As we finally say goodbye to, 2020, I thought it would be interesting to investigate and calculate all of our stats…
Over the course of 2020, Sunderland only played a total of 23 games in all competitions. This is a historically low figure for the club, as you would expect. Out of the 23 games, which range from EFL League One games, friendlies, and other trophy obligations, the club has picked up a total of 10 wins, 8 draws and 5 losses. Out of the aforementioned 23 fixtures that Sunderland have played, 17 of these were league games. The league is by far the most important focus, as Sunderland try to battle their way back to the glory days of being in the Premier League (which seems like centuries ago). Out of these 17 games in 2020, Sunderland managed a record of 7 wins, 7 draws and 3 losses. Sunderland finished 2020 with by far the best defensive record in the league, having only conceded 14 goals in their 17 games. This also heavily links to the 2019/20 season where they conceded the second least number of goals, with only 32 conceded in 36 games.
It is not all positive for the team. They hold the joint record for least goals scored, out of the top half of League One. With only 23 goals scored in 2020. They currently hold this ‘record’ with both Ipswich Town and Accrington Stanley, although it is worth noting that Sunderland do have games in hand. It is clear to see that although we definitely have a tight and capable defensive structure in place, they are also struggling for goals, in comparison with other teams in the league. Sunderland are in the top three teams for most draws in the league so far, with only Shrewsbury managing more draws than them in 2020. If the team are going to strive for promotion, they need to be turning a lot of these draws into wins, as they clearly have the defensive calibre to compete in the Championship. Finding the net and earning those important extra points, is definitely the root of their problem.
Sunderland’s top scorer is Charlie Wyke. He scored a total of 7 goals during 2020, in the limited amount of league games they played, including an impressive brace away against league leaders Lincoln City. Aside from Wyke’s appetite for goalscoring, there is no real sense of consistency within the side. Grant Leadbitter has bagged a couple of goals himself, along with midfielder Max Power. Despite their current contributions, Wyke stands alone as top goal scorer for the club, which could explain their lack of goal threat throughout 2020. First team goalkeeper Lee Burge should also be accredited for our success at the back, as he has managed to keep an impressive four clean sheets in the nine league games he played in during 2020.
Although rounding up last year’s performance is useful, what really matters is how our beloved team can make sure that they get the most out of the ongoing 2020/21 season. We currently reside in 11th place, with a game or two in hand over most teams above us. Mathematically, if we were to win our games in hand we would be in the top six, which is where we need to be at this point of the season. Although, as proved above, our defence is up to scratch, it is definitely attacking efficiency in which the club needs to work on, as we place in comparison to our rivals when in front of goal. Although our 2021 campaign started with a lacklustre 0-0, at least we kept a clean sheet and captured a point, we need to be beating teams like Northampton, if we want to push for promotion. Hopefully we can start bagging a few more goals, while maintaining our defence, and push towards a promotional spot at the end of this season.