Connor Wickham has deservedly won the Barclays Player of the Month award for April as the Premier League continue their vendetta against SAFC in their over zealous attempts to relegate us.
I am kidding by the way.
This is yet another footmark in what has been the most ridiculous of seasons. Despite the anguish and below-average performances over most of the season, Wickham and Adam Johnson have doubled Sunderland’s all time Premier League Player of the Month tally in the space of four months. Four months which saw us climb off the bottom and out of the relegation zone, into a cup final, back down to the bottom of the league before getting ourselves back out of the relegation zone after beating Chelsea away and putting four past Cardiff. Aye, it’s all getting a bit ridiculous now I know.
With Wickham being English, cue the over-exuberant discussions about his England credentials. I say over-exuberant not necessarily because he isn’t good enough for England (which says more about the awful pool of players currently in the national team than my obvious bias), but because he plays for Sunderland so wouldn’t get a shot until he moves to a bigger club. Sour grapes over Kevin Phillips still watering my eyes, I know, but it’s definitely true.
Five goals in three games is an incredible return for any striker given the three games were Manchester City away, Chelsea away and Cardiff at home. Perhaps even more impressive though is the varied nature of the goals. First was a poachers goal, right place right time, next was an incredible run followed by a great touch and thunderous strike, then another poachers goal this time show casing awareness and anticipation before his two headed goals against Cardiff. Wickham’s flexibility and directness in his approach to leading the line has dragged us out of the bottom three, not to mention his obvious talent and desire – the latter which has been questioned for sometime.
The season still needs complete focus to ensure we do escape relegation, let’s hope Wickham doesn’t succumb to the odd hoodoo associated with Player of the Month like AJ and can continue firing us to safety. Then there is a big discussion to be had on his future, with just one year left on his contract, there is undoubtedly going to be interest surrounding him. Given how his Sunderland career has gone so far – can we really convince him to sign a couple more years?