Look down at Sunderland’s squad this season and you’ll struggle to pick out many players who have let the team down.
As for the centre-back pairing of Dion Sanderson and Luke O’Nien, they have now kept eight clean sheets in their last ten outings.
One of those shut-outs came during their 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t the most convincing of performances from Lee Johnson’s men but it’s taken them to within three points of the top with two games in hand.
That being said, there is one member of Sunderland’s side that continues to let the manager down; Callum McFadzean.
Last week, the left-back looked as though he may embark on some sort of revival. He scored a crucial goal in the club’s 1-1 draw with fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln.
Yet, this weekend, he proved just how enigmatic he can be. At times this term, McFadzean has often been the scapegoat for Sunderland, even when they win.
Once again, you could look towards his performance against Bristol Rovers as a cause for concern.
McFadzean was particularly shaky on the left-hand side of defence and was probably fortunate they weren’t playing more high-calibre opposition. On another day, he would have been caught out and punished.
A mistake didn’t cost the team on Saturday but his display was particularly worrying. In possession of the ball, the defender was woeful, losing it on no fewer than 35 occasions.
For context, that was 11 more than any other Sunderland player. What made this stat even worse was that he wasn’t even losing the ball from trying something productive; McFadzean didn’t attempt a single cross for instance.
His passing let him down all afternoon with the 27-year-old completing only 47%. Again, this was made worse by the fact he didn’t complete a single key pass to a teammate.
McFadzean did register a dribble when he got forward, but besides that, there was very little to be positive about.
A constant will to surrender possession has plagued his season. On average, the full-back has lost it 18.5 times per match.
With Denver Hume set to return from injury in the next few weeks, he should be worried about his place. Once the former returns, McFadzean must be taken out of the firing line.