Should Luke O’Nien leave Sunderland?
I don’t think I can get away with a word count of one, but to be honest with you, it’s all I need because it is the simplest way to answer the question. Why on earth would you want to get rid of someone who bleeds red and white, who is quite possibly the most positive man on the planet and...
Let us take it back to a simpler time. It's 2018, where COVID-19 sounds like something Donald Trump would accidentally tweet from his toilet seat, and Luke O’Nien signs for Sunderland from Wycome Wanderers, where questions are asked about his quality before he has played a single minute for the Lads.
Admittedly, I was also asking questions about the quality of the signing as, in my head at the time, Sunderland should've been singing Yann M’Vila because we were still a Premier League team regardless of the fact we fell through the EFL without a paddle.
On the opening day of our first League One campaign against Charlton, O’Nien found himself in the starting lineup. After running about like he was playing Supermarket Sweep he was substituted at halftime, presumably so he could complete the Round Robin questions. O’Nien only played 161 minutes from 4th August until 22nd December, which isn't a lot of football by any standards.
It was as inspiring as Jan Kirchoff’s debut against Spurs, although, like our favourite glass-legged German, O’Nien turned it around and started making 90-minute appearances for the Lads whilst regularly ̷t̷r̷y̷i̷n̷g̷ ̷t̷o̷ ̷s̷n̷a̷p̷ ̷o̷t̷h̷e̷r̷ ̷p̷l̷a̷y̷e̷r̷’̷s̷ ̷l̷e̷g̷s̷ making strong tackles, much to the enjoyment of the Sunderland faithful. Except his ligaments didn't crumble apart like a granola bar.
O’Nien is our little workhorse in the centre of the park where, sometimes, it's going to go against him, much like it did when he came off the bench versus Coventry last weekend because Luke is going to get it wrong and will rightly get stick for those performances.
I stated on the Roker Roundtable after the game that O’Nien isn't the type of player we need to bring off the bench because after coming on, he tried to collect cards like an angry Pokemon Master, which disrupted the flow of our game and cost us three points. Yet I can guarantee that if O’Nien came on, bodied some Coventry players and netted the winner, he would have erected more Semis than the Tories ever did.
O’Nien is more than a midfielder; Sunderland fans can tell it isn't just a paycheck. He is out in the community and is often helping at the Foundation of Light whilst having so much time for the fans. In Portugal, Luke spent time having a kick around with the kids, chatting to fans and even offering to make phone calls to others so they could be involved. He is a great ambassador for this club, and one we can't lose.
We have to give time to our players as they take the giant leap between League One and the Championship, where the gulf in quality can expose players like O’Nien, but he will shine through, even if he is only used as a squad player this year.
Any way... Alexa: play Status Quo - Rocking all over the World.