With only 31 goals seen at the Stadium of Light this season so far, and being the lowest in the league, it is time to ponder why.
Sunderland haven't had the best of seasons so far with only a few score lines to impress the fans and many to disappoint. The Black cats have spent over 30million this season to bring quality players to Wearside so that the club can reach the top ten of the Premier League, as of yet, the investment has not paid off.
So why is this? Is it the manager? Is it the formation? Is it the players? Or is it that Sunderland are just a bit out of luck? I would say it's a mixture of all of them but mainly it revolves around the magician, Sessegnon.
The skillful midfielder has had a poor time this season which has been hard to watch for all of the fans. Some games he is unbeatable and world class, but for most of them this season, he has been a bit out of sorts. So what can we do without Player of the season 2011/12?
For starters he is struggling in the position he is in as there is not enough support for him. The wizard decides to go on mazy runs a lot of the time and ends up losing the ball because of the amount of opposition players around him and the lack of red and white supporting him. Martin O'Neill really needs to change this fast; playing Graham and Fletcher up front is a great start because it gives Sessegnon some options in front of him instead of making him always turn back. Another option is to place him on the left wing where he has proven this season, he can play.
One thing that has disappointed me with Sessegnon is his lack of skills that he has. I and I'm sure many of you Sunderland fans have watched the YouTube video's of Sessegnon and his days in France and are amazed by his feet. For some reason he is not doing this at the Stadium of Light. Has someone told him to stop? Has he just lost confidence in his abilities? We may never find out but even Connor Wickham has been doing more skills in Red and White.
A further disappointment with 'Sess' is his inability to shoot, or should I say inconsistency? At nearly every shooting opportunity he seems to either scuff the shot or aims for the corner flag. Obviously there has been the odd occasions where his shooting has paid off, such as Fulham and West Brom (via a deflection) and also the odd occasion where a scuffed shot has paid off (McClean vs West Ham). With 5 goals in 28 games this season there are many who are saying he should be left on the bench but what positive aspects does he bring to the team?
Firstly, he gets fouled a lot. And when I say a lot I mean he spends more time on his back then he does his feet which is great. This is because we have Gardner, Larsson and not forgetting Johnson who can all put great balls in to the box or even the net.
Sessegnon also brings a bit of speed and pace to the team, it might not be much but he is the fastest player in the Sunderland ranks followed very closely by Danny Rose. Speed is essential if you don't have any strength in the modern game so it is vital that Sessegnon keeps his pace and uses it. When you play him down the wing, it seems to be where he plays best. Sessegnon is allowed to cut in an fizz balls into the box, which are followed up by the two forwards.
It's good to see Sessegnon finally come into a bit of form and long may it continue but how long can it last?
Now I'm still undecided on the future of Sessegnon in the Sunderland side. I think he is or could be a World beater and could play for a top European side and perform well but more importantly I think he could take us to Europe. The only problem is Martin O'Neill has still got the squad from Steve Bruce where the team was built around Sessegnon and as Martin O'Neill is making it his team, Sunderland will encounter defeats.
After watching the Fulham game yesterday, it appears O'Neill has his heart set on a 4-4-2 formation so the squad is moving away from revolving around Sessegnon. The new formation is starting to gel and really it was shocking that we didn't get a winner in the second half. With 5 games till the Derby, this is the crucial period. A good run of results now will boost the morale and momentum of the team. As for Sessegnon I would say that he will stay unless an unbelievable offer came in. He is undoubtedly one of our best players so if we want to progress, we have to keep him.
Keep the faith!