Wise Men Say: Allardyce must move to strengthen the Sunderland defence again

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Dick Advocaat called out to Ellis Short and Lee Congerton for six quality signings when he came back for his second spell in charge last summer.

We often heard him insist that the squad he’d inherited from Gus Poyet didn’t possess enough quality to steer itself away from (constant) trouble.

Guess what, Dick? you were right.

Yann M’Vila and Younes Kaboul are arguably the only “quality signings” who have impressed since last summer. Jeremain Lens could/should be inserted into that bracket, but, even after an improved performance at Arsenal on Saturday, he still hasn’t earned his place in my opinion.

Harsh maybe, but unfortunately true.

The January transfer window is now open, and yet again we find ourselves desperately needing a number of fresh faces through the door.

Sam Allardyce has SURELY got to be targeting defenders. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out where we’re falling short.

With the second worst goal difference in the league, it’s got to be a priority.

The current crop just simply aren’t good enough.

All three Arsenal goals at the Emirates on Saturday were avoidable if our defenders had done their jobs correctly.

I can actually remember laughing when Arsenal scored their second* * goal in particular.

Seb Coates might as well have been in Esquires at The Bridges drinking a large white hot chocolate.

Is a Premier League defender supposed to watch the ball and be oblivious to everything going on around them?

I was under the impression that they should have their body opened up, and be aware of both the player with the ball and any other players around them. I may be wrong....

Our first signing of the window was thankfully announced late last week, in the shape of 6ft 5in German centre-back Jan Kirchhoff.

Although he’s had injury problems in the past, anyone who’s been on Bayern Munich’s books, and has Champions League experience, can surely only improve our back line.

Let’s pray that he hits the ground running.

Big Sam has came out and said he only expects another two players to come in during this window.

With reports suggesting that we’re closing in on a loan deal for Senegalese striker Dame N’Doye, it would appear that we can only expect one more player to arrive.

Fingers crossed that it’s another defender. If so, we might just have enough to get us over the line once again.

* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes