Gav - Cut Him Some Slack!
I can completely understand why James Vaughan’s celebration on Saturday might have annoyed people.
He’s not really done the job which he was brought in for, and that is to score goals on a consistent basis. He was the first striker we signed after allowing Jermain Defoe to leave to join Bournemouth and with that came some frustration that perhaps he wasn’t adequately replaced - therefore Vaughan’s inability to light the place up almost immediately didn’t instantly endear him to the supporters.
So to then see him aggressively gesture towards the supporters with his hands cupped to his ears after scoring on Saturday was disappointing - but I do understand his frustrations.
Just as we too have been frustrated that Vaughan has under-performed, he too cannot be happy with his current situation at the club. He’s left a safe position at Bury where he was the main man to jump up a league and join a team that have underwhelmed all season long and, to make matters worse, he’s not getting in the side because Lewis Grabban has proven to be far more prolific as the games have wore on.
On top of that - rightly or wrongly - he’s received a fair amount of criticism from us here on Roker Report, fans around the world and the local media.
So to see him let all of that frustration out wasn’t too alarming. I’m disappointed, yes, but to me it shows he cares and I’d certainly suggest that one thing you cannot level at James Vaughan is that he’s a shirker, or that he doesn’t try his best. Unfortunately, sometimes his best just isn’t good enough.
So, I say cut the lad some slack. He was wrong to do it but what he did wasn’t overly offensive and I’m sure that scoring will have helped him and his confidence immeasurably, which can only benefit us and Chris Coleman in the long run.
Damian - What’s he playing at?
It isn't easy playing football, and that's doubly true of playing football for Sunderland. It's a frustrating place to be as I'm sure most would attest to, and in that sense I can understand Vaughan’s frustration somewhat.
Coupled with the usual burdens of toiling for an under-performing club, a goal drought and fan animosity is surely enough to upset even the most patient man.
But that doesn't excuse the fact that James Vaughan simply hasn't been very good.
This isn't some damning indictment of the man. Though I'm not exactly a huge fan - because I haven't been given a reason to be - I won't try to convince you that he's poor or even poorly suited to us. Players take time to bed in, chemistry takes time to develop and a hundred factors can decide whether a player hits the ground running, or stumbles for a while first.
But when you're faced with misdirected animosity and unfounded arrogance - if that is indeed the basis for Vaughan’s 'celebration' for only his second goal in eleven appearances - you have to take a second glance.
If James Vaughan is upset with anyone for the lack of natural connection with the fan base that barely know him and have precious few reasons to be grateful for him, he only has James Vaughan to blame.
All I'm saying is that for all his potential value to Sunderland in the coming years, and for all that his contributions so far are as valuable as the next players, there's only one way to go about bridging that gap between player and fans: get your head down and graft.
A few more goals, a few more assists and a lot more effort alongside the rest of the team than has been shown in the first half of the season, and if there are still any doubters by all means: make whatever gestures you please at those rare individuals.
But until we can all safely say that's the case, don't sulk about the frustrations of the fans that pay your wage. Prove you're on the same side.
Where do you stand - who do you agree with?
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