Jack Ross should pull shock position change to save Sunderland’s defensive crisis – Opinion

Sunderland are in a bit of a crisis at centre back at the moment, so could Jack Ross have a surprise solution up his sleeve?

Sunderland fans lost it with Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin last weekend, as the defensive duo seemed to forget how to play football for 90 minutes against Coventry.

The visitors at the Stadium of Light looked like scoring every time they went forward, and they eventually downed the Black Cats 5-4 with Conor Chaplin scoring the late winner thanks to a Flanagan mistake.

Here are two ways Ross could set his defence up to bounce back against Doncaster on Friday.

Ozturk and Dunne

Pairing a big physical presence with a young prospect is the classic centre back ploy – look at the success Liverpool had at the beginning of the season with Virgil van Dijk alongside Joe Gomez.

Now, obviously Alim Ozturk is not van Dijk and Jimmy Dunne is not Gomez, but the silver lining is that they are also not Baldwin and Flanagan.

Pl>ymaker FC Exclusive: Jermaine Jenas reveals why Tyne-Wear is a more intense derby than anything London can offer – check out the video below….

In Ozturk, you have a physical specimen who having played in Turkey and Scotland will take absolutely no nonsense from anybody.

Dunne meanwhile hit a horrific patch of form recently, but the promise he has shown throughout most of the campaign is deserving of another chance.

Shock role for Catts

Since Glenn Loovens seems to be completely out of the picture, perhaps the next in the pecking order to try their hand at centre back could be Lee Cattermole.

Gary Medel is very similar to “Catts” – a diminutive defensive midfielder who reads the game well and loves delivering crunching tackes – and that has led to him playing at centre back several times throughout his career despite his 5 ft 7 frame.

Cattermole has the potential to do the same so long as it is only on a temporary basis, helped by the sheer number of options Ross has in midfield.

The likes of Max Power, Grant Leadbitter, George Honeyman and Dylan McGeouch are all itching to get into a midfield stacked with quality, so Cattermole could do them and his boss a favour by following Medel’s lead.

Just like with Dunne and Ozturk, he may not be perfect, but he certainly won’t be as bad as Flanagan and Baldwin were against Coventry.

Read more…

Leave a Reply