Sunderland 1 AFC Bournemouth 1: Quality signings are a MUST plus five other things learned from Cherries draw

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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They never make it easy, do they?

This had been billed as a must-not-lose game, with AFC Bournemouth threatening to pull away from the relegation zone.

Lee Cattermole looks for a pass

Lee Cattermole looks for a pass

Yet, Sunderland found themselves behind after just 13 minutes, another early goal conceded.

Patrick van Aanholt cancelled out Benik Afobe's opener to rescue a point for the Black Cats.

But what did we learn from the draw?

Point gained after awful start but wins needed:

Patrick van Aanholt scores against AFC Bournemouth

Patrick van Aanholt scores against AFC Bournemouth

There was a strange atmosphere inside the Stadium of Light at full-time.

A mixture of boos and applause as Sunderland's home game with AFC Bournemouth ended all square.

Was this a point gained or two lost?

Well, after the utter dross served up in the opening 45 minutes, it has to be seen as a point gained, especially with Norwich City and Newcastle United both beaten.

Benik Afobe scores the opener for AFC Bournemouth against Sunderland

Benik Afobe scores the opener for AFC Bournemouth against Sunderland

But wins are needed, especially ahead of games against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Why can't Sunderland defend properly in the opening 15 minutes?

Before the game, there was a damning stat which told you everything you needed to know about the Black Cats.

Bournemouth had scored seven goals in the first 15 minutes of Premier League matches - the most this season - while Sunderland had conceded eight in the same period.

The worst record in the league. Well, make it nine now.

Sunderland knew the danger posed yet AFC Bournemouth were allowed to get a cross into the box, Benik Afobe got in front of John O'Shea and Vito Mannone's weak hand couldn't

prevent the opener.

Just 13 minutes had surpassed.

But knowing there is a problem and having the quality to prevent it, are sadly, two very different things.

Can a crazy Premier League season throw up a shock result in Sunderland's favour?

In the next seven games, Sunderland face Manchester City, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Everton at home and Liverpool, West Ham United and Southampton away.

A tough run of fixtures.

But in this, the craziest of Premier League seasons, it shouldn't be seen as a daunting run.

The so-called big four have all come a cropper against teams further down the league table this campaign.

Can Sunderland spring a surprise?

One thing is for sure, they will have to at some stage if they are to stay up this season.

Patrick van Aanholt comes up trumps again.

Who'd have thought at the start of the season that heading into the second half of the campaign, Patrick van Aanholt was Sunderland's star man. Again.

For the second successive game, the flying Dutch left-back scored and he has now had a hand in four goals in four Premier League games.

Sadly, for him, his 'goals' against Aston Villa and Swansea City have gone down as own goals.

But still, his performances have reached another level recently and long may it continue.

Where would Sunderland be without his recent efforts?

Quality is the name of the game this week.

The transfer window closes a week on Monday and Sunderland MUST add some quality to their squad.

So far, the Black Cats have signed Jan Kirchhoff (not even in the matchday squad against AFC Bournemouth after picking up a 'niggle'), Dame N'Doye (didn't make it off the bench) and veteran Steve Harper as a No 3 goalkeeper.

Hardly the quality additions that Sunderland need to stay up, with all due respect to those three.

Allardyce is trying and trying hard to bring in new players.

Easier said than done but a new striker and a new defender are an absolute must before the next Premier League game with Manchester City, a week on Tuesday.

Service to Jermain Defoe was shocking. Again.

I felt sorry for Defoe on Saturday afternoon, he barely had a kick first half and had to feed on scraps in the second.

The service to the former England forward was woeful, too many long balls and over-hit passes.

Defoe is never going to be a targetman, so why play like he is?

The balls up to him beggared belief at times.

Sunderland need to be wiser in their approach play and make better decisions.