Dear Roker Report,
I think I’ve had enough.
Like most of us here, I’ve been a supporter for as long as I can remember and quite honestly, I’ve had it up to here… but not with the team, manager or hierarchy. As at any club, players will come and go, as will managers and owners but what disappoints me most is the attitude of some ‘supporters’ of our once great club who it appears, we are stuck with.
Perhaps we could trial a fan transfer window? Stay with me…
Most of what I have read, heard and watched over recent months forms a familiar pattern and goes something like this:
”He doesn’t know what he’s doing” - Manager
”Why did we sign him?” - Director
”Where’s the money gone?” - Owner
”Clueless” – too many players to mention
”bbf@@@ f******“ – everyone
Whinge, moan, whinge, moan. Samson and Delilah – watch your back.
Some of us (and I appreciate it isn’t all of us fabulous people) appear experts at everyone else’s job, how rubbish they are at it and who needs replacing. So… what about our own job? What about our responsibility as a supporter? What about the promise we made when the blood was injected into our veins and we chose/were given Sunderland AFC as our club?
To support your team - and I mean truly support it - is to carry on, up the ante when the chips are down, keep the faith through adversity and to ignore everything we CAN’T control and do everything in our power with what we CAN control.
- Sign players;
- Choose the manager;
- Find another owner;
- Sack Jack Rodwell.
- Shout from the rooftops and make some positive noise;
- Allow a stray pass (it happens) to go un-noted;
- Fill the stadium (or is that just when we are winning);
- Keep the faith.
I wholeheartedly appreciate that as a club we are currently about as low as we can get. I doubt anyone would or could argue with that and, don’t get me wrong - I as much as anyone hate turning up each game (which I have done and will continue to do) to endure a torrid, truly heart breaking 90 minutes, only to watch my beloved club fall ever deeper into oblivion.
But… can anyone please tell me what whinging and moaning, booing and hissing and, even worse, the cloud of deathly silence, does for our chances of survival?
Has anyone still reading this heard of a successful team who pulled out all the strings because they loved playing in the wonderfully toxic environment created by their own fans? I can hardly bring myself to sit in the bloody place, never mind play football in it.
Anyone know of a team that escaped relegation because the silence they were met with at 3pm really gave them that edge when the going got tough?
Any young player whose career really took off because they just loved the thought of a stadium full, baying for their blood on their FIRST home game. Yes FIRST! Answers on a postcard please.
On a positive note...
In Chris Coleman, I believe we have the most passionate, sincere, positive, willing and success-hungry manager we have seen in many years. He came here to revitalise an obviously downtrodden club and understood from the word go that funds would not be available. What do you think his motivation was? We’ve ruled out big name buys as we haven’t got a pot to piss in and have proven over recent years to mean nothing but a waste of money anyway. Accepted that the owner was interested in selling up, creating instability. Under no illusion as to the fact we had ‘poisoned players’ bleeding us dry.
So, what’s left? What was it that attracted him to this once great club when he could have hung about for other high-profile roles? What potential did he see that caused him to make his decision in 48 hours and up sticks to the other side of the country?
Yes – that’s right - US!
This man appears to truly believe that we can succeed. His honesty, humility, integrity and determination to do the right thing by weeding out mercenaries and bringing in those who want to be here is surely, what Sunderland’s history is built on; guts, hard work, determination and loyalty.
He needs and has asked for our support on more than one occasion.
Collectively I feel we need to ask ourselves the following TWO questions:
1 - Do we, as supporters, actually want our club to recover, succeed and become great again, or are we happy to take the easy way out, do a Rodwell and maintain this toxic, bandwagon attitude of negativity and disappointment?
2 - Who is up for the fight?
We have sixteen games left to save our season and potentially our whole existence. IT IS NOW IN OUR HANDS.
Ed’s note: Personally I think that your idea that some fans are not doing their part is unfair. I agree that the bad, almost benign atmosphere around the Stadium of Light is not helping matters at all but that in itself is a direct symptom of the state of us on the pitch.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a Sunderland supporter that doesn’t back Chris Coleman to succeed, and we can see that some of the players are giving their best efforts on the pitch, but we’re in this terrible situation because of the awful way this club has been ran for many years. I don’t blame people for staying away and finding better ways to spend their Saturday afternoons. I’m like you, I’ll be there through thick and thin, but I completely understand why someone mightn’t want to stand idly by and ignore what they can see going on in front of them.
If the team are winning games and playing well, the fans will be right there with them. You have to ask - are the players doing enough to bring supporters back onside?