Lynden Gooch Needs to Be Starting for Sunderland

Lynden Gooch

Against Oxford United last weekend, Sunderland were winning 1-0 but the game could have gone either way at that stage. Enter, Lynden Gooch.

‘The American Messi‘, as he is affectionately known on Wearside, came on as a substitute and scored a superb individual goal to win the game for the Black Cats.

Gooch is arguably the only first-team member to possess the speed, skill and finishing ability that is vital in today’s game in order to break down some very stubborn League One defences.

Phil Parkinson Must Find a Starting Place for Lynden Gooch

Gooch Disappointed to Not Start but Manager Delighted With Reaction

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson admitted that the decision to leave Lynden Gooch on the bench was a difficult one. The USA international had trained well and was pushing for a return to the starting line-up having featured from the bench on the opening day of the season. However, the 24-year-old was disappointed to learn he would still be a substitute against Oxford. Instead of letting his head drop, he took his chance when he was brought on in the second half.

He has now given Phil Parkinson a major headache for the next game. Speaking after his team’s victory, Parkinson told reporters: “I don’t think there’ll be many better goals than that scored this weekend. Goochy has trained really well this week, really, really well.

“It was very hard for me not to put him in the team. I just wanted to get the balance of the side right. He was disappointed but he took it the right way and there’s going to be other players who get left out the team in this long season we’ve got ahead of us.

“You’ve got to accept the decision and let your football do the talking. Lynden did that, and it wasn’t just the goal.

During his time at Sunderland, Gooch has played in several positions. When given a run in the team, he has shown he can be consistent performer for the Black Cats. Under former manager Jack Ross, Gooch played primarily on the right hand side, usually as a right-winger but also as a wing-back when needed.

Since the turn of the year under Phil Parkinson, Gooch has played a more central role as the manager has favoured wing-backs. The role appeared to suit Gooch as he produced consistently excellent performances. Defences struggled to contain him and goalkeepers were unable to get near some of his goals. Gooch has the talent to win games on his own and when he played well, more often than not, the team played well too.

Where Could Parkinson Use Lynden Gooch?

Parkinson has insisted he is trying to get the balance of his side right. However, due to Gooch’s versatility, he could fit into the team in one of several positions. Last season he found form playing in a more central forward role; however, he is capable of playing on either wing, as a wing-back or in the centre of midfield.

During the first two games of the season, Parkinson has played new signing Aiden O’Brien ahead of Gooch. The new man is yet to score but has not let himself down. However, due to Gooch having more speed, skill and, at present, confidence, in front of goal, O’Brien is the obvious player who would make way.

It would be harsh on Sunderland’s summer signing but as it has been proven in the past, when Gooch is playing well, Sunderland do too.


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