February - The Month That Was...
Having came away from January and the transfer window feeling fairly positive, we had a mixed month where we managed to go without a win from any of the five games that we played.
Despite facing an out of form Ipswich Town, some awful defending at the Stadium of Light meant that the Tractor Boys ran out 2-0 winners, and we followed that performance up a week later coming back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Bristol City thanks to two own goals either side of a strike from Aiden McGeady.
With some good feeling restored following the manner of our performance at Ashton Gate we, in typical Sunderland fashion, fell to bits against Brentford, losing 2-0 for the second home game in a row. Our fortunes didn’t improve when we travelled on the Tuesday to meet fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers, losing 1-0, and then we rounded off what was a thoroughly depressing month with a 3-3 home draw in a truly crazy game with Middlesbrough last Saturday.
In truth this was incredibly difficult, and trying to think of four players that have performed well enough to warrant inclusion was a thankless task.
I do, as always, have to credit George Honeyman for his work-rate and effort at least. He’s played in nearly every position on the pitch in this past month and whilst he’s not exactly a favourite with a small section of the fanbase, he’s one of the few that go out there every week and give it their all.
Unfortunately he’s been ruled out again for a few weeks with injury, but Paddy McNair was pretty decent on his return to the side and his presence will be missed. He was probably our best player down at Bolton, and then before succumbing to injury against Boro he was one of our top performers - and we undoubtedly suffered from his departure in the second half.
Whilst I’m not his biggest fan, I thought that Lee Cattermole played a huge role in both of our 3-3 comebacks and he deserves credit for doing so. His performance at Bristol City in particular stands out and he had a hand in all three of the goals.
And The Winner Is...
Granted - it was the slimmest of slim pickings, but your winner is Joel Asoro, who ran away with our poll on Twitter taking 86% of the total votes.
Asoro has been great throughout the month and has firmly established himself as one of the first names on the Sunderland team sheet, proving that he’s capable of striving at this level having been given the chance to show what he can do.
Playing off the right hand side and up top, Asoro’s pace and trickery has added plenty to Sunderland’s arsenal and he’s even starting to show composure in front of goal. His role in the games against Bristol City and Middlesbrough cannot be underplayed and he deservedly takes home the award for the month of February.