Six things we learned from Sunderland’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur

Lee Cattermole (left) and Jan Kirchhoff team up against Tottenham. Picture by Frank Reid
Lee Cattermole (left) and Jan Kirchhoff team up against Tottenham. Picture by Frank Reid
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It was more White Hart pain for David Moyes and his Sunderland side today.

But what will the Black Cats boss have learned from the 1-0 defeat which left them second-bottom of the Premier League table with just one point from five matches?

Sunderland can’t let their concentration drop for one second:

The last person you want to deliver a gift to is the Premier League’s most adept goal-getter.

That, alas, is what Sunderland did at White Hart Lane, Papy Djilobodji making a real horlicks of dealing with a ball which dropped loose from Kyle Walker’s cross.

It rolled invitingly to England striker Harry Kane, who administered the KO blow to a defence which while on the ropes had refused to fall.

The effort was there to see from the Black Cats, but concentration levels cannot dip, certainly not in your own six-yard box.

Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff need time to get up to speed.

Given last Monday night’s late horror show in the 3-0 defeat at home to Everton, boss David Moyes was desperate to boost the shield in front of his back four.

Back came Cattermole after recovering from a double hernia operation and the skipper produced a terrific effort in the middle of the park.

So, too, did Kirchhoff, making only his second Premier appearance of the campaign.

The experienced operators cannot be expected to be firing on all cylinders just yet, but the pair certainly earned their salt at White Hart lane.

Sunderland need to keep a watch on their discipline:

A trip to White Hart Lane and trying to rein in some of the finest attacking figures in the Premier League was always going to be fraught with risks.

Spurs had a lot of the ball, tons of it in fact, so the tackle count was high and a number of players found their way into referee Mike Dean’s notebook.

No Black Cats player could have any real gripe with the yellow cards shown for the fouls – Manquillo, Jason Denayer, Lee Cattermole, Adnan Januzaj and Papy Djilobodji all had their names taken.

But on-loan Manchester United forward Januzaj’s dismissal proved frustrating for Sunderland.

Sunderland can ill afford to lose players, especially ones with pace, and Januzaj’s absence through suspension is something they can ill afford.

Supply line to Jermain Defoe non-existent:

Sunderland’s goal threat has dried up in recent weeks – and it is a major cause for concern.

Defoe had a good chance to open the scoring, Jordan Pickford’s pin-point punt upfield finding the 33-year-old.

He couldn’t make the most of it though, with Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris getting down low to make the save.

But, in terms of chances, that was pretty much it for Defoe. And you can hardly blame him, with so few balls into his feet or crosses into the box.

Wahbi Khazri needs to do more to get back in the side:

Much has been said and written about the Tunisian winger’s absence from the Sunderland side.

But, on this evidence, it is no surprise that Moyes isn’t naming Khazri in his starting line-up.

His touch was poor, his efforts to win the ball back left much to be desired and generally he needs to show more if he is to win his starting place back.

Khazri was one of the key players in the second half of last season, Sunderland desperately need him to get back to that level of form.

Key double header at the Stadium of Light coming up:

It may be premature, but the upcoming home games against Crystal Palace and West Brom could already be season-defining.

Sunderland have so far been beaten by Middlesbrough and Everton at home. The Black Cats are desperate for some league momentum from somewhere.

Typically, Palace seem to have hit form going into the game, but Moyes needs his Sunderland side to get a win somehow.

West Brom, who hit four goals against West Ham on Saturday, follow the week after.

A crucial seven-day period ahead of another international break.