Dear Roker Report,
After Saturday’s result, it’s easy to get frustrated, right?
“This season is a failure.”
“Get rid of Jack Ross.”
“Not. Good. Enough.”
We’re a passionate bunch of fans, aren’t we? All we want is the club to do well, achieve, give us something to cheer about every week. But recently, a minority of Sunderland ‘fans’ are starting to grind my gears with their pessimistic and dismissive comments after games.
Think back to this time last year. We suffered our second consecutive relegation, the club was in turmoil, we had a chairman that was non-existent, a revolving door of managers and players - there was no sign of ANY light at the end of this horrible, horrible tunnel. Instead, it was becoming darker, the lights were fading - fast.
Fast forward to the present day. We have a new chairman that’s saved and revived Sunderland AFC. The connection between fan and club has been reestablished. With many including myself, feeling we finally have our club back.
Understandably, for any team, there has to be objectives. For example, getting out of an ugly league first time or avoiding relegation, acquiring a number of players etc but I must be the only one that’s not losing it or getting agitated, around the first example. To me and and you may disagree but it feels like folk are expecting TOO much, for everything to fall into place or miracles to happen at the snap-of-a-finger. Surely doing this in ONE season under NEW ownership is borderlining a ‘rushed job’, no?
We have a manager that’s still, you could say, is fairly new to management and taking charge of his first big club. Of course he’ll make mistakes, which he’s made during his first season, he’s human after all. However, for some to call for his head, they need to remember what happened when we did this every six months.
The team that, we all know, isn’t bless with quality - Aiden McGeady and Jon McLaughlin aside. To get to where we are during our first season in League One, with all the changes that have taken place has been incredible. Does it bother me that we’ve ‘only’ made the playoffs? No, not all all. Yeah, number of games that have ended with a draw slowed us down but it feels better to pick up points/win games, as frustrating as some games have been, and be near the top of a league, than get battered on a weekly basis and dodging relegations.
I accepted the fact that from the moment Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven arrived, this was going to be a long-term project, rebuilding the club from top to bottom, inside and out. If it was done over one season, it would have been incredibly impressive.
All I’m saying is, no matter what, even if we don’t go up via the playoffs and face a second season in League One, I’ll still follow the club.
Patience is key. Quit complaining and back the lads - no matter what.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Me and you too, brother. I’m not panicking and not afraid of what lies ahead because for the first time in forever I feel confident that we’re on a path towards a better place.
You’re also probably the first person that I think I’ve seen say that this club might not even be ready for promotion yet after such a massive turnaround in a short space of time, and it’s a very valid argument - one that we may not even be able to explore fully should we fail to get promoted.
“Whatever will be, will be” is a motto I carry with me through life and most definitely applies to my support of Sunderland. If we get promoted, don’t get promoted, everything goes belly up or whatever else I’ll still be there with them. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to what goes on both on the pitch and behind the scenes - though I’ve said numerous times before that we ought to save the inquest until the season is over - but that I think it’s easier to see the bigger picture if you aren’t too reactionary. I’ve been far too reactionary on more occasions than I care to remember over the years when it comes to Sunderland and you almost always miss the point entirely.
Here’s hoping we get promotion, but if we don’t deal with all that comes with it in the most sensible manner possible.