Daylight robbery. If there was one phrase to describe Sunderland’s draw with Crewe on Saturday, it would be that.
The Mackems were 2-0 down after 38 minutes and following Grant Leadbitter’s dislocated shoulder, it looked as though there was no way back for the Black Cats.
However, cue four game-changing substitutions from Lee Johnson. He was fed up with a large portion of his side and who can blame him following the ease with which Crewe found proceedings at Gresty Road?
Jordan Jones and Chris Maguire stepped up to the plate, though, and scored two delightful goals. Jones fired in from long range before the latter popped up with a rare strike this season, volleying home.
It was a rescue act from the two attackers in what was a rare quiet day at the office for the likes of Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke.
We know they have the ability to provide quality and you can excuse their poor performances. That being said, you cannot excuse some of their defenders; namely Callum McFadzean.
The left-back has been particularly poor in recent months and once again on Saturday, he let Johnson and his teammates down. He was given a match rating of 2/10 by The Chronicle’s James Hunter, who gave him the following review; “Caught out time and again, and it was no surprise he was hooked on the hour.”
A quick look at the stats tells you just how poor McFadzean was. He completed only 54% of his passes, a tally that only Leadbitter had a worse record in.
On top of that, he lost possession of the ball on 26 occasions. Alongside Max Power, it was the worst number of anyone to take the field for Johnson’s side.
Defensively, he won two out of five ground duels but we shouldn’t be shocked by a performance as lackadaisical as this. McFadzean was guilty of giving away a penalty against Wimbledon back in November and hasn’t been too convincing since.
Both goals came down his side in the 2-1 defeat to Plymouth as he failed to get tight enough to his men.
His role in the side is becoming a big problem for Johnson, especially when you consider what else the manager has to contend with at left-back. Denver Hume is still out injured while Jake Vokins has hardly been convincing himself since a loan move from Southampton.
Like McFadzean, he can be a bit lazy in possession and had a torrid first game against MK Dons. Roker Report described it as one of the worst debuts they’ve seen from a Black Cats player.
If Sunderland want to get promoted, they will have to find an alternative solution from somewhere.