The holding midfielder role has been the itch that Gus Poyet couldn't scratch. All season he has needed Ki's passing ability in two positions, in the holding role and as a creative link between midfield and his most forward players.
The holding role is not just about protecting the defense and winning back the ball. It is also about being able to quickly turn defense into attack. As a holding player Ki is excellent at turning out of a tight spot and starting attacks, but hes not so great at winning the ball in the first place and protecting his defense. Lee Catternole has the opposite qualities as a footballer. He is immense at pressurising the opposition, but his ability to find a through pass from deep is poor, and he is guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous areas. This is a problem for Sunderland and Poyet as he often misses the runs of strikers and wingers and slows down our counter attacks.
For me Bridcutt should solve this problem. Im not saying hes a Xavi Alonso, but he is a more rounded player than Catts or Ki and can pass and tackle. This should allow Ki to play higher up where hes most effective and leaves a space and an opportunity for another midfielder. If its Cattermole then potentially we will win the ball higher up the pitch, which should see us get our strikers and wingers through on goal more regularly on the counter. If its Colback we will have 3 players that should be able to keep the ball for fun, and stats prove teams with the majority of possession win games. That third slot is a great opportunity for someone to be effective, grab it and make it their own.
In the words of Miyoko Ohno, Japans famous bridge builder, 'balance is beautiful'. Poyet will be hoping Liam Bridcutt will bridge the gap between defense and attack and bring the balance that has been lacking to his Sunderland midfield.