Dear Roker Report,
Sometimes in life, you have to step back and observe a situation from a distance to find a better understanding. As a supporter in the states, I live through the live match streams, RR podcasts, and online media to have my connection with Sunderland.
I just have to say that I’m troubled by the criticisms of the new owners, Jack Ross, and the players. What happened to the approach of tempering our expectations and understanding there will be some blips along the way not only during this season, but along the entire journey we hope is ahead over the next 5-10 years? We have one wobble six weeks into year one and people are beginning to question Stewart Donald’s appointment of Jack Ross?
Have we not learned our lesson on the ineffectiveness of the revolving door approach for managers?
Don’t get me wrong, Jack Ross has much to prove to earn a status of being the manager to lead Sunderland to the position we and the new owners hope to reach, but who else would you rather have?
My view of Jack Ross is a manager who has the potential to be one of the next elites in English football and possibly Europe. Ross’ temperament and his drive to do the things necessary to win are in line with many of the prestigious managers in football today. There is clearly a reason St. Mirren were so gutted to see Jack leave for Sunderland. I look at his commitment to developing a club’s youth and giving them ample time in the first team, his tactical approach to playing high energy, attacking football, and our tendency to grab equalisers or winners late in matches this year, and I see a manager very much like a young Sir Alex Ferguson.
Granted, Fergie had achieved much more at Aberdeen before making his move to Manchester United, and Jack is a bit younger. I’m not saying that Jack Ross is destined to be the next Ferguson, but I am saying that I see similarities in approach and mentality.
Many of the Roker Rapport podcasts over the last two months have raved over the transfer business done by Jack Ross, Tony Coton, and Stewart Donald. Now that we have lost one match and not looked like world beaters we’re questioning the players’ abilities? Honeyman, Gooch, Maja, Matthews, and others didn’t have to stay with Sunderland when we went down, they chose to, and most of them have taken ownership of the task of at least taking Sunderland back to the Championship.
Cattermole, Oviedo, and hopefully McGeady may not have exactly chosen to stay, but they are doing everything asked of a professional footballer and shown some real quality for League 1. Players like McLaughlin, McGeouch, Wyke, and Baldwin had no need at all to make the move here, but they did because they believe in what Sunderland AFC means and the vision of the new ownership. Do we not owe these lads at least one season of belief purely out of appreciation for believing in what kind of club the people of Sunderland have built?
The road ahead to achieve the vision that Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven, and Juan Sartori have given us will be a long road with what I predict will be many great moments for Sunderland AFC, but there will also be moments that will try the belief of the players, the manager, the owners and supporters alike.
That, though, is what supporters are for and what has made Sunderland the great club that it has been and is today. Never leave doubt and let them all know, the manager, the owners, the players, and everyone else involved, that we believe in the vision for Sunderland’s future and need to be behind them every step of the way through every triumph and trial. You, the supporters, have been and always will be the one constant that this great club can rely on.
The owners, Jack Ross, and the players are not abject from our criticism in any way, but I have to say that I am damn excited and love where Sunderland is going. When was the last time you could say that?
Daniel Spaulding (Cape Canaveral, FL)
Ed’s Note [JN]: Hear hear.
I must say I cannot agree more. Expectations must be tempered, and that works both ways. I myself have criticised Ross over the last few weeks, and he deserves the criticism.
We all get things wrong, as fans, writers, players or manager. How about we follow suit with VAR and replace everyone and everything in the game with Skynet-ridden automatons?
However, I clearly see him as a man who learns from his own mistakes, even if we don’t on the pitch regarding set pieces and defending direct football.
Ross is definitely an exciting, young manger, just as half of our team are as players themselves. Stumbling blocks and issues will be inevitable, but this will almost certainly be turned around.
When we were winning games people liked to focus on the good out of games, go three or four without and the opposite happens.
Any questions over his appointment are absolutely and totally ludicrous. Point blank.