Can Jack Diamond force his way into the Sunderland starting line-up?
Jack Howe-Gingell says...
I think Diamond certainly deserves a chance to shine. Each time I’ve seen him play he’s lively, works hard, can take a man on and puts a good cross in. He also showed against Carlisle that he is capable of scoring goals, with a crashing shot to end the game’s scoring.
I think I would bring him in for O’Brien. He has flattered to deceive since joining, managing to miss a multitude of excellent chances in the process. Bringing in Diamond might give him a reminder that he needs to work harder to keep his place.
Diamond will give us something different. Most sides will know little about him, and he will be eager to impress following a successful loan spell with Harrogate, culminating in their promotion to the Football League.
Parkinson just needs to do the right thing, and finally be bold for once.
Frankly I don’t see the point in making mass changes for these cup games if we don’t actually use them to benefit the team. In the case of the Carlisle match, Jack Diamond was arguably man of the match. He carried the ball confidently with pace, and was a constant menace to their defence. He scored a cracking goal - his performance deserved something like that to cap it off.
If that sort of performance doesn’t make Phil Parkinson sit up and take notice then nothing will.
There’s not a great deal to worry about with this team but, if we’re going to nit-pick, I think it’s fair to say that we don’t score enough goals. To me, a player like Diamond is more likely to create and score you goals than Charlie Wyke or Aiden O’Brien, and both players have had plenty of chances to play this season, and have not impressed.
Those two spots behind Danny Graham should be occupied by any of Maguire, Diamond and Gooch. Diamond has earned a chance of starting in a league fixture.
Chris Wynn says...
Although it’s been a solid start to the season, it doesn’t take a genius to see the areas that we can improve on. Our attacking play at times this season has lacked imagination, positivity and above all, pace.
During pre-season and our two fixtures so far in the EFL Trophy, Jack Diamond has consistently shown that same attitude and intent to make things happen, something that has been evidently lacking in large periods of our League One campaign so far.
After surprisingly missing out on a place on the bench for the opening two League One fixtures, the 20-year-old has managed to force his way into the matchday squad for the visit of Peterborough United and the trip to Charlton Athletic, and based on his form it’s surely only a matter of time before he gets the nod in the starting XI.
The obvious questions would be - who would he replace and in what position would the Gateshead-born midfielder be utilised?
So far, it seems that Phil Parkinson had deployed Diamond in the same wing-back role as Luke O’Nien, but in the knowledge that he has played the role as more of a natural wide midfielder due to the level of the opposition. This means he hasn’t been expected to carry out any of the defensive duties that would be expected whilst facing a League One rival.
It would be more likely that he would occupy a similar role as Josh Scowen has recently, a more advanced midfield role in support of the striker on the right side of the pitch or potentially the role of Aiden O’Brien to be the closest support to the lone front man.
Due to the fact he hasn’t yet appeared in a League One fixture however, it’s likely he will be introduced slowly as a substitute for a little while longer before we see him in a starting line-up. But if results start going wrong and the points dry up, expect this process to accelerate - at a rate of knots.