What defines a scapegoat? According to the dictionary, it’s a person that’s blamed for the mistakes and wrongdoings of others.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be politically correct to suggest that Callum McFadzean was Sunderland’s.
He may be targeted considerably by fan blogs for his poor performances but the fact of the matter is that for the most part, he deserves the criticism. After all, he is the man making the errors.
McFadzean is a committed professional and is a handy full-back when it comes to the offensive phases of play. Though, when he’s faced with a tricky winger he looks way out of his depth.
We have seen that on multiple occasions this term. Whether it was giving away a penalty against Wimbledon last year or being run ragged by Otis Khan in the EFL final at Wembley, he’s had plenty of moments to forget in 2020/21.
During that clash, he was beaten by Khan on four occasions while he was also led what Sunderland reporter James Hunter described as “merry dance” by Olamide Shodipo when the Black Cats faced Oxford United.
Though, none were arguably worse than what occurred against Hull City on Tuesday evening.
On paper, a 2-2 draw with their fellow promotion hopefuls was a good result, but consider three straight defeats before that and their chances of automatic promotion appear to be fading by the day.
McFadzean owes a great apology for his role in the defeat to Hull.
Playing at left-back, he was terrorised by Mallik Wilks, one of League One’s best players this season.
The Hull winger has netted 16 goals this term while providing six assists for his teammates in the process. He didn’t find the net on Tuesday but he did create both goals after skinning McFadzean down the right.
Bailey Wright may have been unable to pick up Josh Magennis who bagged both strikes inside the area but if Sunderland’s left-back had been stronger and more adept he’d have been able to stop the source of the delivery.
In total, McFadzean lost a whopping 80% of his defensive duels as he committed two fouls and was dribbled past on three occasions. He was only able to make one tackle during his time on the field too.
Wilks was a constant threat, producing four shots, four dribbles and two key passes for the Tigers.
Against one of the most dangerous players in the third tier, the Mackems full-back was caught napping on several occasions.
Lee Johnson has been keen to stick with him in recent weeks while Denver Hume steps up his recovery from injury but his performance this week that should have left the manager seething.
He needs to drop him permanently from the starting XI during the run-in.