The struggles of Gooch and McGeouch, and more Fleetwood draw reaction

Sunderland put in an underwhelming display against Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon.

by James_Hall Sunday, 09 September 2018 06:16 PM Comments

While the Cod Army were better than their opposite numbers in the first half, Jack Ross's men once again performed better in the second.

Apart from the fact that Joey Barton will be armed with a bit more ammunition for the return fixture, here's a few things to ponder off the back of a disappointing draw.


McGeouch who?

There was a weight of expectation on the Scott who was making his league debut. Some had seen the ban picked up by Max Power as a blessing in disguise, giving Ross an excuse to change personnel in a midfield that hadn't done much wrong in the opening month of the season.

McGeouch was picked to recycle the ball and keep Sunderlands attacks going. What was surprising is that he seemed ponderous in possession and often settled for the easier option than trying to pick out a game changing pass. He was very lateral when he did have the ball and this often brought a let up for Fleetwood Town. At times he didn't show the greatest of understanding with his team mates and probably needs a couple more starts to rectify this.


Maja the Man, still

Josh Maja wasn't that involved from the off but boy, when he does touch the ball it tends to be crucial.

After a rare period of sustained possession and intent, Maja forced the Fleetwood keeper into a decent save. He then followed this up with a crucial equaliser, scuffing a volley which nestled inside the far post. It proves that if the Black Cats continue to give our young striker half decent service, he will produce the goods. Justified starting ahead of the more experienced Charlie Wyke.


Gooch struggles?

The academy graduate turned up with all the enthusiasm and intent in the world. It just didn't prove to be his afternoon.

Apart from the odd time he cut in off his wing after good work from captain George Honeyman, Gooch tended to go about his business with a frustrating tendency to ignore his team mates. There was more than one occasion where the pass was definitely on but he would instead take the ball into heavy traffic.

After starting the season with a bang and being nominated for player of the month, American international Gooch needs something to kick start his form again. Maybe a rest, or maybe he just needs a goal. There's no denying the whole team was struggling at times but after contributing so consistently earlier on, the absence of assists and goals is glaringly obvious.


Jack Ross, Dylan McGeouch, Lynden Gooch, Josh Maja