Dear Roker Report,
First of all I’m a big fan - I love the podcasts, especially with Stewart Donald.
I’ve wanted to get this off my chest for a long time... I believe our U23 squad is so far away from our first team, in terms of the style of football.
As someone who is a massive fan of youth football, and I’ve travelled to a few U23 away days, I was even one of the ‘Mackem-nificent Seven’ that went to Grimsby away last season. I’m disappointed to say that our U23 squad play some of the worst football I’ve seen, I dare to say it’s more negative than David Moyes. It is obviously coming from Elliot Dickman, constantly punting long balls up to nobody, meanwhile the more ‘talented’ players like Benji [Kimpioka], Jack Diamond and Lee Connelly are looking around thinking ‘what’s the point... this will never work for us’.
The game is so far past punting long balls up, hardly any development squads play this way. I was shocked to see Stoke’s U23s playing like Barcelona; one-two passes all on the deck. The biggest concern is how can we expect young players to push into the first team, when our U23s play this outdated, negative football and our first team plays football on the deck with high pressure?
Dickman has an awful record through U18s to U23s and I hope it’s just a matter of time before Dickman and his negative tactics are shown the door.
Ed’s Note [JN]: I’d have to agree, absolutely. There is no consistency in selection, performances nor style of play from the academy sides to the first-team right now. Or at least at U23 level... perhaps there is lower down the age groups.
It is unfathomable to me why he lines the side up in such a deep, negative setup and doesn’t even try to play the game.
I don’t think the new lads signed in the summer for the U23s are as good as was hoped (early days yet) and they’re suffering from so many key players being either in the first-team or out on loan, but it is still not good enough.
It is quite clear Dickman is out of his depth and we have the perfect man to takeover already in the academy (Bally). No side should lose 7-0 as his did to Wolves this past week.
Dear Roker Report,
Is the impossible about to happen?
Monaco’s chairman is looking for a new buyer for the club. The father in law of Juan Sartori is reportedly looking to invest in a team in the UK, hopefully he could take over Sunderland one day and let the good times roll.
It was mentioned by Juan that he was looking to invest in a project in UK and of course you can not have two interests in football clubs - it seems strange he is looking for a buyer for Monaco. At least if we get a rich backer we have the right infrastructure and team in place to succeed this time, hopefully we’ve learnt from our past failures.
Let the good times return - the fans deserve it.
Ed’s Note [JN]: There has been a few developments over the past month or so. First of all, Juan Sartori was officially announced as Sunderland co-owner, and has openly discussed the possibility of involving some “friends in high places” in the club at some point in the future.
Secondly, Dmitri Rybovolev, the Russian business magnate who owns AS Monaco and Sartori’s father-in-law, was investigated by local magistrates in the principality amidst a feud with Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier. The latter was arrested for fraud, and the Russian has been caught up but insists his innocence.
Just two weeks ago, the whole of Seaham Hall was booked out by a massive party of Russian’s when Sartori reportedly had “friends” over for a game at the SoL, and now the rumours regarding the future ownership of AS Monaco have arrived.
This could just be one huge coincidence revolving around these fraud investigations in Monte Carlo, but I’d almost certainly watch this space over the coming two-three years at the very least. This is by no means a short-term nor even tangible possibility - so let’s just keep our focus on our current new owners who are doing a pretty stellar job so far.