Creaky Sunderland head 3 things we learned from Capital One Cup

The Capital One Cup gives the Football League teams are real chance to make a name for themselves early on in the season, as many take on the big sides still finding their feet.

That was no different this year, as the second round threw up some interesting ties and impressive showings. Port Vale took West Brom to penalties at the Hawthorns, League Two Carlisle beat QPR and lowly Luton gave new-look Stoke a real scare.

Here we cast our eye over Tuesday’s ties and deduce what we learnt from an intriguing night of football.

Sunderland’s defence is even worse than we thought

It’s safe to say it has been a pretty dire start from Dick Advocaat’s men. A single point at home to Swansea is all they have to show for their endeavours in the league and without Jermain Defoe they would be in even worse shape.

However, it is at the back that they top the calamitous stakes. The Black Cats had already conceded eight times in three league outings prior to this game, leaving pundits pulling their hair out and their supporters regretting begging for their Dutch boss to stay.

So, they would have been expecting a more assured performance against Exeter at the Stadium of Light, what they got was a shambles. The Grecians scored three times in the north-east, as they exposed the creakiest of defences. Worryingly, that was pretty much the back four expected to start against Aston Villa this weekend.

Florian Thauvin could be a Geordie favourite

The silky French winger only signed last week but he put in a good display against Man United and was excellent here. Yes, we know it was against Northampton, a team in the bottom tier, but the ease with which he dictated the game has to be admired.

The Frenchman was involved in all four of the Magpies’ goals, grabbing one himself and assisting the three others. Let’s face it, any man who can lay on goals for Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat in the same game is doing something right.

The 22-year-old is 12/1 to open the scoring against Arsenal this weekend.

Scott Sinclair may have found his mojo

The ex-Swansea star has really struggled since his major money move to Man City, followed by a turgid spell on loan at West Brom. Nevertheless he showed signs of his old self last season, so much so that Aston Villa made his deal permanent this summer.

The forward notched a hat-trick against Notts County to avoid an embarrassing defeat for the Midlands giants and was lively in a more central role. Something that won’t have gone unnoticed by Tim Sherwood.

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