Sunderland Grabban the Championship by the knackers


After a preseason of trepidation few could have predicted the composed, organised and ultimately effective start to the season Sunderland have made. 


That wasn't so much a direct disgruntlement over Simon Grayson's appointment, in truth the general consensus seemed to be that Grayson is the mould of manager we need to pull us away from our Titanic fate. The inability to forsee a season of excitement, enjoyment and perhaps even success was that the disasterous half decade - which lead to our deserved relegation - would overshadow any immediate impact the new manager had. Incredibly, the feeling now is that the next game can't come soon enough. It's took just two league games for that positivity to settle in.

The bookies aren't riding the hype quite yet, just check out sport.netbet.co.uk. Maybe that could work out in our favour, as if things keep going our way they are bound to jump on the wagon soon!

It wouldn't be difficult to choose a subject to focus on to shed light on our exciting start. Ty Browning, the mini-resurgence of Lamine Kone, Aiden McGeady's magic, our midfield - but today it was all about the frontmen.

Lewis Grabban will grab (that pun will never end) the headlines and rightly so. His brace puts him joint-top scorer in the league with an impressive 33% conversion rate for shots-to-goals. The Bournemouth loanee looks a class above what we've seen up top in recent seasons, with the exception of Jermain Defoe who moved to Grabban's parent club this summer.

The Croydon man is much different to Defoe and I'm not just talking about the beard. Grabban plays a little deeper, almost like an advanced playmaker rather than a striker, but he's no stranger to scoring a few goals. He notched 12 in the Championship for the team he put to the sword today. Speaking of beards, he'll never stand up to some of the glorious Nordic displays of beardry but its a commendable effort if nothing else. As you were LG x.

Who probably won't receive such a sparkling headline - something I kind of prove with my witty title (sorry Jimmy had to go for the cheesy pun) - is James Vaughan. Although yet to find the net, the basement-price buy from Bury was a huge part of our victory today. The phrase 'putting himself about' was made for players like Vaughan. 

So far this season, only two players in the entire league have won more duels than Vaughan. That is despite the former Everton man only mustering a 47% success rate in the air - suggesting he has competed in more than his fair share in the air and on the deck. He is also joint second for the most fouls and joint second for the worst disciplinary record after being booked in our opening two games. Incidentally, no other Sunderland player has been cautioned up to now. He is a handful.

Sunderland earn four points from our opening two fixtures which is a strong indication that we can avoid relegation this year - a genuine concern for many pre-kick off last game week. Grayson seems to have instilled a work-ethic not seen on Wearside since Roy Keane and the front pairing optimise that. Whatever happens this year, perhaps we can look forward to liking football again - and scoring some goals.

Although, we are Sunderland and we can do Sunderland things like no other.

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