SAFC star who won 12 duels stole the show on Sat, he’s playing like a “man possessed” – opinion

SAFC star who won 12 duels stole the show on Sat, he’s playing like a “man possessed” - opinion

It would seem that Sunderland are beginning to build up ahead of steam at the perfect time.

Lee Johnson has been game-changing for the face of the football club and after defeating Rochdale on Saturday, it marked yet another three points for the Mackems.

They have now tasted defeat just once in their last 11 league games, a phenomenal run brought about through a number of factors.

The new manager has breathed huge belief into this side and is getting results from the players that Phil Parkinson would never have deemed imaginable.

Dion Sanderson has been talked about as a “Rolls-Royce” in recent days while Aiden McGeady’s tally of 11 assists in 17 matches is a sight to behold.

Though, there is one man glueing everything together right now; Charlie Wyke.

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The striker is having a phenomenal season and on Saturday afternoon, he took his tally for the campaign to 25 goals in all competitions. Considering he only scored six times last term, the improvement is staggering.

Johnson’s football suits him perfectly and he is now tucking away chances with relative ease. Speaking in the build-up to Sunderland’s 2-0 win over Rochdale, the boss said: “A top striker can slow down his mind’s eye in the box, be like ice in the box, and Charlie certainly finished with that look.

“The bit that is impressing me is his off-the-ball work. He is helping out the midfield, he’s pressing from the front – in the last 20 minutes against Swindon, he was like a man possessed.”

Indeed, the same sentiment could be offered after the Black Cats’ win yesterday afternoon. Wyke was again among the goals, and he was putting himself about with the authority of a man who knows he’s playing the best football of his career.

He is stealing the show for Sunderland right now and nothing typified that more than this weekend. Wyke is a physical player and used that to his advantage to bully the Rochdale defenders on Saturday.

The striker won a colossal seven aerial duels from nine attempted, while he also prevailed in five ground duels. For context, no player in a Sunderland shirt won more battles aerially than Wyke.

As Johnson alludes to, it’s not just his goal scoring antics that have been so impressive. The 28-year-old is a fierce competitor and won three tackles on Saturday. Amazingly, that was the second-best tally on the side, usurping every Mackems defender.

Wyke leads from the front and in scoring 20 league goals this term, he has been outstanding.

If Sunderland achieve promotion in a few months time, he will be one of the main reasons for their success; the forward is a marvel at the moment.

AND in other news, £6k-p/w gem is now proving everyone wrong at Sunderland, Parkinson should be seething…

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