Dear Roker Report,
Reading a few of your letters I would like to put my penny worth in . Would Peter Reid sort the mess out at Sunderland? You bet he would! I have always been a bit of a Reidophile. I liked his teams , his players , his exciting way of playing and of course his attitude towards the game. Which is often accompanied by colourful language . Apart from big Sam he is the one we long time supporters ( 54 years to-date) want back to give character and backbone to the players and enjoyment and excitement and above all good expectations to the fans. I’m sorry to disagree with your comments about Mr Donald. Until he proves otherwise I consider him a watered down Mike Ashley . Difference between last season and this season is he has got rid of all our quality players who were above league 1 standard - Maja , Cattermole , honeyman , Oviedo etc. And had replaced them with League 1 and 2 standard players . So what else do we expect , yes poor league 1 and 2 performances . In fact not just poor , more like shocking. Looking at the guys who applied for managers job I can only think the reason Parkinson was employed was that he was the cheapest contract out of the bunch .Like a previous contributor to your bulletin , what he said was exactly how I feel . As every Sunderland supporter knows over the last 50 years we have many ups and down and we have supported them all the way. But like your previous contributer I feel like my loyalty is being sucked out of my soul. Like the last 3 home games I always try and look for any positives , but only positive was the final whistle. Well enough complaining, cos don’t suppose any one will take it as constructive criticism , but the ranting of a disillusioned , old aged , grumpy, overweight and too opinionated , long time Mackem supporter .Cheers , probably still see you at the next home game
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I just don’t think managers like Reid exist any more for a reason. He’s not had a job in club management for eight years now, and even then that was with cash-strapped League Two Plymouth. I love Reidy and think he was great the first time around, but the game moves on and so do the methods that managers use to get their players going.
I’d be sceptical of what he’d be able to provide beyond a short-term kick up the arse. As an assistant in the dressing room though... I think he’d potentially be an asset if paired with a pragmatic, forward thinking coach.
You’re right about the club losing ‘better’ players, but I think most fans agreed in the summer that it was right for the financial health of the club to trim the wage bill. Ultimately our recruitment back in to the club has been horrendous. Had we adequately replaced those players you’ve listed with cheaper, younger alternatives then we’d be over the moon. Problem is that we replaced Oviedo and James with De Bock, Adam Matthews with McLaughlin, and Cattermole with Dobson (who, to be fair, I think will still come good).
January is massive. We’re treading water until the transfer window opens, and we have to be ready to not only sign players early in the window but also get rid of anyone who isn’t pulling their weight. I don’t like the fact that Parkinson is Sunderland manager but it’s pretty clear that he’s going nowhere yet, so we may be forced to come to terms with the fact he’s staying until he has a transfer window to alter his squad.
It’ll be an interesting few months, one way or another.
Dear Roker Report,
Parkinson won’t be going anywhere soon. New coach employed supports that. I believe he has got a plan for a pattern of play with it being early ball forward. ‘Long ball’ football as it’s referred to. We have had this style in the past and is effective when employed correctly, see Reid using it with Quinn and Allardyce used the early ball forward very effectively. The problem currently seems the players have been poor at implementing it. Rather than a ball played early into the CF or effectively into the channels or getting diagonals so the CF plays on the full backs we have continually booted ‘ave it style’ straight down the pitch and as high in the sky as we could. Hoping the 10 day break working with the players shows improvement. This was after all Parkinson’s gripe that he hadn’t had any time on the training pitch. However I have my reservations and wouldn’t be surprised to see him gone by the new year when results don’t improve, if the owners have the money to sack him of course.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think the problem with Parkinson is that at other clubs he demonstrated a capability of improving the teams he coached when given the time to put his own stamp on the squad. Ultimately, that is not what Sunderland needed. We needed someone who was going to give us the adrenaline shot we needed to turn draws into wins and properly challenge for promotion. The more I think about it, the more I can’t quite understand what the thinking was behind hiring him.
This is why I think we need to find a Director of Football - decisions such as appointing the manager of a football club should be well thought out, and should be done while taking into account the previous experience and tactics of the manager. There appears to have been no real strategy - the players Parkinson has don’t suit the way he plays, so we were always going to have a rocky start under him. January cannot come soon enough.