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Fan Letters: Sunderland need a manager with “personality, confidence and belief in what they do”

In today’s Fan Letters, Roker Report reader Barry discusses the kind of manager he thinks that Sunderland need in order to find success. Do you agree with him? Email us:!

Dear Roker Report,

This is my first time writing in, so it’ll either be inspired reading, or the ramblings of a mad man. Either way it feels good to get it off my chest.

Ive heard a few reviews of the decade recently, and it puts in to sharp focus how far we’ve fallen. A decade ago we had Bruce as manager(admititally not the second coming of Pep) and Bent Gyan and Welbeck as a front three and the rest of a squad capable of competing in the Premier League. 1 by 1 those attacking players left, never adequately replaced, followed shortly after by the manager and so began (in my opinion) our current struggles. We entered panic mode and never got out of it. We lurched from 1 manager to another, blinded by the need to remain in the premier league at all costs. With no long term planning other than avoiding relegation that season, each summer felt like a dozen in and out of the first team squad, players unfit or unwilling for our great club, ultimately ending in relegation to league 1.

Enter the new owners, amongst a wave of optimism (as much as can mustered in this division), and they said and did (off the field at least, pink seats anyone) the right thing. However now it feels like they are falling into the same traps as the previous owners, blinded by the short term aim. Ross was sacked due to him not looking like he would achieve promotion at the second time of asking. Parkinson was brought in, an appointment that no one wanted, to secure our return to the championship. He needed to get off to a flyer to get skeptical fans on board, he obviously hasn’t, but signing him to a 2 and half contract seems criminal and has the same whiffs of imcompentance as the previous regime.

People have called us a basket case and slated the fans for unreasonable expectations. But its not true, there is a clear blueprint to succeed at this club. Take the 3 most popular and successful managers over the last 25 years, Reid Keane and Allardyce. Similar characters, men with personality and confidence and belief in what they do. It’s what works at this club, its what resonates with fans, not the wet lettuce we currently have going to Gillingham and playing for a draw. People are calling for Kevin Phillips to take the job, and as much as a club legend he is, I believe he is the right man at the wrong time. It’s another club legend called Kevin I think we should looking at, a man with character and personality. A man who bleeds red and white, surely its time for Bally to get the call.

Barry (slightly drunk, always passionate)

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Barry, it really is shocking when you look at how far we’ve fallen. Ultimately, you’re right, though. The club needs strong characters to inspire the players and fans - at present we’re lacking that. I’m not sure who the right candidate would be, but we desperately need a bold, confident persona to get everyone back on the same page.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship -Stadium of Light Photo by Dave Howarth/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

So nearly all SAFC fans realise we’re in deep crap. A survey has been conducted by some blog site or whatever and the question is have SAFC missed Charlie Wyke. My god we are are on the road to total meltdown if anybody thinks Charlie Wyke is the answer to our woes. Before you all slag me off just tack the red and white tinted glasses off n look at his overall ratings after every match and his goals for us. For God’s sake let’s get real - we at SAFC deserve better than the Charlie Wykes of the football world.

William and Jarvis

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t think I’ve seen anyone claim that Charlie Wyke “is the answer to our woes”, though will happily be proven wrong if I’ve missed it. Regardless, I think Wyke will definitely make a difference, perhaps even just a small one, when you factor in that we’ve lumped it forward in the majority of the games under Parkinson to strikers unable to compete aerially. At least with Wyke you know he can win headers.

Not the answers to our woes by any stretch, but it should certainly see us achieve more success than by playing the same tactics to Grigg and McNulty.

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