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Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke could suffer if Lee Johnson is hired

What happens to Sunderland in the next few weeks will be fascinating.

Stewart Donald is currently on the lookout for a sporting director, a new manager and they are also finalising the last few details of a takeover attempt.

Supporters will be hoping that once each nuance is completed, they can finally look forward to having some success.

On the chalkboard

Sunderland have struggled this season and their last four league games have failed to garner a single win.

They are now six points off the pace in League One and with no manager appointed yet, they will continue to find life difficult.

So, who is in the running? Well, Danny Cowley has been touted while it’s even been reported that Sol Campbell has been interviewed.

However, one of the stand-out names linked is young coach Lee Johnson.

A man known for being a progressive thinker, someone who tinkers with his tactics often, it would be a completely different appointment to the one they made in Parkinson.

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Johnson’s own father, Gary, once described him as an “information sponge” for his meticulous attention to detail.

The philosophy

Speaking of the small details, we’ve picked out one very specific player within the Sunderland ranks that we think could struggle under Johnson.

That happens to be their current top scorer Charlie Wyke.

The towering forward has been superb this season and is one of very few positives from a testing campaign so far. He has scored eight goals, suiting Parkinson’s style of football perfectly.

The former Black Cats boss used him as the focal point, ensuring that defenders played long balls forward to him on a regular basis. In 2020/21, he has won as many 5.1 aerial duels per match.

Unfortunately, Wyke’s career at the Stadium of Light could be damaged by Johnson. Why? Because he favours a more nimble striker.

Speaking to Sky Sports earlier this year, Johnson revealed how he likes football to be played: “Ideally you would play with the high press and take the ball like Liverpool and Manchester City,” he began.

“Inevitably at your own level you’ve got to try to recruit and then adapt to the players you have got, and to play that high-pressing game you need agile forwards, who are good tactically and can run and repeatedly sprint,” Johnson concluded.

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Sunderland's manager Jack Ross gestures during the Portsmouth match, August 2018

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Wyke is the definition of a target man and is one of the least agile players in the Sunderland squad. Thus, it seems difficult to envisage how Johnson could develop his philosophy with Wyke in the team.

Looking at the 39-year-old’s style, perhaps it’s the more technical Will Grigg who could profit most from his appointment.

Only time will tell.

In other news, check out how Sunderland’s squad could look if they appoint Danny Cowley…

Article title: Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke could suffer if Lee Johnson is hired

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