@GRokerReport - N'Dont Play Him, Please!
Like most Sunderland fans I try to take positives whenever we sign a new player. When Dame N'Doye signed I was looking forward to seeing what a more mobile, athletic option up front could do, especially with Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham leaving to make way for the Senegal striker.
Much like Fletcher and Graham, though, Dame NDoye has suffered from, well, not being good enough to dislodge Jermain Defoe, meaning he's shoehorned into a position he's clearly not comfortable in whenever Sam feels he needs him on the pitch.
If the argument is to play him, but up front then.... meh. No thanks. If we need to relieve pressure late in the game then I suppose we could, but since arriving N'Doye has only ever started games out wide, which would suggest Sam doesn't particularly fancy playing him anywhere but out wide.
We saw against Newcastle just why he should never be allowed to play on the left again. It's all well and good having an outlet for the long ball but these days wide players need to be able to defend and, due to no fault of his own, he's not good enough to do what is needed.
Now that Jeremain Lens is fit, and with Duncan Watmore close to returning, there really is no need to ever play Dame N'Doye on the wing again.
Even as a forward I'm just not convinced at all. His touch is poor, he doesn't win anywhere near enough aerial challenges and I'm not sure if he did play games as a striker he'd score goals. I can't put my finger on what it is, exactly, but something just doesn't work with N'Doye.
Is he really a better option than Steven Fletcher? i guess time will tell. Sam needs to only use N'Doye if he's desperate - he's a massive weak link in a side that cannot afford passengers.
@Capt_Fishpaste - God Dame, He's A Striker!
There is no inherent problem with using Dame N’Doye. The problem is surely how he is being used.
N’Doye was signed to replace Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham in the squad as the big lump striker who helps relieve pressure late in games by getting hold of the ball and being awkward. It’s something that he did brilliantly against Manchester United too. Late in the game he was a handful for a defence desperate to retrieve the ball and he was able to win free kicks and be a right pain in the backside for them.
What he wasn’t signed to do, presumably, was stand out on the wing in a position he clearly doesn’t understand and chase players back into his own corners. He isn’t equipped to do it, either technically or mentally, yet that is the job he is being given and then we get on his back when he is atrocious at it.
It could well be a familiarity thing in all honesty. We wouldn’t be blaming Fletcher or Graham for being awful wingers because we know them well enough to know they can’t do it. We are not really there yet with N’Doye but we should probably cut him a break.
But, the point is, that in his natural, normal position, N’Doye is capable of making a real contribution. He’s done it before and there is little reason to suggest he won’t again. It’s not a question of not using him, it’s just a case of using him correctly.
Who do you side with? Vote below!