Sunderland are currently on a terrible run of form that has seen them lose five of their last six games in all competitions.
The Black Cats have dropped down to seventh in the League One table and were recently knocked out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to Mansfield.
Lee Johnson’s side enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, with nine wins already on the board, and this recent poor patch of form has seen them slip outside of the top six.
The club’s current issues cannot be placed on a single player, but there are a few members of Johnson’s squad who have let him down badly this season. One of those has been lightweight attacking midfielder Lynden Gooch, who is enduring a difficult campaign so far.
Gooch has struggled to hit his top form in League One and has become a liability in the midfield. Per SofaScore, he ranks 20th, out of 23, in the squad in terms of average ratings in the third tier this season, highlighting his lack of quality performances on the pitch. Only Frederik Alves, Jack Diamond and Denver Hume are below him – with 0 Lague One starts between them.
The 25-year-old American, meanwhile, has started eight games and made ten appearances in total for the Mackems this term. In that time, he has failed to score a single goal and only provided one assist from his attacking midfield position.
Per SofaScore, he has had 15 shots and missed three ‘big chances’ in ten League One games. He has also lost possession of the ball a whopping 135 times, 13.5 concessions per match, and only completed 73% of his attempted passes overall. This shows that he has been unable to provide quality in the final third as he has consistently given the ball away whilst also failing to produce goals and assists on a regular, or even semi-regular, basis.
Off the ball, he has been a lightweight. Per SofaScore, he has lost 59% of his duels this season and has averaged 1.2 tackles and interceptions per game. This shows that he has not been strong enough in his individual battles, whilst he has also been lapse with the defensive side of the game and is not helping his teammates enough facing his own goal.
Therefore, Gooch has let Johnson down badly this season as he has been poor at both ends of the pitch and is not making a positive contribution to the team. Hopefully, this latest international break has given him enough time to work on improving his performances so that he can return and prove himself to be a useful player for the ex-Bristol City coach.