Long trips to the south coast should come with a warning sign for Sunderland supporters.
Fans still have nightmares about last season’s 8-0 demolition job by Southampton and there was little to cheer in the 2-0 defeat to newly promoted Bournemouth.
Shielding their eyes from the late summer sun, they watched in horror as the Black Cats conceded two quick-fire goals to condemn them to a fourth league defeat.
Summer signing Younes Kaboul wasn’t involved in the drubbing at St Mary’s but he was one of the chief architects in the club’s downfall at Dean Court.
Kaboul, it is fair to say, had a shocker.
An hour before kick-off it was confirmed John O’Shea was missing through illness and the alarm bells started ringing among Sunderland fans.
The Black Cats miss his organisational skills and those fears came true early on against a rampant Bournemouth side.
Kaboul, handed the captain’s armband, partnered Sebastian Coates in the middle of a Sunderland back four.
But they were all over the place, unable to cope with the pacy Cherries attack or their attractive one-touch football.
It wasn’t long before Eddie Howe’s side took the lead.
Callum Wilson – tipped for an England call-up by his manager – spun Kaboul, leaving him for dead before clinically finishing past Costel Pantilimon.
It was far too easy, Kaboul not strong or quick enough to deal with Wilson’s quick-thinking and even quicker feet.
There was little Kaboul or any of the other defenders could do about Bournemouth’s second – a wonderful strike courtesy of the left boot of Matt Ritchie.
But after less than 10 minutes, the game was effectively over.
Kaboul was struggling, fouling Wilson on the edge of the area for his first booking of the afternoon shortly before half-time.
The 29-year-old Frenchman would later regret that lapse in judgement.
It would be wrong to solely blame Kaboul, Billy Jones and Coates were also poor, while the midfield didn’t do enough to provide cover and Jermain Defoe was left to rue another costly miss.
But Kaboul, enduring a torrid afternoon on the south coast, was at the heart of everything that went wrong for Sunderland.
And his afternoon was eventually ended prematurely when he picked up his second yellow.
Again for a foul on Wilson on the edge of the area.
This time a late, swoosh of his leg brought Wilson down. A stupid challenge which left him trudging off, handing over the armband.
Yet it was all so different the week before when he enjoyed his best game in a red and white shirt in the narrow defeat to Spurs.
He managed to contain Harry Kane and even, surprisingly, offered a big threat going forward.
His performance at Dean Court was at the other end of the spectrum.
Awful from start to his early finish. One to forget for Kaboul, who now misses the visit of Manchester City.
If Sunderland are to stave off relegation then a solid foundation at the back is a must.
They haven’t found any sort of consistency yet and the last thing Dick Advocaat needed was an individual display like the one his stand-in captain produced at Bournemouth.