Aiden McGeady isn’t consistently effective across an entire game, but he’s definitely clinical
If a player floats about aimlessly for eighty-five minutes but scores two goals in a five minute interval, that is often enough to satisfy the lay man or woman’s criteria for Man of the Match. Whether or not this is entirely justified is ambiguous but, if a player wins you the game with a fraction of his teammates’ efforts, that player naturally seems to be the most significant contributor in spite of them not breaking a sweat.
This analogy is an exaggeration of the performances of Aiden McGeady. The Irishman wasn’t exactly useless for the vast majority of the game in which he wasn’t taking aim at the back of the net, but he was far from brilliant off the ball compared to the likes of George Honeyman.
His first half was quite poor, his second reasonably average, but ultimately he converted the two goals which separated us from our opposition. His performance last week against Southend, as well as many of his performances last season, were very similar to this one we saw today.
Frustrating though he may be at times, McGeady’s clinical, individual brilliance is something I certainly wouldn’t want to do without.
Jon McLaughlin’s save in the second half was as good as a third goal
Plymouth captain David Fox will have been as surprised as anyone in Home Park at the very moment when his goalbound effort was somehow tipped away by the glove-tips of one Jon McLaughlin.
Honestly, what a bloody brilliant save that was. In the moment we were ecstatic, and in retrospect we can see it being as good as a goal in itself.
We barely had our noses in front having just nabbed the opener and despite Plymouth sitting 22nd in the table, they’d won their last two and netted seven times all the while. This was a team building momentum and capable of scoring goals - had there been a keeper between our sticks who wasn’t capable of weekly heroics, it’s plausible that they would’ve equalised, smelled blood, and pushed on for two or three.
But that save stops them in their tracks, maintains our advantage and allows us to seek out the second goal that’ll kill them off. The McLaughlin save is worth a goal, in the sense that it’s taking one from their roster to preserve our position.
We are going to win the league
The team has clicked. The players have excellent characters, are dedicated professionals and could go toe to toe with any opposition in the division. The manager is young, ambitious, intelligent and can pull off second half substitutions with the best of them.
The owner is a football man who would build the bridge between the fans and club himself if it wasn’t just a metaphor, a Uruguayan billionaire investor turned presidential candidate bumps shoulders with the faithful in the South Stand and the seats of the SoL are a prominent, definitive crimson rather than an indecisive shade of salmon.
Sunderland Association Football Club has won our hearts back. Now they’re going to win the league.