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Reader’s Corner: Why Sunderland fans shouldn’t be surprised by Charlie Wyke’s scoring form

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Welcome to Reader’s Corner, where we invite YOU, the good folk who skim these pages, to offer your own articles up for our website. Today, RR reader Jack Dodds explains why he believes Charlie Wyke’s goalscoring form shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone...

AFC Wimbledon v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Last week I wrote into Roker Report and expressed how I felt our lack of goals was not down to Charlie Wyke, but rather the lack of service he is receiving, which is a problem with the midfield. After a tweak in formation and personnel from our previous league games, we ended up winning by three goals to nil with our number 9 bagging himself a hat trick.

I put the lack of goals down to a lack of creativity, which is caused by us not being ruthless enough in possession, due to the way the midfield was set up however changes in midfield enabled us to create more chances.

The removal of Power from the midfield, who seems to fitting in very well at full-back, alongside a shift to 4-2-2-2 allowed for the inclusion of both Elliot Embleton and Aiden O’Brien - two players who have faced quite a lot of criticism so far this season, yet two players who are much more likely to cause problems in the final third as opposed to sitting back, which was the main problem in playing Leadbitter, Scowen and Power as a midfield three.

Despite Hull obviously being, on paper, a lot tougher opposition, we only managed 6 shots the entire game, a statistic which was doubled to 12 on Saturday, seeing our goal tally from respective games treble, and possession even drop a slight 2% proving that the difference between those games was our inability to make possession count following a change in midfield.

Wyke has proven, this season, that he will convert chances if he’s provided with them, with a 29% goal conversion rate - only second to Luke Jephcott’s 43% goal conversion rate, out of the league’s top 5 goal scorers (which includes Wyke).

AFC Wimbledon v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Taking a closer look at the first goal, which arguably led to the second and third goal as it forced Wimbledon into leaving gaps defensively, link-up play from Embleton and O’Brien caused Wyke to be able to get goal-side of the defender, and due to the space drawn from the play of the other two - a scenario which was unlikely to happen under the 4-3-3 we had been operating in due to there often only being three players daring enough to get into the box. The extra options we had what - becoming a front four going forward - allowed for more link up play, causing Wyke to be less-isolated going forward and allowing him extra space from defenders, who had their hands full man-marking others.

As for the second goal, it simply proved Wyke’s ability to finish, given how he executed such a controlled volley, that still had the required power to carry it in, before the third, which was largely caused by gaps created as Wimbledon naturally committed to attacking a lot more to claw themselves back in the game, despite it still being a well-taken finish.

I believe Saturday proved that Charlie Wyke does have the ability to convert chances if supplied with enough of them, and the way to supply him efficiently is to have an abundance of attackers.

If we continue with the 4-2-2-2 formation and continue to attack with purpose, I don’t see any reason why Wyke can’t score the number we need til the rest of the season to get us promoted.