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Quick Kicks: Watching Darren Bent goad Sunderland’s fans was as pathetic as it was infuriating

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There’s plenty of talking points to be taken from the fatal blow that knocked our club into League One. How much did the absence of Lamine Kone affect us? Why was Darren Bent’s goal such a sad sight? And can you believe our ‘keeper was actually alright for once?

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Taking off Lamine Kone cost us the game

Say what you will about Kone’s attitude - no doubt most of what you say will probably be right - but you can’t deny that he’s been a solid, consistent component of our defense this season when he’s featured.

As soon as he picked up a knock and made way for the vastly inexperienced Jake Clarke-Salter, I knew we were in trouble. We looked unconvincing at the back from the moment the big Ivorian went off and before too long Burton were nabbing a late equalizer and subsequent winner.

If we had Kone’s composure and sheer physicality in those dying minutes, I’d like to think that we could’ve weathered the storm.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship
His mentality divides opinion, but the quality is still there.
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Watching Darren Bent goad the home fans was as pathetic as it was infuriating

Eight years ago, the thought of high-flying Sunderland goalscorer Darren Bent coming off the bench for Burton Albion in a Championship relegation scrap to score against his old club was nigh on inconceivable, but here we are.

Watching him come on as boos resonated around the Stadium just reminded me of how much potential he squandered by leaving us. Watching him wheel away in delight, winding up a sparse, fragmented home crowd which once adored him whilst his own side were destined for the same fate was just... sad.

I felt like I was watching a man with a dead career laugh at the mangled remains of a club which once co-existed with him beautifully. It’s a stark, infuriating reminder of how far we’ve both fallen and makes such a gesture look pathetic.

Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland - Premier League
A shadow of what he once was.
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Jason Steele actually played quite well

A lot of Sunderland fans probably thought they’d ‘read the script’ prior to today’s game and thus we’d be relegated from the Championship via the umpteenth goalkeeping howler of the season - but evidently that wasn’t the case.

Jason Steele turned out a (relatively) good performance and made some crucial saves toward the game’s conclusion which kept us kicking. We still lost, like, but we didn’t pull our usual embarrassing theatrics.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship
We’ve certainly seen this bloke do worse.
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

I hate football

It’s shite. Now get me to Gillingham away.