Dear Roker Report,
I - like any other long suffering fan - would love to see Joel Asoro stay.
But if his heart is not in it... f**k him off, like.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Succinctly put! Asoro, in fairness to the lad, has really kicked on this last year or so and there have been no reports of bad attitude or application. But if he’s got ambitions to succeed at a higher level, then good luck to him.
It’s down to the club to find a buyer willing to part with some serious cash. The lad has a year left on his deal and doesn’t see his future here, so we have to protect our best interests. And if a sale doesn’t happen then he’ll continue to work hard and be a part of Jack Ross’ side until January, or even next summer. I want him to stay and sign a new contract but that doesn’t look likely, so hopefully there’s a resolution soon.
Dear Roker Report,
Excuse my sarcasm but the talk of bringing players through the academy system is akin to my fondness for gin and tonic.
My love for Sunderland started before my love for gin and tonic, but both were well underway before the current generation discovered them.
I have enjoyed a G&T for over 40 years. Back then it was a Gordon’s with a Schweppes and a slice of lemon, not fancy berries, cucumber and posh tonic.
The Academy system reminds me of that. Why don’t we bring our own players through? What a novel idea!
Not so. Sunderland had a state of the art training facility in 1970 in Washington. I remember attending a youth tournament there in 1971. There were teams from all over Europe playing and the final was played at Roker Park, so Sunderland were at the forefront of youth development back then. The most famous team in my lifetime the cup winning side of 1973 had six players who came through the clubs youth system - Montgomery, Horswill, Pitt, Kerr, Hughes and Tueart.
While the hire and fire merry-go-round persists youth will never succeed, there is no time to blood them in before you lose your job. The cup team also had its fair share of Scottish footballers. As well as Kerr and Hughes there was Dick Malone, signed from Ayr United, and my all time hero Ian Porterfield from Raith Rovers.
Cynics may say the game has moved on and yes it has. Foreign players are generally cheaper to buy and this stifles development and talent in the UK.
Scottish football in the seventies produced some of the best footballers of the era. Billy Bremner, Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Archie Gemmill - the list is endless.
And let us not forget that the first British club to win the European cup were Celtic!
So let’s raise our Gin and Tonics and drink to academies and Scottish footballers.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: An interesting analogy, but one that I enjoyed! I understand what you are saying - that developing young talent and bringing in players from Scotland has been an important factor in most successful Sunderland sides.
In the modern era we’ve not really seen a Sunderland team that we can see reflects elements of our roots, and perhaps a return to a more grounded level of football will help us to perhaps re-find ourselves somewhat.
I’m looking forward to seeing a Sunderland side filled with hard-work and determination. If we can compliment that with some of the talent we already have, we could be in for a really interesting season.