For over a month, as Sunderland struggled to score goals and turn draws into victories, these rankings placed Jon McLaughlin in another stratosphere to his teammates.
Now, as the Black Cats have started winning convincingly, a new hierarchy is starting to emerge.
The Mackems have a big four of Aiden McGeady, Grant Leadbitter, Luke O’Nien and McLaughlin that stand above the rest of the Sunderland squad and all fill invaluable roles that will be crucial in Sunderland’s promotion push.
All four were vital in Sunderland’s 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, with McGeady - who dominated the first-half, orchestrating most of Sunderland’s attacks - keeps his crown at the top of the Power Rankings.
Leadbitter rises one place up to second; he just stands out like a sore thumb at this level with his ability to switch play and retain possession.
Luke O’Nien is third after completing his transformation from a super-sub midfielder, who occasionally plays as a second striker, to the team’s best, most-reliable defender - incredible!
McLaughlin completes the four. He’s still our player of the season thus far, and produced one top-drawer save to deny Freddie Ladapo when the Pilgrims were pressing for an equaliser.
1: Aiden McGeady (SR) - A second straight week on top for McGeady who toyed with Plymouth at times. He’s playing at a very high level and is benefitting from Lee Cattermole’s return to the first-team, which gives Reece James more license to attack, and in turn frees up space for the Republic of Ireland international centrally.
2: Grant Leadbitter (3) - Rises one spot after a superb performance against Plymouth; his passing allows Sunderland to play on the front foot much more quickly and far more often than the team managed before the 33-year-old returned to Wearside.
3: Luke O’Nien (2) - Unfortunate to drop one spot after a typically effective, energetic display against Plymouth. The impact O’Nien has had from right-back having never played in the position three months ago, remains a remarkable subplot in the Sunderland season.
4: Jon McLaughlin (SR) - Another really impressive week with one brilliant second-half save keeps McLaughlin at four putting pressure on our best outfielders.
5: Lee Cattermole (7) - His return to the starting 11 has helped Sunderland discover a balance between attacking with intent and maintaining defensive solidarity that Jack Ross has been searching for all season. Not to mention his brilliant opener and fifth goal of an impressive season.
6: George Honeyman (SR) - Scored the dagger that killed off any Plymouth hopes of taking a point at the Stadium of Light, and that vital goal is enough to keep our skipper at six.
7: Lewis Morgan (10) - Rises three spots after showcasing some dazzling dribbling in his return to the starting line-up; he could have pushed for a top five placement if his final ball had been more consistent.
8: Will Grigg (5) - Drops out the top five after failing to add to his sole goal in Sunderland colours against Plymouth. The-27-year old was fine on Saturday, but hasn’t yet to shown the type form you’d expect from a League One record signing.
9: Reece James (8) - When Sunderland play with two deep-lying midfielders it opens up the pitch for both James and O’Nien. Unfortunately the ex-Wigan man just isn’t that comfortable going forward. He did produce some excellent crosses, as well as some badly misjudged ones, those inconsistencies see the 25-year-old drop to nine.
10: Jimmy Dunne (9) - Drops one place after a so-so showing at the back. Dunne didn’t make any major mistakes, but didn’t really impose himself on proceedings at the Stadium of Light either.
11: Tom Flanagan (SR) - Like his central defensive partner Flanagan was a spectator for most of the first-half and didn’t cover himself in glory in the second against Argyle - we’ve dropped him one spot.
12: Duncan Watmore (14) - Rises a couple of places after a lively cameo off the bench, he could have risen further if his touch and final ball were sharper.
13: Lynden Gooch (12) - Didn’t play enough minutes to impact his ranking, both he and Charlie Wyke we given two-minute ceremonial run outs against Plymouth.
14: Chris Maguire (13) - A long-term absentee, Maguire might maintain a high-ranking spot for a while, due to Jack Ross finally finding a team and formation that can consistently win football matches.
15: Jack Baldwin (SR) - Officially in Ross’ dog house after missing the matchday squad for a third straight game. (Or at least that’s what it looks like from the outside looking in.)
16: Max Power (SR) - Failed to get on against Plymouth. Whether Power starts ahead of our impressive central midfielders at Bristol Rovers in the EFL trophy will be a key decision at the Memorial Stadium.
17: Charlie Wyke (SR) - The other late substitute at Plymouth not even our out of form target man could damage his value in two minutes of match action.
18: Adam Matthews (SR) - Now clearly the second choice right-back, Matthews hasn’t made it onto the pitch since Sunderland’s disappointing draw away at Oxford United on February 9th.
19: Dylan McGeouch (SR) - Missed the squad completely on Saturday and like Matthews looks unlikely to get serious minutes between now and May unless someone gets injured.
20: Bryan Oviedo (SR) - Still not match-fit. Sunderland’s new system looks perfect for the Costa Rica international. Who must detest watching James waste so many good crossing opportunities.
21: Kazaiah Sterling 22: Benji Kimpioka 23: Robbin Ruiter 24: Alim Ozturk 25: Bali Mumba 26: Glenn Loovens 27: Denver Hume 28: Jack Bainbridge 29: Donald Love 30: Jake Hackett 31: Lee Connelly 32: Jack Diamond 33: Brandon Taylor 34: Jordan Hunter 35: Daniel Neil 36: Max Stryjek