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Chris Maguire finished bottom of the player ratings, scored by our readers, yesterday with a miserable score of 3.2 (out of 10). This is the first time he's found himself planted firmly at the foot of the ratings, but not the first time in recent games his performance failed to win plaudits. There's a poll at the end of this article - would be interested in you taking part.
The former Oxford and Bury attacker has a reputation for being a match-winner, and started the season in a rich vein of form for goals, notching four already (thanks primarily to his hat trick against Wimbledon). He is also on target to score more league goals for Sunderland than he has any other team in his career, with 12 so far against 18 he scored for Sheffield Wednesday between 2012 - 2015.
The frustration, however, comes from his contributions when things are not going quite so well.
"Absolute rubbish, summed up by his mindless back pass leading to their goal and touching the ball when it was going out for a throw to us...but was offside so conceded a free kick" - Anonymous
Lackadaisical passing is a feature of Maguire's game. Quite often you'll see a misplaced pass that doesn't need to travel much further than five yards, with the attacker's focus more on what could happen further up the field than what he's doing at that moment. That cost us dearly against Coventry.
"Terrible didn’t look like he knew where to play" - Dale Robson
I thought this was an interesting comment. Much has been said about Phil Parkinson's poor start as Sunderland manager. It is true that we look a more solid unit in defence, earning two cleansheets already in the league and conceding just three goals in five league games. Whilst defending doesn't present itself as a particular problem, scoring goals does.
When you're attacking trio include creative players like Maguire and Aiden McGeady, you expect to be creating chances. But the opposite has been true, and there are reasonable arguments to be made that playing both - or perhaps even either - is having a negative influence on our attacking system.
"Still stuck in his personal lull." - Captain Spaulding
Since Parkinson arrived Maguire's league ratings from our readers have been as follows;
Luton - 7.6
Shrewsbury - 5.5
Southend - 5.4
Coventry - 3.2
Average - 5.2
With the exception of our home game against Luton - which is looking more and more like an anomaly in terms of our performances - Maguire hasn't managed to convince our readers enough to achieve the average rating of 6. The personal lull is very evident, how much of that is down to Maguire and how much is down to his chemistry with Parkinson's system is up for debate. We've added a poll to this article at the end - let us know what you think!
Whilst Maguire did not have a good day, the same can be said for most Sunderland players. Here's how they were rated by our readers - you'll notice the midfield received the heaviest criticism and the man of the match only played a fraction of the game!
Grant Leadbitter - 3.6
George Dobson - 3.7
Max Power - 3.8
Will Grigg - 4
Aiden McGeady - 4.2
Tom Flanagan - 5.1
Joel Lynch - 5.2
Jordan Willis - 5.7
Denver Hume - 5.9
Duncan Watmore - 6.0
Lee Burge - 6.3
Luke O'Nien - 6.3
Man of the Match: Benji Kimipioka - 6.7