Wednesday, June 7, 2023

3 Challenges This New Man In The Hot-seat Faces At Sunderland

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

The English FA made a massive decision when they announced that Sam Allardyce was appointed as the new manager of the England National team on an initial two-year contract. With Big Sam leaving for the England job, Sunderland had to fill in the spot vacated as a result and they have acted very quickly in appointing David Moyes as their new boss. Moyes, had previously managed clubs like Everton and Manchester United and even though his tenure at Old Trafford didn’t go as expected, he did a better job than the next manager in Louis Van Gaal who spent far more than Moyes and achieved pretty similar statistics. With the appointment of the Scotsman at the Stadium of Light, let’s look at the immediate challenges he will be facing at the club.

Organise the Defence

Sunderland’s defence was disappointing last season as they conceded 62 goals in their 38 matches played in the league. The faltering defence was the main reason why the Black Cats found themselves fighting relegation for most part of the season and finally securing survival by the skin of their teeth. The defensive organization was been poor to say the least with players making a high number of individual errors at the back (although things did improve a bit under Big Sam).

Moyes needs to get the defence organized, something at which he is good at and did previously with great success at Everton. The manager would also need to solve the problem of buying a right back, the club needs one in the window and they would need to buy one sooner rather than later.

Get a strike partner for Defoe and utilise Borini

Last season, Sunderland depended heavily on the goal-scoring exploits of Jermaine Defoe to bail them out of the relegation battle. Diafra Sakho and Bafetimbi Gomis were being lined up as prospective targets and the addition of any of those two players would make the team stronger and would give the team an option of a target man upfront facilitating the movement of Defoe better.

Another thing which Moyes must do is try finding a system which utilizes the strengths of Fabio Borini much more efficiently. Borini, can be a very potent player from those wide positions and can contribute a lot more to the attacking phase when the team tries to activate him more with passes into the channels. The kind of football to be played thus would need to change as Borini can provide width and also make menacing runs into the channels when utilized properly.

Buy a creative midfielder

Sunderland would be missing some players like John O’Shea and Seb Larsson and Jan Kirchhoff at the start of the season which will stretch the squad and the new manager needs to make some additions into the squad quickly for sure. The Black Cats suffered a lot last season to create enough scoring chances and the absence of a creative midfielder was evident too many times.

Moyes needs to buy a creative player in the midfield who could initiate some intricate passing moves and will make them less predictable in their attacking phase. Clement Grenier could be an ideal man for the job and Sunderland would be much better off with his creativity.

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