Rowell Report: Ji doesn’t look a natural goalscorer for Sunderland

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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ONE of the main talking points to emerge from Saturday’s game was Ji Dong-won’s reluctance to put his head on Ondrej Celustka’s cross with the goal at his mercy.

All he had to do was make any sort of contact and it surely would have been a goal, such was the quality of the ball the full-back whipped in.

It looked to me like the reaction of a player who just isn’t a natural goalscorer and didn’t want it badly enough.

It hasn’t been the best of weeks for the South Korean international, as he failed to take his opportunity when selected to start against MK Dons and then he was hauled off at half-time against Palace.

There is no hiding place in the Premier League, whether you like it or not, everything is put under the microscope.

You need to be strong mentally to survive.

On the flip side though, have a good game or score a goal and it will be shown time and time again and players can be built up and put on a pedestal.

That seems to be the way it is now, there are not many grey areas in football.

Things are either black or white, players are either hero or zero, as Ji found out last week.

His unforgettable winning goal against Manchester City gave him hero status on Wearside for a short while, but it must seem like a long time ago to the young Korean now.