REPORT; How Sunderland’s Striker Jack Clarke Explain surge to up Championship table.

Sunderland’s surge up the Championship table has been inspired by Jack Clarke’s exceptional form….

After the victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, Tony Mowbray told reporters, “I’m not going to tell you that he’s flying.

“I’ve got to keep his feet on the ground,” he continued.

Unsurprisingly, Jack Clarke was the topic of the inquiry, and it came as no surprise that Mowbray couldn’t pull off the pretense for very long. In no time at all, the head coach was calling him “unplayable” and “amazing.”Neither could be characterized as exaggeration. At Ewood Park’s halftime team meeting, Mowbray may have been upset with Clarke because he didn’t appear to be working as hard as he should have been in the dugout, but Clarke’s performance after the break was astounding. A fitting dedication to a man who has elevated his game in the early goings of this campaign, “Clarke will tear you apart,” was born on the terraces because he was that brilliant.

Although the 22-year-old’s figures have been enhanced from the penalty spot, that in itself is a reflection of his confidence and form. Clarke is currently tied for the Championship’s top scorer with Adam Armstrong. He did, after all, take two of the three.

Because he was worried about losing Amad’s goals and perhaps even Ross Stewart’s as well, Mowbray had spent the most of the summer making a strong case for additional attacking reinforcements behind the scenes. In their absence, Clarke has emerged as the star of a team that is already in danger of matching their heroics from the previous season.

For a man whose early breakthrough at Leeds United so drastically ebbed away at Tottenham Hotspur, it has been a “miraculous” comeback, in Mowbray’s words. When Mowbray was at Blackburn Rovers, they were one of many teams that turned down the opportunity to borrow Clarke because they were unimpressed with his performances for the Spurs U23 team and thought he had lost his way.

On his first night in command, Mowbray witnessed a player who had been reborn, but it was just the beginning.

Part of that is due to technical and diligent work on the practice field. Earlier this season, Mowbray explained how they worked hard to increase his goal output by making sure he made more runs to the back post when the ball was on the other wing. Being equally at ease taking his marker on the outside and crossing left-footed from the byline has made Clarke much harder to defend against.

All of this is a part of the unique development plan that Sunderland creates for each player, which is one of the main reasons they think they have been successful in recent seasons in rehabilitating a number of attacking talents. Of course, chance is the most significant thing they have provided for Clarke. Over time, consistency of opportunity has translated into consistency of output.

The major summer transfer decision is paying off for the player and the club.

In addition, Sunderland’s choice to resist Burnley’s advances is vindicated by Clarke’s strong start to the season—not just for Sunderland, but also for the player.

Ross Stewart left Sunderland in the summer window with the most attention, although during the early summer, Clarke was the subject of much of the commotion. Burnley made several attempts to test the Black Cats’ mettle, but each time they fell short of the eight figure mark, the answer was a resounding nay.

After Sheffield Wednesday’s victory, Mowbray intimated that the 22-year-old might already be luring clubs to think about making a double offer.

The head coach was somewhat at ease throughout the summer window despite knowing there was a chance of departures with Clarke. The winger was reportedly upset that the club seemed unwilling to approve his leave in the height of public speculation, just after the team’s return from the US, according to numerous reports.

The head coach claimed that his chats with Clarke did not reflect that after an open practice in which he had appeared composed and sharp. If Sunderland’s value was reached, Clarke had informed Mowbray that he would be willing to meet with Burnley, but that he was not in a hurry to depart.

Sunderland believed they were in a position to be firm in their own minds. Everything they had observed of Clarke in the background suggested that he was appreciative of the opportunity the team had given him to resurrect his career and that his time at Tottenham Hotspur had demonstrated that the Premier League, while undeniably attractive, wasn’t the end-all and be-all.

The winger was also aware that if he continued to improve at Sunderland this year, that chance would arise once more. It might be accompanied by a promotion at Sunderland, which would be the ideal situation. If not, there would likely be more top-tier bids, and with another successful campaign under his belt, they would almost certainly be more lucrative and from top-tier teams who were more seasoned. Additionally, there would be a significant improvement in Clarke’s prospects of joining a club as a legitimate starter rather than a squad option. That’s a crucial point, especially in light of his Spurs experience.

Should Burnley have made a significant offer this summer, would Clarke have moved there? Very likely, maybe even likely. However, some of the coverage of the matter startled some club employees who were satisfied with the player’s effort and demeanor throughout preseason. After a raucous day or so of rumors, the winger’s ecstatic celebration when he scored a goal against Southampton early in the game (that goal was a direct outcome of his back-post training effort) spoke for itself. Neither the team nor the player have turned around subsequently.

Following the victory at Loftus Road last month, Mowbray stated, “He’s not sulking, not upset that we rejected those bids.”

“I believe he enjoys playing with these guys because he knows how essential he is to our team. All I want is for him to take people on so he can bend the top corner and clip it to the back post. Since I’ve been here, he and Roberts have destroyed teams and eliminated players.

What follows for Sunderland and Jack Clarke

Everyone, especially Sunderland supporters, is aware that the situation has not yet been definitively settled.

Sunderland would prefer to give Clarke a new and better agreement in order to reward his apparent growth and further fortify their position. The main issue they currently have is that Burnley’s interest has highlighted his earning potential elsewhere, and those levels are probably ones that Sunderland at this time cannot possibly match. Though it is very early, the signs point to a gap that will be challenging to close. There are parallels between this and Ross Stewart’s ascension, but Clarke’s present contract has more than two and a half years left, so nobody should be in a panic.

One of the select few players on this team for whom Sunderland is aware that they are in a competition is Clarke. Either they must make it to the Premier League or they must accept the likelihood that no party will be able to resist the great riches of the top division.

Clarke is one of the few individuals on this team for whom Sunderland is aware that they are in a match. Either they either qualify for the Premier League or they must acknowledge the reality that no one will be able to withstand the enormous wealth of the top level.

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