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The statistics show that these are the three best and three worst Sunderland players this season

They don’t, of course, tell us the fully story, but according to individual statistics these are the three best and three worst performing players in the Sunderland side this season.

Sunderland AFC

Best Three Performers

Bryan Oviedo

It’s not too surprising to see that, even on paper, the Costa Rican is one of our better players, making his omission against Brentford on Saturday even more baffling. Although he didn’t recover from injury until September, the left back has appeared twenty three times, scoring once and assisting twice.

Not only does he chip in with 1.7 interceptions per game - the best of any of our full backs - he also make good use of the ball with 1.3 key passes per game, the joint highest in the entire team.

Although his pass completion is a fairly average 72%, his tackles per game (2.4) is once again the highest of any other player in the team. He is quite simply head and shoulders above the rest of the team.

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Aiden McGeady

He has tailed off since his best mate Simon Grayson got the boot, but the Irish winger is still far and wide one of the only reason we have half a chance at survival. In 24 appearances, he has scored six goals and chipped in with three assists - which on paper, is not too far away from his outstanding form he showed at Preston last year.

He takes on almost two attempts at goal per game, with his closest rival Joel Asoro being miles behind him on 1.2 attempts per game, whereas he also sits in joint first place for key passes, matching Bryan Oviedo’s haul of 1.3 per game, whereas his passing accuracy is second only to Adam Matthews.

Although we expected it, McGeady also attempts to take his man almost double the amount of times anyone in red and white does. Simply put, he’s as frustrating as they come, but we’re far more creative and likely to score with him in the starting eleven.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

George Honeyman

George Honeyman has been a real marmite player this season for Sunderland fans, but his stats show how important his industry may prove in our relegation battle. Appearing 30 times this campaign, The former Gateshead man’s maiden season has seen him play more games than anyone else. He has rewarded Grayson and Chris Coleman’s faith by scoring three league goals and assisting a further two.

Where the midfielder has been most important though is in his ability to win us the ball back and also win free kicks - he wins 2.5 tackles per game, which is 0.5 ahead of any other midfielder, whereas he is also our most fouled player at 2 per game. He on par with Bryan Oviedo and Joel Asoro in his take-ons and sits third when it comes to chances created.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Worst Three Performers

Billy Jones

Surprise, surprise - statistically, the former West Brom man is our worst player. Who would have known? Just about everyone I’d expect.

He seems unable to win the ball back, conceding 1.4 fouls per game (our joint highest), receiving four yellow cards and manages only one interception per game - woeful for a defender. At 64.1% he is the worst passer in our squad by some margin and tallies second lowest for defenders when it comes to clearances with only Adam Matthews on less. Add to all of this that he’s the player who touches the ball least, but I guess that’s what cowards do - hide.

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Callum McManaman

The former Wigan player has been a huge let down. On the pitch, it’s evident he’s petulant and not up for the fight - on paper, it reads pretty much the same.

For a supposed tricky winger, he only attempts 0.2 dribbles per game and his crossing is horribly low at 0.4 - that’s the same amount of crosses Ethan Robson and Darron Gibson manage per game from holding midfield positions. Shocking really.

His time spent on the ball is horrendous too, coming in at joint second for attempted passes - much like Billy Jones, it’s what you call hiding from responsibility. Again, he is also second lowest for tackles attempted. It must be lovely being his full back. Lazy, uninterested and not talented enough.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Lynden Gooch

I’ll admit I was surprised at this one, but the American hasn’t had a good season - especially statistically. In fact, it’s quite alarming.

For a player who is meant to bring some industry and attacking prowess to our midfield, his key passes per game is terribly low at 0.5, whereas his dribbles per game also look dire at 0.7. It gets worse when you look at the amount of time he has on the ball, coming in at less than 10 touches per game - not great when you consider his style of play.

Although I would never level criticism his work rate and desire, for Lynden it is quite shocking to see he only makes 0.1 tackles per game, which is far and wide the lowest in our team. His one goal and two assists save him from a disastrous season perhaps, but the stats don’t lie for the youngster either.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

For the purpose of the article, all statistics are taken from, and I only included players who had appeared at least ten times over the campaign up to and including the Brentford game. I have also not included players no longer at the club, such as Lewis Grabban or Didier Ndong.

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