first half - we tried to sit deep and soak up whatever Everton threw at us, which I said in my preview would be the key to us gaining something from the game. This of course affected our play going forward, because the full backs barely got out of our half, but generally we were OK.

What a manager cannot legislate for is his players forgetting what their jobs are. You can spend hours on the training pitch working on patterns of play, set piece routines and individual coaching but it amounts to nothing when your eight million pound international central defender decides that he wants to wander out of defence and try to intercept a pass on the half way line that he really should not be trying to win.

Me and many others at the game were baffled by Duncan Watmore's inclusion in the starting eleven and his performance last night created a domino effect throughout the team which stopped us from having any sort of meaningful attacking play. Watmore is a very effective runner and his pace can cause issues on the break but so many times last night he ran the ball down blind alleys which led to us losing possession. Duncan is young and still has time to learn, but his manager should know when it is the right time to take him out of the spotlight.

On a sour note it was a shame to see the ground so empty at the end of the match, but unfortunately that is where we are at as a fan base having been let down on countless occasions in home games over recent times.

I spoke in my preview about the need to make the Stadium of Light a place that teams struggle to win games at again and last night's performance has me worried that we're still one million miles away from that being a thing we can fall back on - it feels as though we as fans turn up to games now despite not particularly looking forward to it or enjoying it, and that's sad.