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Players, recruitment, Jack Ross, the future - Sunderland fans react as season ends in heartbreak

With more questions than answers surrounding the club’s future on the back of Sunday’s loss, many Sunderland supporters are understandably concerned about where we goes from here.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

In the aftermath of this weekend’s disappointment, we asked our readers to offer their thoughts on the defeat against Charlton and what that means moving forward.

As you can imagine, there was an enormous variety of opinion on a wide range of matters.

Keep letting us know your thoughts, and we will continue to publish as many opinions that are offered!

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by James Chance/Getty Images


Simply put we are a work in progress! We have come a long way since the start of the season. This team was not good enough to go up this year and i think we will have struggled next near in the championship. Ross has had a season in this league, with this team now so will know what he needs to be champions next year. Last time we got beat by Charlton in Playoffs we won the league with record points! I was at Wembley yesterday and was heartbroken like everyone, but last thing we need now we have got our club back is to get back to all the negativity. Everyone needs to pull their sleeves up and win the league next year!

- Daniel Alan

Daniel is optimistic about the future, but notes that we can’t revert to negativity. Thoughts?

Yeah we need to improve the squad like a more creative midfielder but changing managers every season is not gonna get us anywhere, we’ve learned that in the past, plus the target was to be promoted within two years if we did it the first year with the team we have I don’t think we could have lasted. I say keep Jack Ross, improve the squad of hard working, positive, players that want to stay and help the club get back where it belongs and bring in a few new, fresh, quality players that also want to help us get back up #sunderlandtillidie

- Caitlin Wheldon

Caitlin highlights key issues that she thinks hurt our chances for success, but notes that Ross needs support in delivering the goods.

Players not good enough, manager even less so. That combination isn’t healthy. We need new investment, a manager who isn’t frightened to want to win and who plays attacking football because under Ross we are destined to remain in the 3rd tier for years to come. Nice bloke. Poor manager.

- Kevin Twinn

Kevin, however, isn’t so sure that Jack Ross is the man for the job.

We HAVE to get promotion next season, don’t want to get stuck in this division. We are, or should be, better than that. More attacking play. Don’t sit back defending one goal. We must play to win EVERY game.

- Alison Keedy

Alison thinks we need to learn from our mistakes and deliver the goods next season.

In JRs first season with only two transfer windows, bearing in mind he only started during the first transfer window, his team scored over 80 goals, scored more home goals than Barnsley, scored more away goals than Luton & only lost 8% of his league & checkatrade cup games.

Runners up from 64 teams in the checkatrade cup.

Prior to Ross we had won 26 games from the previous 130 games .... he achieved this in his first season

He is still learning and for a first season, we’ve done ok and i hope he is allowed to continue the rebuild.

- Tony Junior

Tony offers an interesting note that a lot of people interacted with on Facebook. It’s a pragmatic view that offers a positive outlook. Agree?

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images


Can’t say I was gutted. Sure everyone concerned should feel they have to do better next year but for the first time in ages this did feel like a side that played for the boss, their teammates, the city and not just cash. We go again.

- Mark Docherty (@MarkDocherty16)

Mark offers a positive outlook - this side did fight for the badge, but was it enough?

Going to be harder to get people to buy into some of the things Donald and Methven came up with this season.

Can’t see how we can have a fresh approach without changing the manager, again.

Telling that we never twanked anybody all season really.

Best 11? Best formation?

- Geoff Turner (@guffsafc73)

Geoff isn’t so sure, though. Can the club get the fans excited again without bringing in a new manager?

Hmm I can understand the Ross out thoughts, but for me changing to another manager with new ideas puts us back a step, give him another season. I would like to see some good backing and go for it this season with a quality spine purchased with a bit of a wow factor for us fans!!

- Dave (@acko16)

Dave thinks another season and key purchases could make all the difference.

Once again we haven’t addressed issues in regards to height, physicality and pace. It’s been lacking for years and never gets resolved and it has cost us once again. Only gaffer who could see it was Allardyce, struggle to understand why others can’t or won’t.

- Joe Bellerby (@sniff91)

Joe highlights an issue that many have raised - the fact that recruitment has been poor and key weaknesses haven’t been addressed. Would this solve our woes?

Ross has lacked enthusiasm in the press, his team selections have been woeful and his tactics have been too negative. He has taken undue credit off the backs of Maja and McGeady and it’s time in my book to give the job to someone else

- Daniel (@ARGXMENT)

Daniel, on the other hand, thinks the root of the problem lies with the manager and that change is needed if we are to find success.

It was heart rendering but people have to remember where this club was 12 months ago on the ropes and heading for 3rd relegation without a squad Yes we could & probably should have got auto promotion but this is still a young team & Manager Lets progress & go up in style in 2020.

- Martin Purvis (@Pur16Martin)

Martin looks to hindsight, though, and notes that perhaps this isn’t the worst position we could be in.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Roker Report Website

Address the obvious problems Lumping balls into an isolated striker has been the story of our season. It hasn’t worked all season so it can come as no surprise that it failed on Sunday. We haven’t looked particularly threatening since the start of the season and that has to be addressed in the summer. Wyke will be OK with a decent strike partner. I have no idea if that’s Grigg or not. He’s looked very poor so far and worth nowhere near £4m but then has he ever been really fit? Getting defenders who can actually defend would be another step in the right direction!

Ultimately, we need to have a clear style of play and have the players recruited that fit that plan. It sounds simple but we definitely didn’t do that this year, which is a major reason why we’ve had the best players but nowhere near the best team. We also need to properly invest in this Dortmund model and get our young prospects into the team rather than them being side-lined or sent out on loan.

- Slartibartfarst42

Slarti offers some insight into our disappointing end to the season - planning is critical.

There is much to do and time is vital some player assessment will have been done but by whom. The player assessment that have taken place for the current season have been less than satisfactory and surely we cannot afford to have the same people making them for the future. If as I hope there is some new investor coming in He will surely have some influence on the decisions to be made, and I will be surprised if the number one decsion isn’t a new management team. For me Ross who is obviously a decent hard working bloke has failed on a number of accounts, Recruitment, tactics, team selection and Game managment so he will have to be replaced. Chris Hughton might be available and I understand Keane would jump at the chance to be a No 1 againeither of these two would be and improvement in the Management of the team

- Mordey st

Mordey doesn’t see Ross as the man to take the club forward.

George Honeyman is ok when the team dont have the ball, but when we do have it there isnt enough end product for a midfielder. Particularly when he is meant to be instigating attacking play. Get a new right back and push O’Nien into his roll, he has showed enough going forward that he makes things happen, and after all isnt that how he made his name at Wycombe?.

Charlie Wyke has been fit for the last two or three months and has been more or less ever present in the side, but just dosnt score enough goals and dosnt look like scoring most of the time. He scored prolifically for Bradford, but its not happening for him in this team. That needs sorting out if we want to get out of this league, either a fully fit Grigg or a different option, something has to change as results in the last month suggest we will have bigger problems than trying to get promoted next year.

Our centre backs have had good spells and shaky spells throughout the season. In short we need to find the best centre back in this league and sign him up. The final thought I have is that McGeady is one year older and we will be lucky if we get another season from him like the one he has just had.

Oh, and lay off Jack Ross he had to build a squad from more or less scratch last summer and do we really want more of ripping up and starting again every year much of which got us here to start with?

- Marco67

Marco highlight key issues plaguing the side, but doesn’t think Ross is the man to blame.

As a supporter we have just had our worst season ever and thats official, end of. To accept it, as some kind of success, is to accept mediocrity, it is delusional and unbecoming. The owners took over and installed their man, Ross, in plenty of time before the season started. The recruitment (ins and outs) has been one of failure, tactics, selection, substitutions, all come into this. The selling of Maja, buying an unfit/injured Grigg and Wyke were critical.

The stick or twist aspect depends on the new investors. Do they allow Ross to formulate a plan for next season. If so a fast start will be required. My opinion is that he shouldn’t. A new man should be given the close season to assess the squad including the younger players. Look at how he wants to play, see where he is deficient and plan accordingly. The new man needs to be well versed in promotion from league 1 and Championship. I personally want to see young hungry players led properly with pronotion the be all and end all. Set the spine of the team. Dont mess around with a stupid trinket cup nobody cares about. There are lots of names out there. Hughton would be the smart choice regardless of his history. Would he come down that far? Pitch it right, I think he would. So too Pulis, not every mans cup of tea but a winner at this level. It all depends where any new investors and or owners see SAFC in three years time and their ambitions. With the right people at the helm, who knows where we could go?

- Rowellworld

Rowell isn’t sure about Ross going forward, but will potential new investment have a say on the matter?

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