clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Make Your Case: Who Plays Right Back v Man Utd?

Adam Matthews, Billy Jones or DeAndre Yedlin - who should start against Manchester United on Saturday in the right back berth?

Sunderland are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to who Sam Allardyce plays at right back at the weekend, with the lucky player selected tasked with keeping the enigmatic Anthony Martial quiet whilst also attempting to stop the alarming rate of goals that we seem to concede from our right hand side.

Strangely, Sunderland have three players that are specialists in that position, yet which of them is the better of the three is a query that nobody seems able to answer with full conviction.

Billy Jones has been Big Sam's first choice all season but has struggled massively in recent weeks and, rightly so, his inclusion in the side has been questioned. DeAndre Yedlin hasn't started in the top flight since being withdrawn after nineteen minutes against Watford in December, whilst Adam Matthews has not started a single Premier League game since signing from Celtic in the summer.

Myself, Andy Tomlinson and Rory Fallow sat down to mull over who should play at the weekend against Manchester United from the three players - make sure you vote in the poll at the bottom once you've read what we have to say!

@GRokerReport - #GiveMatthewsAChance

Since coming off the bench on the opening day of the season away at Leicester, playing thirty-six minutes of the game, Adam Matthews hasn't kick a ball for the first team in the Premier League and, quite frankly, has been treated no better than a Guantanamo prisoner. Now is finally the time for Sam Allardyce's torturous ways to stop.

I know he gave away a goal ninety seconds after being introduced into the Toronto game in pre-season, and I know he's usually always injured, but we all make mistakes.

How can someone have a second chance if they haven't already had a proper first one?

Think about it. What if Adam Matthews was actually as good as Cafu and Gary Neville all rolled in to one, but we're being denied our right to see him gracefully glide across the Stadium of Light pitch purely because Billy Jones is like that lick arse at school that used to knock about with the teachers on a break time? What if he's just really, really shit in training, but really, really mint in games? Hey, some of the world's greatest players weren't the best on a training pitch but more than made up for it with their showings on a match day.

Billy Jones has been given more than enough opportunities to stake his claim as Sunderland's first choice right back and, time after time, he throws it straight back in our faces. DeAndre Yedlin is rubbish too, and on top of that he has a stupid haircut.

What is it going to take for someone to take a gamble on our Welsh Wizard? It would be criminal if he was to leave when the loan window re-opens without being given a proper chance to show that he's capable of playing at this level.

Adam Matthews could be our relegation saviour in waiting, and it's downright bang out of order that he's being kept from us.

@SAFCSource - Jones Is The Best Average Right Back We Have

Billy Jones is actually our best right back option, despite his horrific form of late.

Adam Matthews somehow managed to be worse in his brief appearances in the side, mainly in pre-season and the under twenty-one's side - he's not just poor, but injury prone too.

Our other option, DeAndre Yedlin, is the only real competition to Jones as it stands but he's poor defensively and unless we plan on using three central defenders with wing backs he's not a better option.

I wouldn't say Yedlin was a worse option than a completely out of form Jones but, as it stands, our best chance of shoring up the defence at right back is to somehow get Jones playing at his best.

His best might well be distinctly average but, with Sam Allardyce being unable to bring in a new player in that position during the transfer window, average is the best option that we have available. For me, we stick by Billy Jones on Saturday.

@RoryFallow - Yedlin In!

Sometimes, a change is as good as any. Billy Jones needs to be taken out of the firing line, for his sake, for the teams sake and for the supporters sake. It's time to give DeAndre Yedlin a chance.

Yedlin looked bright when he first broke into the side earlier this season, giving us a quick and skilful alternative in the right back position. But, as concerns grew about Patrick van Aanholt's defensive frailties at left back, Sam Allardyce felt that he had to balance our full backs by putting the more 'solid' Jones back into the side.

Did Yedlin deserve to be dropped, though? The only standout poor game he's had was away at Everton, but he was far from the only one that day, as we were dismantled and fell to a 6-2 defeat. The Spurs loanee hasn't started a league game since Watford at home in mid-December, a match where he was substituted early in the first half. This wasn't down to him playing particularly poorly, either. He was taken off for Jack Rodwell, in a tactical substitution, as Sam Allardyce rejigged his system due to Sunderland not being able to cope with Watford in midfield.

Sunderland continued to lose game after game in December but Yedlin still didn't get a look in. Even over the past month, with our form inconsistent, the USA international hasn't really been considered for a starting position. Surely now, with time running out, it's time to take out the under performing Jones and replace him with a player who will champing at the bit to prove his ability, as his loan spell draws nearer it's end?

If we continue with a three man midfield of Jan Kirchhoff, Yann M'Vila and Lee Cattermole then Yedlin knows that he has players to cover him if he wants to display his attacking ability. Who knows, we may even see a similar attacking contribution from him as we've seen from Patrick van Aanholt. It's time to find out.

Have we persuaded you to change your mind? Vote below for who you think should start at right back against Manchester United on Saturday!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report