Gary Engel says...
After his first game in charge it appeared Lee Johnson had established the key areas Sunderland have been lacking for the best part of four years.
Sunderland don’t have nearly enough pace in the side and are crying out for genuine physicality in the middle of the park. But somehow, we need to inject more goals into this team. If we need to jettison someone first there would be no surprises if Will Grigg was the first player out of the door - but finding a club willing to take a risk might be hard to find.
I don’t think Johnson or Speakman are fools, they will have quickly assessed what has ultimately been Sunderland’s failing in the last two seasons. Sunderland need a goalscorer that will take their chances, even if, initially is to keep the pressure on Charlie Wyke to keep scoring.
Few can complain too much about what Wyke has done so far this term, but even then compare his ratio to Maja or Grabban (in our Championship campaign) and that could prove the difference in where we finish.
But it isn’t just scoring the goals but creating the chances, with Johnson’s tactics and more fluid attacking stance we look likely create a great deal more. But I think there is maybe a case to find another creative midfielder, someone that can open up the tightest defences in the most difficult games. Preferably someone with some height and strength to level the playing field.
Finally, Diamond may have saved us a small fortune in terms of filling a position on the wing, but perhaps we need more options down the flanks. Perhaps a player with who can utilise more than one role down the flanks, with a bit of pace who could link-up and form the an exciting partnership on the flanks.
Kelvin Beattie says...
If I was big Lee, I would be looking for the following...
Central midfielder - strong, pacey, with a bit of aerial ability which we are currently lacking in our midfield at present. Leadbitter has literally played his socks off, but is not that type of player. Power had his best game this season against Lincoln but has been disappointing otherwise and Dobson has not risen to the challenge so far.
Left wing-back - I have been a strong advocate of Hume for a couple of years now, but he is not the finished article and in my view has played better when under pressure for his place. I would want pace, someone who is defensively solid and has a good end product.
Forward/goal poacher - nothing would please me more than to have Grigg and Graham firing on all cylinders. I think both have history of being able to do this, but we need to keep the pressure on Wyke for his place and have options to play up top with him when the need arises. Wyke has done well this season and under a more attacking ethos could prosper, however I feel we need a natural goal poacher which Wyke is not, as well as somebody effective to cover for injuries and wear & tear when games are coming thick and fast.