In December, Phil Parkinson took a huge gamble. It was one that could potentially end up being season-defining.
The former Republic of Ireland international had supposedly become a negative influence in the dressing room and with that; he was seeking a new club.
Speaking about the decision, the manager noted: “I’ve told Aiden and his agent he can leave in January. I’m giving him the opportunity to get things sorted. There’s always going to be disagreements, but the unity of the dressing room is paramount.”
Sunderland struggled to get him off their books during the winter window, something that was hardly surprising given his colossal wages of £30k a week.
On deadline day, however, the winger finally found a temporary suitor as he joined Charlton on loan for the remainder of the season.
As long as Parkinson is in charge, it feels as though this is the end of the road for McGeady at the Stadium of Light.
Pictured eating a McDonalds after a defeat with Chris Maguire, his career has taken him from the north-east of the country to London.
A change of approach has been key for the Black Cats who have begun firing on all cylinders since the veteran departed the club.
Parkinson’s men are now flourishing without someone who would arguably be their best player on paper. A man with Champions League experience, he had scored six goals this season before he was cast aside by the former Bolton boss.
Based on his ability to make things happen it was a bizarre decision but results-wise, it’s paid off magnificently.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game against Rochdale, the Mackems had lost only once in their previous 11 outings. The only blip in that run was a defeat against Portsmouth.
Immediately after McGeady departed, Sunderland went nine consecutive games without tasting defeat. They may have been without their enigmatic winger but there was a better dynamic in the dressing room and that’s been clear with results changing for the better.
McGeady is a wonderful player on his day but when someone is affecting the dressing room negatively as it was claimed, there is no other option but to push them out the door.
It was a big risk but it’s paid off with Sunderland now very much in the picture for promotion.