Why it's time to appreciate the more subtle attributes Will Grigg brings to this Sunderland side
‘Your defence is terrified, Will Grigg’s defrosting’ doesn’t have the same ring to it as the chant adopted by Wigan fans a few years ago, but it sums up his time on Wearside since Phil Parkinson arrived at the club.
After being overlooked in the former Bolton gaffers’ first game away at Wycombe, he gave arguably his best performance for the club in a 5-0 annihilation of Tranmere, just days later.
His goal on the night was welcome, but his instinctive flick which struck the woodwork would have been more befitting of his performance than a tap in from five yards.
It was his all round contribution that won him plaudits on the night however, which was exemplified by his exquisite through ball into the path of Duncan Watmore for the opener.
After that game there was excited chatter that Parkinson had found a way to get the best out of him and we could look forward to him justifying his hefty price tag.
Just a week later after a frustrating performance at Shrewsbury and a missed penalty against Oxford, accusations of laziness and disinterest began to resurface.
Grigg may never hit the heights of his Wigan tenure while he’s at Sunderland, but that’s okay.
His display on Saturday proved that his efforts often goes unnoticed until he is substituted.
Since Parkinson arrived at the club Grigg has made positive contributions in the majority of the games he has played.
In many ways Grigg is the antithesis of a popular Sunderland striker, not because of his performances, but more down to his lack of outward emotion and reserved nature.
This can be misinterpreted as a man who doesn’t want to be at the club, but a man who doesn’t celebrate a winner against Manchester City with great gusto isn’t going to look thrilled with life when he struggles to break down Southend.
There is no doubt that some of Grigg’s performances have been frustrating, but maybe it’s time to appreciate the more subtle attributes he brings to the table rather than expect him to finish the season with 20 goals.