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Quick Kicks: Paddy McNair would be a real force in League One - Sunderland MUST try to keep him!

Should we blame Coleman for the signing of Camp? Should we not blame him for Fletcher? Yes and yes is my answer to both - and on a brighter note, Paddy McNair is unreal. Here’s Quick Kicks.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Camp has been awful, and I’m afraid Coleman is accountable for that fact

I don’t know if it’s because I’m captivated by his post-match-presser charisma, or simply because I don’t want to admit my club to another ride on the managerial merry-go-round; but what I do know is that I don’t want to blame Chris Coleman for anything that goes wrong - lest we do anything remotely resembling us turning against him.

However, the signing of Lee Camp is an inescapable failure on his part. Signing a competent goalkeeper in order to avoid depending on Robbin Ruiter and Jason Steele was arguably our top priority - but Camp was far from the solution to that objective. I’m aware, obviously, that transfer funds were non-existent at best, but surely there was a better option than him?

Yesterday featured yet another game in which calamitous ‘keeping contributed to our now inevitable relegation to League One. If we’d signed anyone half-decent between the sticks back in January, we probably wouldn’t have to keep lamenting this premonition.

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly
Camp was hailed by Rotherham fans as a saviour when they were fighting relegation - for us his impact has been quite the opposite.
Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Fletcher is an easy target for criticism, but he’s been unlucky recently

After hitting the post against Derby, Leeds and yesterday at Reading, I’m prepared to say that Ashley Fletcher is a striker who would be on a decent run of form in another life, but has suffered from some desperate bad luck in this one.

He wasn’t our most involved player at the Madjeski but he took his chances when they fell to him; had his shot in the first half been an inch or two to the left, he’d have be on the scoresheet. Similar things can be said of the last few games he’s played in - the lad is just out of luck.

Sadly these ‘almost goals’ won’t be enough to convince the Sunderland faithful that he can actually be a threat in front of goal - so the likelihood is that he’ll be sneered at with phrases involving the cow’s arse and the banjo, both now and in retrospect.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
It’s just not happening for Fletcher.
Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images

McNair is tremendous at this level, so he’ll be even better in League One!

That’s what logic would dictate, anyway. Paddy McNair has been an integral cog in the midfield engine since returning to the side and quite clearly he has a goal in him - his pearler of a finish yesterday will attest to that!

If McNair has looked a cut above (in our team, at least), then he should be head, shoulders and torso above the competition in League One. We absolutely need to do everything we can to hold onto him.

Think of how next season would turn out if we got relegated, a new owner and already had players like Paddy in our side! It might actually make me feel good about my club having a stint in the third tier.

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League
McNair was playing for the Premier League champions just a few seasons ago - will he want a season in League One on his CV?
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

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