This weekend, Sunderland notched a valuable win away to Accrington Stanley. Three first half goals killed off the game as the Lads came back from a difficult start to bag three points.
Immediately after the performance, we reached out to other fans on Twitter and asked for their thoughts as to what they saw as positives, but also what they thought needed improvement.
There was a great response and below is a compilation of some of the more agreed-upon ideas and some embedded Tweets. Do you agree with these opinions, though? Let us know in the comments section below, or via social media!
Pros— Kingy (@Kingy78_) September 14, 2019
Hume looks settled
Dobson runs without dragging a tug boat about like Power and Leadbitter
Comfortable away win
Yet another game without clean sheet
Final ball poor especially 2nd half, should have scored more
Sat deep as always second half letting them cause problems
Several people noted that Denver Hume’s performance was worthy of plaudits, and it’s hard to disagree. Assured in defence, willing to break forward and create opportunities for others - including a great assist for Lynden Gooch - Hume looked to be back in the kind of form that originally enabled him to break into the Sunderland first team.
With three goals already this season, Lynden Gooch has seemingly rediscovered the kind of form he was displaying at the beginning of last season. Something that looks to be serving the American winger well is the manner in which he has looked to simplify his game. Although still guilty of occasionally over-complicating things, Gooch now looks for a simple outlet and in turn finds good attacking positions. His goal this weekend was superb, and he was a constant source of energy all over the pitch.
George Dobson’s performance was also highlighted several times as a source of optimism. The box-to-box midfielder was tenacious all afternoon, and although he struggled to thoroughly dominate the midfield, he was tidy in possession and also looked to break forward as an attacking threat. Fans have been critical of Sunderland’s conservatism in the middle of the park, but Dobson’s energetic showing demonstrated what could be.
Finally, multiple fans noted the positive aspect of the side’s reaction to going behind only to show great character in coming back to comfortably win. It’s a fair point that deserves highlighting.
Pros: We won, Gooch scored again and we came from behind— Fletch (@Fletcher1993) September 14, 2019
Cons: Grigg still struggling for confidence, We can’t keep a clean sheet and Jack Ross is still our manager.
The confidence issues plaguing Will Grigg is a really difficult quandary for Jack Ross to resolve. The Northern Irish forward should be clinical at this level - as his record suggests - but unfortunately the former Wigan man is struggling to find the back of the net. He missed a golden opportunity late on in Saturday’s game and has continuously struggled to find his form. A recent goal in the victory over Burnley showed his predatory instincts, and at the weekend Grigg showed some really positive play. We’ve been saying it for a while but it feels like Grigg just needs that one great game to spark his Sunderland career into life.
A lot of fans also noted that our continuing lack of defensive solidity is also cause for concern. There is definitely a case to be made that Sunderland will need to improve defensively moving forwards - the arrival of Joel Lynch and Laurens De Bock will hopefully add competition and improve our overall play. Ultimately though, while we should definitely look to improve our defensive showings, we cannot assert all of our focus on keeping clean sheets. Sometimes teams become preoccupied with their defensive solidity and lose sight of the very thing that wins games: goals. Sunderland were arguably guilty of this last season - the Lads just need to keep finding ways to win.
A few fans singled Jack Ross out for criticism, but truthfully that’s a difficult topic to discuss. Four wins, two draws and one loss in the league isn’t poor form by any means. There are plenty of things to improve on, but Sunderland aren’t in a crisis right now, and the Lads could sit atop the table if they win their game in hand. I know Ross isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re not in a bad place right now this season.