Kristjaan Speakman dipped into the transfer market to make a number of additions to Sunderland’s squad last summer in an attempt to launch a promotion battle.
He brought in a host of fresh players to improve Lee Johnson’s squad, with the likes of Leon Dajaku, Alex Pritchard, Dennis Cirkin and Nathan Broadhead all coming in.
One player who joined last summer who has been a huge letdown is experienced central midfielder Corry Evans – signing from Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer.
He arrived at the Stadium of Light with a wealth of experience under his belt and has failed to deliver in the third tier. With 267 matches in the second tier, Sunderland fans can be excused for thinking that they were bringing in a classy operator who would excel in a lower division. Instead, they have been made to watch him struggle at times this season.
The 30-year-old has been a liability in the middle of the park as his performances have been underwhelming at best and he has not been reliable for Lee Johnson or Alex Neil.
As per SofaScore, he has given possession away a whopping 225 times in 25 appearances and lost 76 duels (54% of his total individual battles) throughout the campaign. He has also completed a measly 37% of his long pass attempts and averaged 0.2 key passes per game, which suggests that he has not offered any quality in possession.
In the last four League One matches, he has only won four duels and completed nine passes in the games against Wigan and Fleetwood respectively. He completed just 47% of his passes against the former, whilst winning one of his three duels and this recent string of displays illustrates why he has been a letdown.
Roker Report on Twitter dubbed him an “anonymous captain” and claimed that he “certainly isn’t a leader”. Their Tweet gained over 200 likes and that suggests that it is an opinion that is shared by a fair few of the Black Cats faithful.
However, this is an extremely subjective argument as it is impossible to tell how much of a leader he is behind the scenes – in training and in the dressing room. It does show, though, that he is not doing enough to win the supporters over on the pitch, with his performances or his ‘leadership’ in matches, and this plays into why he has been a big letdown.