Early signs with Ozturk aren’t good
Despite Jack Ross’ proclamation that we were done signing defenders when Jack Baldwin came to the club last month, you have to wonder if his stance has altered having watched Alim Ozturk turn in two less than convincing performances in the two games he’s started in so far this season.
Whilst all-round he didn’t actually have a completely terrible game last night he made a huge error which soured his performance, gifting Sheffield Wednesday their opening goal at a time when we were completely on top and never looked like conceding.
His slow, ponderous nature almost cost us a few times against Charlton on the opening day, but against a better quality of opposition he was made to pay for his poor judgement and reading of the game - something which must surely be worrying Jack Ross, particularly with an injury list that just keeps on mounting.
In an ideal world we’ll have Glenn Loovens and Jack Baldwin fit to play in every league game, but we can’t just expect that will be the case. And if they aren’t fit, the next in line to start is Alim Ozturk - who, unfortunately, looks a little bit out of his depth.
Its early days and I hope that he improves, but you can’t help but wonder if Ross is thinking that we may need another centre half in on loan before August comes to an end.
Playing to our strengths
Isn’t it nice to see Sunderland playing a style of football that suits us?
Obviously the complete lack of a proven centre forward didn’t help us in last night’s game, but the build up of play from back to front was fantastic to watch at times, particularly in the first half when we were all over our opponents for the most part.
We aren’t big or physical but we have some hard working players, so getting them to play short, sharp passes with a high tempo really suits both the individual attributes of the players and all-round style of the team itself.
Off the ball we were magnificent too, pressing high up the pitch in order to try and force Sheffield Wednesday into either making errors or pumping the ball long and high up the pitch.
I really hope sooner rather than later that Jack Ross has a stronger squad to pick from, because with it I honestly believe we’ll play some really exciting football this season that will not only please the supporters but also bring us some solid results.
Hume good on debut
I’ll reserve the final word for young full back Denver Hume, who I thought did really well on his full debut for the first team - particularly since he was played out of position on the right.
He wasn’t perfect and certainly made some mistakes on the ball, but I felt he coped very well all things considered when up against strong opposition - and he’ll have done his chances of impressing the Sunderland manager (and potential loan suitors) no harm.
He passes the ball well, gets forward with ease and works very hard for the defence. He listens to instruction from his teammates - Jack Baldwin certainly kept him in check from a positional sense - and overall I feel that he gave a good account of himself.
Well done Denver - here’s hoping you continue to thrive when given the chance to play.