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Fan Letters: “Sunderland don’t dominate games - a possession-based style of football is needed!”

RR reader Jamie thinks Sunderland don’t dominate games enough & should change to a possession-based style of football. What do you think? Email us: - we’ll include your message in the next edition!

Jack Ross loves to play attacking football - but RR reader Jamie wonders if a possession-based style would suit us more
Sunderland AFC

Dear Roker Report,

Just a quick one to pass on my thanks for the brilliant recent Podcast with Matty Piper. I can’t say I remember him playing for us but his story was encapsulating, funny and just very interesting. I’m loving the Podcasts at the minute, please keep them coming.

Kevin Chilton

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Cheers, Kev. It was probably my favourite Roker Rapport Podcast with an ex-player, his stories were just brilliant and, like you say, a very funny and humble guy.

Keep an eye out for this Wednesday’s show - we’ve got Phil Bardsley on!

Kolo Toure of Arsenal and Matt Piper of Sunderland Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Would it be more effective result wise if we started playing out from the back with a more possession-based style rather than Jack Ross’ preferred method of channel ball?

Personally I think we could be doing a lot better in possession - we have lot more talent than some of these teams were coming up against, but we are letting them get into games with the style we play while in possession. Everything is 50/50 - in my opinion we need to start showing that were the dominant and better side in these games by keeping the ball, slowing the game down with more patience.

Jamie Scott

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t think we’re perfect by any stretch, but I think the fact we’re on such a huge unbeaten run, have lost just once in the league and have scored in every league game this season suggests Jack Ross is doing something right.

Of course, there are aspects of our game-plan that needs work and being able to dominate teams is one of those things, but I have to admit that I think we’d be going back-over trying to play a style where we keep the ball for large periods of the game without really doing anything with it. We’re very good at breaking teams down at this level and I think that suits the best characteristics of most of our players.

I couldn’t tell you a single third tier team that have successfully implemented possession-based football. I don’t particularly rate it myself - I prefer ‘blood and thunder’ and I know for a fact that Jack Ross does too. He prefers his players to express themselves. Work hard off the ball, of course, but when we go at teams he wants us to do it with purpose.

I’m not sure we have the required quality in the squad, either. I think we’ve got some very good central midfielders for this level but, Dylan McGeouch aside, they’re not players blessed with technical passing ability.

All in all - it’s a fair point that you make, but I’m not sure we’re either equipped to do it or need to do it, really. Instead I’d prefer that we look to January as an opportunity to sign a small handful of quality players that can really improve the team in the system we already utilise, because results show what we are doing is working.

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