In a season of defensive calamities and general inability to playfootball you'd be forgiven for expecting our best player (who still plays forthe club) this season to be someone further up the field. Statisticallyhowever, the two vying for the prestigious CV note 'I was the least worstplayer in the worst Sunderland team of all time" are both defenders.
Let's be honest there are few positives when it comes to performanceson the pitch. That said we look a little less hapless at the back when JohnO'Shea is in it. Only a little less, let's not get carried away and suggest thedefence suddenly solidifies like a good piece of soldering when he's on theteam sheet. The Irishman does compare favourably against all of his defensivecolleagues, and Squawka (responsiblefor all stats in this piece) reckon he's our best player.
When it comes to defensive actions, no-one in red and white holds acandle to the defensive stalwart that is JOS. With a 64% tackle success -better than anyone else by a full 10% - and 61% aerial success - the bestagain; it's obvious that he is still our best defender. Unsurprisingly he hasalso performed by far the most clearances - 180, averaging around nine pergame, so unstoppable even Denzel Washington would have to concede defeat.
Challenging the Irishman for such a sought after accolade is BryanOviedo. The left wing back has often been the only mildly effective offensiveoutlet in the side, marauding up and down the wing like 3-legged terrier.Despite his defensive duties, which in fairness he attempts (kinda), only AidenMcGeady has made more key passes than him. Oviedo also has two assists to hisname - unprecedented. His take on success rate of 66% is decent too.
So who has been the best?
I appreciate this is immaterial with Sunderland now odds on to go down- perhaps spending your free bets earned at 888sport backing thatis not worthwhile as a result - however you're still here so are as bored as me, so a winnermust be decided. While browsing 888sport site, you will have an option to beton multiple sports with the best odds, also you can think about placing a beton Sunderland’s next match, which gives you a great opportunity to increaseyour budget effectively with this online bookmaker.
Oviedo loves a foul, and a booking - notching seven already with onlyyou-know-who earning more. In his defence, he has earned far more free kicksthan he has given away, but sloppiness in the tackle has left us vulnerable ona few occasions given we collapse in a heap like screaming three year olds atthe prospect of defending a set piece. 1-0 to O'Shea.
The attacking influence of Oviedo is worth a point in itself, givennobody else can provide such a tepid impact. A cheap point to concede, somethingO'Shea knows all about. 1-1.
Sunderland's biggest problem, apart from being terrible and havinggoalkeepers responsible for around 150 goals conceded so far this season,is their effectiveness in possession. Sloppy balls, lack of movement etc etc.Squawka have a probably very intrinsic and clearly reliable to the point ofgospel scoring facility. One of these scoring points is regarding a player’spositive impact in possession. There were only two Sunderland players with apositive score - Ethan Robson and Darron Gibson - the highest achieving anose-bleeding six. Compare that with the Championship’s best player, Fulham'sTom Cairney, who has a score of 250, it's clear how naff we are in possession.
Anyways tldr; Oviedo has a pretty dismal score of -147 in possession,whilst JOS is bearable on -15. 2-1 and therefore victory for O'Shea.
Our least worst player so far, the same player we've spent sevenseasons trying to replace - John O'Shea.How very Sunderland.