Dear Roker Report,
As our relegation to League One is all but mathematically confirmed I feel that one of our main priorities in the summer should be to move on the majority of the squad, replacing them with players who appreciate the shirt that they’re wearing.
Every senior goalkeeper at the club is a pathetic excuse of a footballer and all of them have contributed massively to our second successive relegation. The saddest thing regarding our goalkeepers is the decline from the distributional technique of Jordan Pickford to the inability to even function slightly with any form of goalkeeping ability in Lee Camp and Jason Steele, with Ruiter the best of a bad bunch.
Defensively, the only shining light in the past few weeks has been the resurgence of Donald Love, who I highly anticipate will be our starting right back next season. The likes of Jones, O’Shea, Browning, Wilson and Kone have cost us this season with their inability to see out ninety minutes. Oviedo and Matthews, in my opinion, are just slightly better than the rest.
The midfield at the beginning of the season was what I believed would carry us through to a potential playoff place, with the likes of McGeady and McManaman being much more consistent than they have been.
I truly believed that Lee Cattermole would grab this league by the scruff of its neck and dominate the centre of the park with his tough tackling and no nonsense approach. In recent weeks, the performances of Paddy McNair have led me to think what might have been if he had been a mainstay all season long - and the same goes for Duncan Watmore. These two players alongside Honeyman and Gooch are largely why automatic promotion from League One is the aim in my opinion, as they’ve showed the potential that they can perform in the Championship, so why not in a league of lower quality?
Up front, well being blessed with both James Vaughan and Ashley Fletcher in one season is something no fan should have to experience. However I’ve felt sorry for Fletcher at some points as there appears to be an okay championship standard player there when we play to his strengths, but he won’t be here next year.
If Coleman can keep Asoro and Maja next season and get them playing well together then I’ll be optimistic for the future, because surely, surely things can’t get worse from here?
Ed’s note [Gav]: I think that unless you feel like shooting yourself in the face with a loaded gun that you can’t do anything other than look optimistically ahead to next season. Even taking into account the spectacular plight that this football club has suffered in recent years, you have to think that in League One we’ll be by far the biggest club there and it’s about time we started acting like a big club.
Sunderland need to go down there, show dominance and arrogance from day one and put together a side capable of winning games every single week. It won’t be easy, but as you say we have the bones of a good squad left over and if we can add to that with hungry, talented players we stand a chance of an immediate return.
As a fan I have stopped caring about the league we’re playing in. It matters not a lot if we aren’t going to win games - all I want from next season is to see a team that tries, wins games and gets fans back in the Stadium. Winning football will do all of that and the biggest task we face this summer is ridding ourselves of the cancer that has negatively affected this football club for years and years now.