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Fan Letters: “Selling Cattermole & Honeyman has ripped the ‘spiritual core’ out of Sunderland!”

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“Selling Honeyman and Cattermole, two integral leaders in the club, appears not to have created the desired positives normally associated with removing two of the most loyal and liked players from the squad” says RR reader Jay. Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Danny Roberts

Dear Roker Report,

It seems the owners experiment of ripping the spiritual core out of a team just for a laugh has spectacularly backfired.

Selling Honeyman and Cattermole, two integral leaders in the club, appears not to have created the desired positives normally associated with removing two of the most loyal and liked players from the squad.

I had thought the ownership team then backed this up with purpose. Replacing these fan favourites with mediocre free-transfers and loan signings which would only really serve to demoralise young players who would have hoped to be pushing for a first team place. I bet Ethan Robson and Elliot Embleton really looking forward to the next two years on loan whilst our legion of central midfielders wind down their contracts. I wonder why Kimpioka hasn’t signed a contract yet?

Finally, axing the one man who had stemmed the flow of collapse just because a few people on Twitter were mean, once again appears not to have sparked life into a team already suffering from a confidence crisis.

I mean it’s like being in an out of control car and shooting the driver. We were all probably going to crash anyway, might as well put a crash test dummy behind the wheel.

Jay Hughes

Ed’s Note [Tom]: I think you’re right in noting that our summer business perhaps holds a lot of responsibility as to why we’re in the position we currently are. I’ve argued this for what feels like an age now, but Sunderland need a bright inventive Director of Football, someone who works with the manager and ownership to set a vision for the club, someone who helps create an identity and implement it alongside the coaching team, recruitment team, and board.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the ownership have done this maliciously because that simply isn’t good for them as owners. Instead, I just think they’ve perhaps underestimated just how huge a job this is.

A DoF and other backroom additions could well help us long-term, though.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After watching our last two home games I really do wonder how PP got the SAFC job?

SD – So Phil we were so close to promotion last year and we have what is considered one of the strongest squads in League one, how do you propose assuring us promotion?

PP - Well Stuart, I’ve had a good look at the squad and feel I’ve got the perfect set up to get us back into the Championship.

SD - Please elaborate.

PP – Well you spent a pretty penny on Will Grigg and we all know he’s scored loads of goals at this level so what I propose is, we get the ball up to him as quickly & directly as possible and bob’s your uncle, goals goals goals!

SD – Outstanding thinking, jobs yours!

Now I know his interview probably didn’t go like this but the Tranmere game apart, we have continually played long ball football to a 5’10” forward playing upfront on his own! REALLY! If you know nothing about football (so I’m qualified obviously) humping the ball in the air time after time isn’t going to work.

I don’t want to go back to better times as it’s really depressing thinking about it, but Sam Allardyce was considered a long ball manager and our centre forward was Jermain Defoe at 5’6”, Dick Advocaat said he couldn’t play in his system and even played him at left wing back! Allardyce worked out that Defoe = goals and worked out a way of playing that got the ball to his FEET around or inside the penalty area! We didn’t play hoofball under Sam as even a football dinosaur like him knew it wouldn’t work.

Phil Parkinson has had 12 games and had taken a side that was top 6 and in need of a lift, to a side that is totally bereft of confidence and identity, we’ve gone from needing a tweak to needing major surgery! How is that good management? It’s too easy to sack managers these days as the players should take a large part of the blame, but I’m sorry PP has to go! for an experienced manager not to be able to adapt his style with the players he’s inherited is just not good enough and Stuart Donald should hold his hands up and admit he’s made a terrible mistake with this appointment.

Dale Robson

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Dale - it’s a thoroughly worrying position we’re in, isn’t it? You’re right about Sunderland’s approach being downright numb in going direct to Grigg, but to be fair, Ross employed a similar tactic for large parts of his time at the club, too.

We are in a really difficult position now, Stewart Donald and the rest of Sunderland’s hierarchy need to get every decision spot on moving forward.

As a fan you feel hopeless as there’s next to nothing you can do to influence the situation other than write and discuss it (civilly). You’re bang on, though, in noting that we need to get the ball down on the deck and into Grigg’s feet. Thanks for writing in!