Premier League Ponderings: Sunderland stunned in 8-0 hiding

There’s nothing quite as painful as watching your team on the wrong end of a hiding, and I’m not simply talking about a bad loss. But the rare occasion where your team looks like it doesn’t belong at the level it is, nothing goes right, and everything that the other team touches turns into absolute gold.

It can be a day-ruining punch to the gut for supporters and a potentially season defining blow to morale for the players. Sometimes they can even be pointed to as the cause of managers losing their job.

These results are so significant at this level simply because of how rare they are. There is no bad team that is in the Premier League simply to make up the numbers. All 20 clubs had to earn their position and work hard to keep it.

Which leads us to last weekend and the fixture between Southampton and Sunderland. One team, which has started the season extraordinarily well and another that has kept losing games, all the while managing to only concede seven goals in seven games.

At least it was that low until the team travelled south and managed to concede eight in a single match, including a couple of own goals that would look at home on any season’s highlight reel and looking only slightly more effective than the elementary students I used to coach.

In response the club made the rare – but not entirely unprecedented – move of reimbursing the admission cost for the entire travelling supporter contingent. It was an apology of sorts from the players and management for stepping onto the field and giving such an abject performance, and really the only thing they could do.

The league damage is done.

Whether or not this result has any further implications in the rounds to come remains to be seen, but without a doubt this will be one of the biggest beatings of the year and one Sunderland’s supporters won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

In other news around the league, Queens Park Rangers joined Sunderland in putting the ball twice through their own net against Liverpool.

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City helped himself to four goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal had Danny Welbeck to thank for a draw again Hull City as they struggle to keep pace with the leading pack.