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Fan Letters: “Could Sunderland’s recruitment team have handled the transfer window better?”

Lads fan John can’t help but think that Sunderland could have handled the transfer window better than they did, whilst RR reader Adarsh plans to start Sunderland’s first Indian supporter branch. Email us: - we’ll include your message in the next edition!

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Dear Roker Report,

This is Adarsh again from India. I’m super excited to write this - not only because we had a wonderful transfer window apart from the Maja disaster, but because I’ve found a new Sunderland fan from India.

He resides around 1000 km from my home and has been supporting the club since the Big Sam days. His name is Kannan Subramanian, and he too is buzzing with the Grigg on fire signing. We’ll be starting a Indian Branch of Sunderland fans soon.

And the window has been so pleasing to me not just because of the big money signing, but because of how deep and hard our owner has gone to help our club.

Mr Donald should take all the credit - I feel proud that we’ve got him, and a special mention should go to the fans who have supported the team both home and away in numbers and have made Stewart believe that this club is one worth investing in.

I feel that we should try to get more players like Leadbitter, who have got Sunderland under their skin. They will play with their heart, and as with the Josh Maja saga I feel other players without a Sunderland background will always look for pastures new (Lynden Gooch is an exemption).

Anyway, let us all put the negatives aside. Let’s get behind the lads, manager, and our owner. Things are looking bright. Upwards and Onwards. Haway the lads.

Adarsh - Sunderland til I die

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Always good to hear from you, Adarsh. I’m so glad that you’ve found another fan in India, although I suspect that in such a well-populated country that you won’t be the only two! I’ve passed your information on to Chris Waters, the club’s supporter liaison officer, so that he can touch base with you about getting your branch started.

Regarding your thoughts on negativity - I couldn’t be more in agreement. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being critical, but I think that with it you have to be fair, measured and logical. And, you’ve also got to acknowledge the good things in equal measure, otherwise you’re just being biased and unfair.

We’ve lost twice in the league all season, don’t concede many goals and just bolstered our squad with a number of signings that I’d say were of Championship standard. We can’t not be happy with that. Now, the owners cannot do any more - it’s down to the coaching staff and the players to get us out of this division.

Gillingham v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

For the last few seasons in every window I’ve seen us scratching around in the last few days and hours trying to sign players - somebody, anybody!

I think we have some clever, astute men now running the club with a good view on the playing style and finances.

What I don’t understand is why we don’t seem to have a plan to sign who we need in plenty of time for when we need them (Just think, any new forward that comes in today ant the eleventh hour might have to play on Saturday without the opportunity to settle in).

Surely, Jack Ross and his team should have known where they were likely to have to strengthen after the summer window closed. Let’s take Josh as an example - he might not have worked out, he might have worked but somebody might lure him away. So needing a replacement shouldn’t have come as a total surprise and we should have had some idea of who we might like and what we would pay for them.

I know ‘Official’ transfer business can’t start until Day 1 of the window, but, like with Josh, some conversations could and do go on before hand.My point is that the targets (in order of priority if necessary) and the budgets should have been in place and we should have our business done at the beginning of the window. Saves everybody stress, possibly some money (we know what happens to the price when you have to buy something at the last minute) and the players and management get an extra month to work together. We would also have a bit of contingency time if things went wrong or didn’t work out (an injury for example).

And yet this still seems to beyond the club.

John L

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t doubt that we could have done certain things better, but some things are also out of our control and the way January panned out wasn’t exactly how they expected. Stewart Donald said on our Podcast that they had expected Josh Maja to stay right at the start, and that Jack Ross was only really interested in signing a central defender.

But, things changed and so did our plans.

One thing is for sure, they weren’t just sat around on their hands doing nothing. The club worked hard to get players through the door and, despite the late nature of it, they delivered.

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