The North Eastern side had the longest trip in the Premier League this weekend, but they could not continue their impressive defensive start to the season at St Mary’s Stadium, conceding more goals in one game than they had in every other match this season combined.
Goals Jack Cork, Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama, as well as two own goals gifted the Saints the biggest victory of the current Premier League season, and, while no member of the Black Cats starting line up could leave the game with their reputation intact, goalkeeper Vito Mannone played a bigger part in the embarrassing loss than any other player.
At fault for two of the eight goals conceded, he also indirectly contributed to a number of the strikes against him, and he was amazed to see the Sunderland faithful remain in support despite conceding five goals in a 23 minute spell during the second half.
Despite the incredibly inept performance, the goalkeeper was taken aback by the support shown, and he is keen to refund every member of the crowd who travelled to the South Coast to see the humiliating display.
Speaking to Chronicle Live, Mannone said: “I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay for their tickets and their trip.
“It is difficult for us but it’s very difficult for them as well. It is a difficult moment.
“We will go through it during the week. We will have time.
“The Premier League is really difficult. We have a tough game again at home, so there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We need to react.
“I really mean that we should pay their tickets and travel. I will do everything possible.
“We should do it because we didn’t put our foot [down], we didn’t work hard.
“We started the game well – but after we conceded we threw in the towel and I include myself.
“We lost 8-0 but we didn’t lose eight games 1-0. Let’s take it on the chin and go because we have another 30 games.
“They are special fans,”Mannone said. “We are really lucky to be at this club and have these fans.
“If it was me, I would probably not react in the same way. I can only be proud to wear this shirt. I need to do my best and each of us in the team should do our best to make them feel proud of this club and not have 8-0 defeats.”
While the offer appears to be an honest method to repay the fans who traveled all the way from the North East, it is the least he can do following the part he played in the most humiliating defeat of the Premier League season.