Dear Roker Report,
Right, lets get to it...
Unbeaten all season. Scoring goals. Battling hard as a team and most importantly, repaying the faith the fans have shown by turning out home and away in the thousands!
The performances I’ve personally witnessed home and away this season are not far from perfect. Last season we’d have crumbled to heavy defeats against the likes of Charlton or Wimbledon after going 1-0 so early on. But not this season. Jacky Ross has galvanised this team into a committed, hard working and resilient unit! I feared the worst against Oxford after Max Power’s reckless red but low and behold, Mr Ross stuck to his guns, didn’t make any knee-jerk changes, allowed the team to settle until half time and then brought on the new bean pole up top, Wyke. However faint a touch, a goal’s a goal and lets hope it leads to a run of form from the big man!
It seems that our matches only last around 85 minutes because for the first 5 minutes of each game, we’re all still in bed fast asleep dreaming of our previous win! It is a habit that needs to be eradicated as we’ll come up against opportunist teams this season who can capitalise on this and put another one past us before we awake from our slumber. In all fairness, our response to these early scares are phenomenal - just look at Wimbledon away!
Lastly on this part, we need to be a lot more disciplined and stop giving away silly bookings. They all stack up and will result in us losing key players through sheer petulance at timely points in the season.
The Djilobodji (and Ndong)
What on Earth is going on with this situation. Agents are ruining this game for loyal fans. Kone and McManaman both clearly wanted away but still turned up under the duty of their contracts. Both left shortly (McManaman practically flew down the motorway back to Wigan) interest was registered and let their intentions be known that they wanted to leave - FAIR ENOUGH.
Papy Djilobodji doesn’t only steal a living as an employee of our great club, he steals a living as a footballer. He’s about as useful as a chocolate fireplace as part of our defence. The club, I’ve read, have plans to take legal action and rightly so. People like him are a virus to younger players in the squad. He’s an experienced footballer who has probably been in the middle of a few contract disputes and knows how to act in order to get his way - this is not what our young plethora of players need to witness as they may think it’s acceptable to act this way later down the line because they feel entitled.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: There are indeed plenty of things to be positive of right now. The manager has impressed me with his willingness to change the side to adapt to a situation, and more often than not his reactive nature has allowed us to improve at a stage in the game where its still early enough to make an impact.
Of course, though, that has often been as a consequence of a bad start. That needs to be ironed out and I don’t know how we do it, though I think it has a lot to do with having no real defensive shield in midfield, having a poor right back and not picking a consistent back line due to injuries.
Regarding Papy - the bloke is an absolute fool and he’s been horrendously advised. His actions were to try and drive down his price and, fortunately for Sunderland, our owners never panicked when it got towards the end of the window. This is already very messy and will probably only get worse, but I think we’ve done the right thing.