What's wrong with Jozy
By Johnathan Neumann
Before I get started here, it's not like Jozy Altidore has been awful for his new club. I imagine most thought he would grab more than one Premier League goal by Christmas though. Especially if you actually saw the lone goal he scored against Chelsea. It showcased all of his best traits. The strength to hold the ball up against the likes of John Terry first and foremost, but also it showed his finishing ability. The United States have never had a striker with Altidore's overall talent before.
The issues seem to be keeeping him involved in the game, and making sure his confidence stays high. Like most strikers, Jozy is a fickle character. He has had some attitude problems in the past, but over the last year he had shown no signs of this. This is why most thought he would transition pretty seamlessly back into the EPL. That has obviously not been the case. He just doesn't seem to have the work rate 100 percent of the time. You see him mentally check out of games far too often. This has led to him physically being checked out of games on more than one occassion.
Before I get too gloomy on the subject, there does seem to be an easy fix. He needs to take a look at the guy he's competing with up front. Steven Fletcher is the epitome of what Jozy needs to become in order to succeed at this level. A man who never stops working, makes runs with purpose, and always tries to get on the end of crosses.
Altidore should be able to score 10 goals in this league on athletic ability alone, and honestly if he would take his chances he would be more than half way there already. It's honestly getting to the point where I think an international break is needed so he can get back into his comfort zone to try and generate some confidence again. We've all seen what a confident, effective player he can be when he's on form. Altidore just has to find a way to get back to that mindset.
He's not only in danger of losing his spot on the team, but Sunderland are struggling at the bottom of the table as well. If he doesn't pick it up soon, his stay in the Premier League will again be a short one. On the flip side, this is the type of situation that can easily get you in the fans good graces with a moderate goal scoring record. This is a great situation for Jozy, he just needs to start producing.