Lynden Gooch has claimed the top spot in the second week of the Roker Report Power Rankings. The American international was at his absolute best in our rampant 4-1 victory over Gillingham and whilst he wasn’t as influential against AFC Wimbledon, he still played an important role in our first goal.
Josh Maja drops just one spot to second - unfortunate, perhaps, since he scored and assisted against Gillingham, but he struggled against Wimbledon’s physical back-line which means that Lynden just edges him out at the top.
The evergreen Lee Cattermole completes our top three. The ex-Wigan midfielder was good against the Gills but earns his spot off the back of his sensational goal-scoring heroics at Kingsmeadow on Saturday, and should he put in another match-winning performance this coming week he could rise even further up our table.
Dylan McGeouch has broken into the top 15 after his first two competitive appearances for the club. The wiry Scot was especially effective in getting on the ball and helping the lads grab a foothold in their tough away match-up with Wimbledon.
Alim Ozturk had the ignominy of finishing bottom of the inaugural power rankings out of active players. The 25-year-old has risen to 15th after his first good game in red and white, where he was assured and dependable against Wimbledon’s direct attack following his introduction to the game at half time in place of Glenn Loovens.
The wooden spoon among our twenty-one active players now belongs to Donald Love. The 23-year-old was dreadful in both games this week and must have Jack Ross contemplating his other options at full-back, even with Adam Matthews out injured.
1: Lynden Gooch (2) - For our money he’s been Sunderand’s most impressive player so far this season. Gooch had a quiet game against AFC Wimbledon, but plenty did in red and white, and he leads the League One assist charts with four from five games.
2: Josh Maja (1) - Drops one place from the top spot. The teenage sensation was superb against Gillingham, but really struggled to make an impact against a street-wise Wimbledon team.
3: Lee Cattermole (8) - Two goals in one game?! Lee Cattermole is loving life in League One - credit to the man for an unbelievable turnaround. He’s dominating games at this level.
4: Max Power (5) - He scored a terrific goal against Gillingham and was arguably one of Sunderland’s better performers prior to be hooked at half-time against the Dons.
5: Jack Baldwin (7) - Really impressive against Gillingham, his last ditch defending was crucial in keeping the Gills at bay. He struggled with Wimbledon’s set-piece threat, but he was far from being the only one.
6: Chris Maguire (4) - His poacher’s effort was crucial in launching our comeback against Gillingham, and his excellent cross set-up Cattermole’s stunning winner at Wimbledon. Misses out on the top spot for his inconsistent all-round play in both matches.
7: George Honeyman (9) - He was especially brilliant in the first-half against Gillingham. Our captain, like most of our attackers, wasn’t as effective against Wimbledon.
8: Jon McLaughlin (6) - Drops two places for his role in Gillingham’s goal - the stopper has looked suspect from crosses at times in our last two matches.
9: Glenn Loovens (12) - A mixed bag again from the Dutchman. He was caught out for Wimbledon’s opener, and subsequently subbed off. Loovens does move into the top ten for his assured performance against Gillingham.
10: Reece James (14) - Our diminutive fullback was excellent against Gillingham - his flying tackle to win possession for the fourth goal being a real standout moment. He was also removed by Ross when we were trailing at Kingsmeadow.
11: Brian Oviedo (3) - Missed the Gillingham match through injury. In his second-half cameo at Wimbledon he was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty and getting himself sent off.
12: Adam Matthews (10) - Didn’t play in either fixture, meaning the Welsh international drops out the top ten due to inactivity.
13: Dylan McGeouch (21) - Two impressive substitute appearances see our deep-lying playmaker enter our top 15.
14: Bali Mumba (11) - An unused sub in both matches.
15: Alim Ozturk (20) - Enters the top 15 after a much better showing at Wimbledon.
16: Luke O’Nien (13) - Came on late against Gillingham when the game was already won. O’Nien’s ranking continues to drop, with the former Wycombe man still looking to kick-start his Sunderland career.
17: Denver Hume (15) - Brought on late against Gillingham when Ross felt he had to protect Donald Love. Arguably the second best right-back in the Sunderland squad.
18: Jerome Sinclair (16) - Still unavailable through injury.
19: Elliot Embleton (17) - Didn’t get on the pitch in either match.
20: Luke Molyneux (19) - Was in action for the under 23s - and scored a very good goal - after failing to make the bench for the last few first-team games.
21: Donald Love (18) - Two awful performances - he simply must do better if he wants have a career here at the Stadium of Light.
22: Charlie Wyke (22) - Our big summer signing should make the squad at Oxford now he’s returned back to training this week.
23: Tom Flanagan, 24: Aiden McGeady, 25: Ethan Robson, 26: Duncan Watmore, 27: Robbin Ruiter, 28: Max Stryjek, 29: Didier Ndong, 30: Papy Djilobodji.