Sunderland Fairytale Failure's transfer exit - what might have been

I would have loved if the George Honeyman captaincy had played out like the fairy tale might have.

by GMac88 Thursday, 01 August 2019 09:36 AM Comments

Honeyman Sunderland Transfer

One out, one in was what Jack Ross said about Sunderland transfers. The next out is the highest profile one, club captain George Honeyman is subject to a bid from Championship Hull City, a bid which has been accepted. His departure, assuming it does go through, is a fitting end to a situation that he didn't deserve to be in.

We all have our opinions about Honeyman and it seems to create quite a strong divide amongst Sunderland fans. He's a reasonable footballer with a superb attitude and appetite for the game. Whilst the latter two are admirable qualities, and will no doubt ensure he always plays football at a good level, those combined nor his birthplace make up for the fact that he is just a reasonable footballer.

Honeyman's short career to date has focused on doing nothing badly. Which is fine, but because he is not great at anything there isn't a spot for him - or a permanent spot at least - in Sunderland's starting 11. We have midfielders that are better than him creatively, defensively, are tidier passers, have a more imposing presence and take better shots. 

Why would you take out, for example, Chris Maguire's ability to win a football match for Honeyman's inability to do that? Why would you take out Grant Leadbitter's quality in possession for Honeyman's lesser quality? Why would you take out Ethan Robson's physical presence for Honeyman's lack of?

As captain of the club there was an onus on Jack Ross to play him and an onus on Honeyman to deliver something. Had he not been captain, perhaps the story would have been different. Perhaps Ross would have been more tactful in using Honeyman in games which suited, in positions which suited and with instructions which suited. As it panned out, he ended up playing a variety of key roles and didn't influence enough games.

Funnily enough, I'm talking about him not being good enough for Sunderland's starting 11 yet the club who have had a bid accepted for him play at a higher level. One might suggest I'm full of crap on that basis alone. The sentiment in that sentence is probably true (I write for a Sunderland blog of course it's true), but Honeyman would go to Hull not as club captain and integral square-peg-round-hole-number 10, but a squad player with a purpose. He hasn't had a purpose at Sunderland, and perhaps relinquishing the pressures of captaining your hometown club will give him the opportunity to actually develop as a footballer.