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OPINION: One moment of madness shouldn’t taint the Sunderland fans’ view of Bryan Oviedo!

The Costa Rican’s violent transgression arguably cost us three points on Tuesday night, but has the reaction to Bryan Oviedo’s red card against Peterborough been just a tad over the top? Roker Reporter Christopher Wynn reckons so, and says Bryan could still play an important role this season.

Sunderland Echo

Barring a few voices, the reaction at the time to Bryan Oviedo’s red card seemed to be fairly unanimous.

It wasn’t violent, it wasn’t dangerous and it certainly didn’t hurt as much as Marcus Maddison made out - but there’s no denying that it was petty, idiotic and what most would describe as a rush of blood. It was a decision that most people ultimately weren’t arguing.

The response in the aftermath, however, has been slightly surprising. Nobody could really argue against it being was a moronic lapse of reason, but the reaction took a turn which led to fans referencing how much money the player is on or even the fact he was signed by David Moyes.

I’m all for having a go for his actions in getting sent off, but to say this shouldn’t happen because he is on a lot of money compared to his teammates, or because he’s an international who played in the World Cup - to name just a couple of reasons mentioned - is fairly ludicrous.

This type of incident could happen with any player. It isn’t Bryan Oviedo’s fault that it was dour Dave who signed him and offered him an indulgent weekly wage. Those facts are irrelevant and should simply not be part of the equation.

Sunderland Echo

There have also been the calls to say that he should be bossing this division and influencing games more than he has been. I think the only player I have ever seen control a game from left-back was a young Gareth Bale playing for Southampton in the Championship where literally every attack started and ended with him.

But, it’s fair to say Bryan Oviedo hasn’t set the whole division ablaze. He has been one of our better players in some games, been average in a few and has had a couple of errors in others. At times, he’s been the best source of attacking play down the flanks and scarcely loses possession. Not the absolute best player this season, but far from the worst.

The indifferent start to the season has followed a summer of us expecting the Costa Rican to leave the club which, much to the fans disappointment, he was upfront and honest about. A move hasn’t materialised for him and unlike others who I’m loathed to mention, he has returned to the club and - despite his reluctance to stay - he has looked to have been perfectly professional about the situation.

The summer has also included representing Costa Rica in the World Cup; this meant missing out on having a pre-season in the traditional sense and, like many other players returning from the World Cup, has found it difficult to get back into the weekly domestic fixture schedule.

Oviedo is now facing a three game ban, so would potentially return for the home game against Southend United at the end of October if selected, and with Denver Hume out until mid-November this leaves Reece James as our only recognised left-back.

Sunderland Echo

It will be interesting to see how Reece James will kick on given a run of games if selected. James has shown potential in his limited appearances so far, especially going forward.

What will also be interesting to see, however, is how Oviedo responds to the time on the sidelines. This may give a chance for Jack Ross to get in his head and get him hungry to return to the team in good form.

If Oviedo does leave when the window opens at the beginning of the January, he will still be available for at least ten league games through November and December. This equates to ~20% of the league campaign and I for one would hope we have a fit and in-form Oviedo who is playing in the right frame of mind, even if it is with the hope of moving away.

As we have seen in flashes, this would be an asset in this division and ideally will help to set us up to kick on in 2019.

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