Sunderland's poor defensive start to the season has been caused by confusion in the back four due to the language barrier, according to left-back Patrick van Aanholt, as reported by the Chronicle Live.

The Black Cats' comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of Everton on Monday means they have yet to win a match in the Premier League this season in their opening four matches. 

But, perhaps, the most concerning aspect for all associated with the Wearside club is that they have already conceded eight goals.


And 26-year-old van Aanholt believes it is down to a breakdown in communication caused by his defensive teammates not being able to speak English.

Spain U21 international and Atletico Madrid loanee Manquillo started at right-back, while Papy Djilobodji started in central defence in the defeat against Everton. Van Aanholt believes they must work on their communication in training in order for Sunderland to stop leaking goals.

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League

“Of course the new players need time to adapt," the 26-year-old said. “We saw against Everton, we had the right-back Manquillo and at centre-back, Papy.

“Papy is familiar with the Premier League, having played for Chelsea, but we need to help them in training and try to speak the same language because it’s very hard to understand them on the pitch.

“But we’re training every day with them, so we’re trying to explain to them how to adapt, how to play, and they’re taking it very well.

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League

“We just want to move forward now.”

David Moyes' men face an uphill task against Tottenham in their next Premier League game, with Mauricio Pochettino's men still unbeaten in the league after impressing in their 4-0 demolition of Stoke City last weekend.