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Fan Letters: Sunderland NEED a big, powerful midfielder - we’ve not had one since Alfie N’Diaye!

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RR reader Ian is worried that whilst all the focus has been on signing a striker and defender, we’re ignoring the fact we need a big lad in midfield. What do you think? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk - we’ll include your message in the next edition!

Fan Letters
Fan Letters
Danny Roberts | Roker Report

Dear Roker Report,

We are in desperate need of some pace in the team, played off the park on Saturday by a so called “lesser” team in the first half. Under Allardyce we had Khazri, Borini and Defoe as the only attacking players in the line-up with eight defence-minded players, and it feels the same. We are playing on the break, even at home, Power and McGeouch are just so slow. I Agree with the twitter comments that this current 4-4-2 doesn’t work, we’ve changed the way we play to suit Wyke and it hasn’t worked.

We are in desperate need of a change of formation and someone with that creative spark, but please let’s find some pace in the side.

Scott Clement

Ed’s Note [JN]: I agree, we need genuine pace and product out wide and in the middle of the park a player who get’s beyond the midfield and into the box is crucial.

We miss Honeyman so much. One issue was how isolated Wyke was, on numerous occasions he was quite literally the only man in Luton’s penalty area. Out wide, McGeady and Maguire are naturally inconsistent as always, but Lynden Gooch has been disappointing of late. I am not sure whether or not it is on Ross’ orders but his game has changed recently, he cuts in much more often instead of using his pace to beat a man down the byline. It is somewhat a shame to see, as this is arguably his biggest strength.

We’ve scored in 34 consecutive games though, which is no mean feat. We just lack the final few parts of the puzzle to really take games by the scruff of the neck and dominate.

Sunderland AFC

Dear Roker Report,

We are focused on the big centre back & another forward in the Jan window but having watched 19 games live this season I’m convinced that regardless of who currently plays, the problem is in midfield.

If we insist on 2 proper wingers & a number 10, then the midfield 2 need to be powerful & athletic. Currently you wouldn’t describe any of our midfield as either. At best they fall into the hardworking & willing category & it’s why we keep getting overrun.

Our defence gets plenty of criticism but they’ve kept us in a lot of games with their heroics.

We either need someone in the mould of pretty much all the Luton midfield or we go more conservative and stick an extra midfielder in to make a 3 & sacrifice the wingers, as we have the perfect full backs to give width.

So after all that waffle, we just need a midfielder the size of a tank with the power & place of Usain Bolt, who wants to play in Div 3 for £3k a week ... good luck Tony Coton & the team.

Ian Whan

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I completely agree, but for how many years have we been saying this? I remember Alfred N’Diaye returning from loan when Poyet was manager during pre-season and thinking “finally, we might address this issue with lack of athleticism in our midfielder” - but, alas, Alfred was packed off to Spain and ever since I don’t think we’ve addressed the issue.

Paddy McNair was decent in that run towards the end of last season, but you couldn’t say the club have ever made an effort to target the type of midfield player that we lack currently. Someone with height, pace and strength is needed, but when we have so many central midfielders currently on the books I doubt that there’ll be any effort to do something about it. You never know, but I won’t hold my breath.

Darlington FC v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The problem a lot of us fans have is that we think the last two years were traumatic. The fact is it is not just the last two years but possibly the last 5 or 6 years that have traumatised us. We had nothing but pain and suffering and by the graces of football there were always 3 teams worse than us that got relegated from the Premier League. However, when our time finally ran out it was like an implosion...but not an immediate one. A slow, painful decline as we felt every little supporting beam and pillar get blown away from our souls.

Then Coleman came in and gave us hope but ultimately it proved an impossible task and we just had to sit and watch as our club which we hold so dear fall to pieces. This was the only metaphor I could think of to describe the last few years. I’m sure you all have your own but to carry mine on. Once the dust had settled around March 2017 when I accepted we were soon going to be in League 1, I all of a sudden had a smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it, why was I smiling?

Then, one morning on my way to university I finally knew why I was smiling. This is exactly what I wanted and all of the hope and excitement came back. Let me explain, it was clear that Mr Short was done with this club and so were a lot of the players. This is what we have been demanding for the last 5 or 6 years. Change. Yes, I know we should have never ever had to go into league 1 for change to happen but we finally had what we wanted.

When Mr Short sold the club, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Is this two business men out to make a quick profit? As Stewart Donald said “When a club like Sunderland is on the market for £50million, you’d be a fool not to buy it.” Then along came our knight in Shining Armour with a strong Scottish accent and a plan. I was convinced, a man converted, a born again Sunderland fan. I just knew that Jack Ross was a diamond in the rough. The way he handled himself and was the living definition of calmness.

This man has a plan, we must give him time and we have to give ourselves time. We should be excited about our future. We as fans have been through some of the worst times in the clubs history and we have endured. I’m doing my best to avoid a Dunkirk style metaphor here. We have been mentally and emotionally battered and destroyed but we are still alive and kicking. We are 3rd in a tough league with tough teams and I am loving it. We 2 or 3 games away from a cup final and don’t tell me you wouldn’t love a play off final.

We can start dreaming again, not of the premier league but of success in every department. Why don’t make the Stadium of Light a fortress again? Why don’t we get to another cup final? The Premier League is the target but we can always have fun while we do it. It took 6 years to knock down our club. It may take that long to rebuild it but we should enjoy the journey.

Cheesy chips on Wembley Way.

Daniel Kendal

Ed’s Note [Gav]: It’s a very optimistic outlook you have there Daniel, and I can’t deny that you make some good points. The problem here is that so much has changed so quickly that many people are expecting us to get promoted this season - and because it’s not going as smoothly as some hope, there’s definitely a feeling around the fans that we could still be doing more to get ourselves there.

Hopefully we find two or three more players in this window that can give us the boost we need to kick on this season, because spending more than a season at this level is, in my view, a disaster. We can handle a few years of consolidation in the Championship, but we have more than enough resources to be able to get ourselves out of League One - it won’t be as easy next season if we are still here.