Wise Men Say: Point made, but wins are required to make Sam’s policy work

Jeremain Lens battles for the ball against Bournemouth
Jeremain Lens battles for the ball against Bournemouth
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There has been a lot of talking since Saturday evening about Sam’s theory of “respecting the point”.

The general consensus among fans tends to be that, at home to Bournemouth, it’s not ambitious enough to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.

In his defence, there’s certainly weight behind the idea that the Black Cats have lost games this season that they should have gained a point in, due to their naive and open approach.

Those additional points would be very precious indeed in what is looking like an ever more precarious predicament on Wearside.

He’s also right in that a defeat would have seen the visitors pull further away, compounding what would have been yet another morale-crushing defeat.

If you can pull yourself away from the emotional torture of the whole situation, there is an argument that suggests he’s right. However, in order for the fans to really get on board with this way of thinking, Sunderland have to start beating teams they aren’t expected to.

Otherwise the whole thing is ridiculously flawed.

Is anyone confident that can happen?

The players, and I’m sick of saying this, have to start taking leadership.

It’s no good curling up in fear of the prospect of facing Man City, Liverpool, Man United and West Ham. Granted, City, apparently free from the curse Sunderland once had over them, are title challengers.

But the other three? The fact people appear petrified of playing them highlights just how bad things have become.

Norwich and Bournemouth have both beaten Man United, Bournemouth have beaten West Ham, Liverpool are nowhere near pushing for a title.

If these games are write-offs then just bring relegation on now.

Now, I’m not for one minute suggesting I saw anything on Saturday that encourages me to think this can happen.

So awful were the home side in the first half hour, that Sam’s hope of gaining even a point seemed utterly laughable.

The Bournemouth goal, soft as clarts from a Sunderland perspective, forced the players into their shells, the worst possible reaction when stuck in a relegation battle.

It’s more and more evident that there needs to be a massive injection of quality into the side if results are to improve, and, as things stand, which player capable of providing this would happily come and play for the lads?

Is there any remote chance this will happen?

A confusing and probably fruitless bid for Andre Ayew offers no reassurance that things are about to take a positive turn in the transfer market; players lumping aimless balls to Jermain Defoe offer no reassurances that things are about to prove on the football pitch.

I remain convinced that, should Premier League status be somehow preserved, Sam Allardyce is the right man to progress things.

But unless at least one of the aforementioned sides are beaten in the next few weeks, we’ll all be coming to terms with relegation before March even begins.

The joys.

* 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