Sunderland have had a torrid time on and off the pitch in recent weeks with the latest developments even causing some fans to discuss whether protests against the board are in order.
Phil Parkinson has struggled since arriving in the north-east, winning two of his 14 games, with many of his players’ performances suggesting they are already not playing for the manager.
Aiden McGeady was an example of that, and his negative influence was a factor which led his manager to cast him to the reserves and place him on the transfer list.
The Black Cats still haven’t won since that action, however, and the decision to get rid of last season’s best player may not be the correct course of action to take.
Parkinson has revealed interest in the player has mounted from two unnamed foreign clubs, and his general attitude towards the player suggests he is unlikely to be at the club beyond the transfer window.
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Given he is still Sunderland’s top scorer it is a bold call to make, and one which could backfire, so we asked our team of Football FanCast writers to share their thoughts on the subject.
“On his day, McGeady can conjure up a moment of magic that decides a game. This term he’s contributed to six goals alone. However, those true moments of ingenuity are too infrequent to benefit Sunderland. There’s no doubting he is the most pedigreed player in the squad having played on international and continental stages but given his attitude to the cause this season, selling the Irishman next month makes sense.
“It might be seen as damning but this is the type of ruthless behaviour fans should be crying out for from Phil Parkinson. He’s been a bit weak this season and given results, two wins from 14 in charge, it’s completely understandable. McGeady hasn’t featured since November so with the way the club is going, moving him on could be beneficial.
“In terms of his overall quality, it will probably be to their detriment but I feel with the winger that the positives of shipping him on outweigh the negatives.”
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“I’m not sure that this is a good call from Phil Parkinson, and to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if this decision is reversed in the near future if he loses his job.
“McGeady is one of the best players in League One, and while Sunderland aren’t doing too well with him in the squad it’s hard to say that they should get rid of him.
“Getting rid of your top scorer is generally a bad idea, so unless there’s a huge reshuffle plan that sees the funds recouped from his sale reinvested effectively then this could be a disastrous decision.
“It’s a no brainer to keep him, but if Parkinson is here to stay long-term then he may have to go.”
“McGeady has not been at his best this season, but four goals and two assists from 13 starts and two substitute appearances in the league is far from a disastrous return. Therefore it seems a bit of a confusing decision to single out the Republic of Ireland international as someone to be sold, especially when there are so many other underperforming players in the squad.
“This may be an assertion of dominance from Parkinson, as he looks to get some more control at the Stadium of Light, but there is definitely a risk of the call backfiring on him. Another reason behind this could be that due to McGeady’s pedigree, having played in the Premier League and on the international stage, they may be able to command a higher fee for him.
“Overall, this seems like a bit of a silly move from Parkinson, which surely won’t strengthen his position at the club if nobody is brought in to replace him.”
“This is a tricky call to make as the club is basically deciding whether to trust the judgement of a manager who may not be in charge much longer due to his appalling record.
“However, if Stewart Donald wants his latest appointment to work out then he has to do as he wishes, and that means getting rid of McGeady for the benefit of the squad as a whole.
“The Irishman has great quality but he has shown it all too infrequently, even before Parkinson arrived, and therefore he probably wouldn’t be missed if he did leave, with his wages likely being better spent on a replacement or two.”
Some Sunderland fans would probably rather McGeady was backed over Parkinson, as their trust in the manager is increasingly declining.