Dear Roker Report,
It is clear that a fit and firing Duncan Watmore, back to close to how he was before the first injury, is too good to remain in League One for long.
However, you would have to say that his injury record means that nobody is going to pay a lot of money for him so the likelihood is that Championship is the best he can hope for and probably on lower wages that his current contract at Sunderland would pay in the championship, so you would hope that he would give us to the end of the season at least.
Particularly as this would give him a chance to prove his fitness to suitors and, probably, increase his potential wages. If he did gave us the rest of the season and we don’t go up then I would have no problem with him leaving.
Incidentally, we do have a fairly recent precedent in Kenwyne Jones, who turned down a move to Spurs when he got back from a long injury layoff, saying that he couldn’t do that to the staff that had worked so hard to get him fit. There is no doubt that it harmed his career to some extent but I love him for it and will never hear a word against him.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t think you’ll find a Sunderland fan who doesn’t want to see Duncan Watmore get himself back to where he was when he was playing in the Premier League - he’s clearly a lovely, hard-working fella who has had some horrendous luck.
That will take time, however.
The advantage he has at Sunderland is that when he’s fit, he’s immediately an asset to the side as he’s one of the few players in attack who has pace to burn. He’ll get plenty of playing time and if his destiny is to recover and then play on for another ten years, he’ll find no better place than at League One Sunderland to regain his form and fitness.
That said, I still think that it’s vitally important that we sign someone in January who offers similar characteristics to those that we get from Watmore. It’ll help him in that we won’t rely so heavily on him to be available. If he can remain fit between now and next summer he’ll be well on his way to getting back to a situation where he’s comfortable and can progress as a player, whether that’s at Sunderland or elsewhere.
Dear Roker Report,
You could almost have telegraphed exactly who would pipe up on Twitter once Sunderland got beat on Saturday. I’m convinced some fans relish Sunderland’s negativity so they can go on Twitter and moan about the club/the owners/the manager/the players, whip up their minions and feel important for all of five minutes.
Is anyone else sick of these twats?!
Ed’s Note [Gav]: It’s strange. No Sunderland fan wants to see the team lose, surely, but I get what you mean. Sometimes it feels like there are people who only appear to be negative. I guess it’s just a different way of showing that they care, even if sometimes the focus of their attention is misjudged. Ultimately, if results on the pitch were good then nobody would have anything to moan about - perhaps we should be preaching patience, rather than chastising people we perceive to be ‘negative’.
Phil Parkinson has barely got his feet under the table and it’s going to take him a short amount of time to fully get to grips with the job at hand - ultimately I feel that there’s something to take from the fact that we’re seeing an improvement in performances in the early stages of his reign, even despite the fact we’ve lost two of his three games.
We’re eight points behind the top two, and we have to see that gap decrease as we approach January. That, coupled with fans being able to see clearly what we are trying to do on the pitch, will help Parkinson to convince people we’re headed the right way.