Grabban is finding his groove
The fact Lewis Grabban managed to bag two very good goals against his old club tells its own story - this is a player who has a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove following some bad experiences in recent years, and his partnership up top with James Vaughan seems to be taking shape rapidly.
Grabban’s reading of the game allowed him to get on the end of Vaughan’s headed flick for the first, and then for his second he timed his run perfectly in order to nod home Aiden McGeady’s cross.
All in all it was a stellar performance, and a massive stake claimed by the former Norwich striker as Simon Grayson looks to finalize his first choice players in that position.
McGeady is top class - £250k is an absolute steal
What a performance. What a goal. What a player.
His goal was a thing of beauty - a powerful efort on his weaker foot, arrowed in to the top corner of Angus Gunn’s net, one which the Norwich keeper got absolutely nowhere near as the sheer pace of the strike took it away from him.
And then the cross for Lewis Grabban’s second was just awesome. I don’t actually recall the last time a Sunderland winger put a ball into a dangerous area quite like that. Breathtaking.
Aiden McGeady is supremely talented, and at this level he’s capable of causing absolute havoc should he so wish to do so. I’m actually quite baffled as to how he never made anything of himself at Everton - from what I’ve seen so far I feel he’s definitely Premier League standard.
Browning continues to improve
Tyias Browning is a player that I’ve just immediately warmed to - the potential for him to be a colossus of a defender is definitely there for all to see, and I think we’re really going to enjoy watching him grow this season.
I’d argue that Browning was our best player yesterday, in terms of a performance over the entire ninety minutes.
He and Lamine Kone are very similar in both their style and athleticism, and whilst they play very well together it was great to see the Everton loanee perform admirably against Bury in midweek alongside John O’Shea too.
Steele needs time to settle in
The competition for the Sunderland number one jersey is fierce. And, having seen his position under threat almost immediately since arriving here, it has been nice to see Jason Steele react in just the way that you’d expect an experienced Championship player to do so.
He made a superb double save towards the death against Norwich and it was his fine kick down the pitch that led to us opening the scoring. He was good in the air and commanded his area well - it was a solid performance.
I was one of the many Sunderland supporters that completely lost it with Jason Steele after his debut performance against Celtic, but it’s nice to see that Simon Grayson has kept faith with him. In doing so he’s probably earned the respect of the player, and in the last two games it’d be fair to say that Steele has given a good account of himself.
Vaughan has value in this side
Whilst James Vaughan has not yet been able to add goals to his game it would be unfair to dismiss him purely on that basis.
We were told almost immediately by Simon Grayson that Vaughan is the type of player that will work his socks off for the team and I think that much has been evident in every performance so far. His lack of success in front of goal has not been for the want of trying either, and I’m sure the goals will come.
Yet, should the rest of the Sunderland players continue to put the chances away, I’m not sure it’s actually such a huge issue. Vaughan is a complete nuisance and he’s creating both chances and space for his teammates, which is incredibly important.
Galloway works hard - but he still doesn’t look comfortable
I always say that all we can ever ask of any individual is that they give us their all for as long as they are wearing a Sunderland shirt. With that in mind, I’m keen to not criticise Brendan Galloway too much because he’s given his best in every game that he’s played so far, and I’d be going against my beliefs if I didn’t at least give him some credit.
I feel a little for him, because he doesn’t look overly comfortable at left back and it’s affecting his performances. Maybe once Bryan Oviedo is back fit we’ll see him given a chance to show what he can do at through the middle.