Six things we learned from Sunderland v Southampton including Allardyce’s tactical decision

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Defeat to Southampton at the Stadium of Light made it three losses in four games for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce.

So much for a honeymoon period, hey?

But what six things did we learn from the 1-0 defeat ahead of the two-week international break?

Allardyce needs to settle on a system:

It came as no surprise whatsoever to see Allardyce ditch the 3-5-2 formation after the Everton debacle.

Sunderland reverted back to a more familiar flat back four.

And they looked far more solid as a result. The 1-0 defeat had nothing to do with the system or the defence.

It was down to a major error of judgement by Yann M’Vila, who had been one of the better players on the pitch.

But the end result was the same. Allardyce needs to find a formation that can get the best out of Sunderland defensively and offensively, as Sunderland were poor in the final third.

‘The worst first half since football began’

This was one of the more polite assessments of Sunderland’s first-half at the Stadium of Light on our matchday blog.

The football was poor, the atmosphere flat with little for the fans to cheer.

Whether it was one of THE worst halfs of football is up for debate.

But what is for sure, Sunderland fans better get used to it as they need to grind out results.

And they were on course to do just that until M’Vila’s moment to forget.

Duncan Watmore finally gets his chance.

He has had to be very patient under Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Sam Allardyce but finally Watmore got his chance.

It went down well with the fans before kick-off and added some freshness to the Sunderland starting line-up.

After a bright opening few minutes, fans were expecting the best.

Sadly, it petered out from there but still a proud day for Watmore and his family. His first ever start for Sunderland AFC.

And there will be many more to come.

Halloween has gone but Sunderland are still playing with a ‘fear factor’.

Allardyce said as much himself, post match.

And if they don’t shake it off soon and start playing with some freedom and confidence then Championship football beckons next season.

Not as easy as it sounds to achieve that though, sadly.

Hard work on the training ground and finding a system that works will go a long way. A tough two weeks ahead.

Sixteen long days until the next game.

Ah yes, time for another international break.

It has been at least a month since the last one hasn’t it?

They come around so frequently these days. And with Sunderland not playing until two weeks on Monday, a long fortnight ahead beckons.

They could be seven points adrift too by the time they kick off away at Crystal Palace.

That doesn’t bare thinking about.

And finally, Sunderland do Remembrance Day commemorations very well.

A little left field this one but worthy of note. Every year the club seems to go above and beyond to mark the special day in the country’s calendar.

And this year was no different, with 2,000 serving military personnel, veterans groups and families of soldiers who have lost their lives in the service of their country at the Stadium of Light.

It was the clubs biggest-ever military tribute.

Well done, Sunderland AFC.

Read more: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/sunderland-afc/latest-safc-news/safc-match-analysis/sunderland-0-southampton-1-six-things-we-learned-as-the-fearful-black-cats-are-beaten-again-1-7558950#ixzz3qveNpRb6