After a sensational stretch with the U.S. national team last year, Jozy Altidore is stuck in a prolonged rut with his new club, Sunderland. He has scored once in 27 Premier League appearances (19 starts) totaling 1,693 minutes and once in eight cup matches. On Monday, instead of suiting up for a league match against Spurs, he toiled with the under-21 squad.
In a recent interview in England, Sunderland Manager Gus Poyet said: “It has been hard for him. It was a great challenge for him to come back to England, to prove he could be better second time around than first [in 2009-10 with Hull City]. This is a difficult league though, a difficult league to play in, the game is played at a difficult pace. If you link up, then you are not in the box to receive the ball; if you do not link up, then you do not touch the ball and it is easy to look bad. There are many ways to look bad in the English Premier League.”
Altidore’s lack of production has surely given pause to Juergen Klinsmann, who had pegged Altidore to start at the World Cup in Brazil atop his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
So we must ask …