Dear Roker Report,
Just wanted to address what’s been circling social media this morning about an apparent number of fans who are starting to call on JR getting the axe.
I get the frustration at times, especially with scoring and sitting back. But after the last 5-10 years of instability, surely that’s exactly what us fans want. We finally have a bunch of owners who care deeply for the club. Our majority shareholder is always trying to sort issues us fans sent to him on twitter and is very vocal about Sunderland inside and out!
I’m sure Ellis Short would of done that...
We have a manager who wants us to do well and cares. After the past 2 seasons why can we not get behind that? We got to a final that no one cared about at the start of the season and it gave us a fantastic day out. We’re currently third in the league with 3, I’ll repeat that, THREE games in hand. Why are people panicking?
If we don’t go up do I want JR to go? Not at all. Not in a million years. One thing we’ve lacked in recent memory is something I believe to be so important and that’s stability. We currently have a chance to build some stability and fans are wanting to throw it all away already? It’s a joke in my eyes.
It’s a new era - an era that I’m 100% behind and that hasn’t changed all season and won’t change for the rest of it.
Get behind the club, we’re in the best position as a club and who’s in it, that we have been for years. I believe in this team and everyone behind the scenes. So why don’t you before we lose it?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I agree, I think the kneejerking is a bit tiresome if I’m honest. If we get a bad result tonight at Accrington then people will rightly complain, but as of writing this letter our league form has been great and, as you rightly say, we are in a great position to actually win the games in hand that we have and gain promotion.
I’m certainly not panicking. It’s in our hands.
Dear Roker Report,
One sentiment I have read on your site that I agree with is that while Sunderland have a large and talented squad, it is not very versatile. Also, I would add in certain positions, we do not possess definite starters nor do we possess even a player that is one of the best in the division.
The defence and the attack are highly problematic to me. At center half, there is no guaranteed starter; there has been rotation between Flanagan, Baldwin, and Dunne, mainly because no individual is quite superior to the others in most aspects of their position.
Similarly, the attack is rather limited. McGeady is the only standout attacker, and he has to play a certain way. Morgan and Maguire have been very good at times, but obviously building for next year, Morgan will be leaving and Maguire has not been consistent. Grigg and Wyke are still adjusting, and may show their abilities in time, but so far have not found a way to show them. Honeyman is a resolute and energetic midfielder, but he is not a playmaking attacking midfielder.
Keeping this in mind, Sunderland might look to George Edmundson, Sammie Szmodics and Stevie Mallan for next season, whether they are promoted or not. Edmundson is young, has played a great deal in league 1, was in the team of the season, and we have seen with players like Tarkowski and O’Connell how much value their is in young English central defenders. Szmodics is perhaps the best young attacking playmaker in league 1 or 2, and will be a free transfer. Mallan we were linked with last summer, and at Hibernian, he has showed himself to be one of the best midfielders in the Scottish Prem.
All three would make the squad younger, would have resale value, and would be relatively cheap both in wages and fee. Thank you for your time.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think it’s difficult as we sit here right now to say what the team next season needs. As it stands what league we play in isn’t certain and until that is confirmed, we shouldn’t start targeting specific players.
That said, whatever league we are matters not a lot when assessing the deficiencies of the squad. I think that we lack pace and athleticism all over the park, characteristics that the squad has been missing now for a number of years. If we can do that, we’ll do well in either league. Continuing to sign smaller, slower players will hamper us though.