Dear Roker Report,
First of all I’d like to say thank you for all your content. There is criticism out there, but personally I appreciate all the content you provide. Be it transfer news, words from the owners, match reports, the round table, or even the loan report. It makes my days at work easier to get through, at times.
Secondly, I just want to get your opinion on some of the transfer rumours and what it could mean going forward. I saw something from the Echo mentioning that we have an offer out for Shankland (which you’d mentioned already), that we were after the young Bolton defender Brockbank and we were going after Marquis. I’d also seen that we had “bid” for Ladapo (I think that’s how you spell it) from Plymouth.
I found the Shankland, Marquis and Ladapo stories more interesting. It made me think about where the team is going. Does that mean either Wyke or Grigg’s positions are in jeopardy? Does it mean that there will be a lot of rotation and it’s for squad depth? Or is Jack Ross planning a formation change (ie; 4 4 2)?
I realise it’s all hypothetical at the minute, as nothing is confirmed. But it made me think. I realise that it could just be that we aren’t chucking our eggs in one basket, as they say. But if some of the striker deals come off, I can’t see any of the strikers being happy with a bit part role. Obviously not all deals will come off. But was just interested to see all the links.
Midfield and CB are massive on the priority list, as everyone has already mentioned. I hope the recruitment team, whoever is controlling things at the moment, identity these issues. We need to be stronger and more physical. Hopefully as soon as the takeover goes through there will be a stream of announcements regarding players!
Promotion is a must, but win the league should be the aim. We have had a season in this league, and although it will be tough with some of the teams going for it, that has to be the aim. Let’s get behind Ross and the players and go again! HA’WAY THE LADS!
Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Michael, thank you for the letter and your continued support. Everyone has a right to an opinion (even if their opinion is that we’re crap!), and we are set on ensuring people have a place to voice their thoughts.
Re: the transfer rumours, I think Shankland would be a no-risk deal as he’d be joining on a free. Marquis and Ladapo would command decent transfer fees, but I’d rather see that money spent on the heart of the defence and an imposing box to box midfielder. Who those players are, I don’t really know, but should the takeover be confirmed and John Park be installed as a Director of Football, then I’m sure he’ll have a few players in mind.
In terms of our strikers, Wyke and Grigg both struggled with fitness issues last season; I’m keen to see how Ross tinkers with his tactical approach to give one, or both, of them the system and support required to find goals. Shankland would be a decent addition to provide competition and fight for a starting berth.
Dear Roker Report,
Lee needs to stay at the club he is a born leader with a huge heart. Lee has to be club captain this season as he knows what the club means to the fans. Over the past few seasons I hold my hand up, I have slagged him off for poor performances . What we do not know is though how long he has played with injuries through the pain barrier when he should of been sidelined. Catts would run all day and wants to be part of getting us back where we belong we need more players like him. Catts for captain its a no brainer and congrats on the wedding.
Ed’s Note [Tom]: Cattermole has had a cracking season, I agree. That being said, I think from a financial perspective - and I say this with something of a heavy heart - moving him on could be good business for the club.
It is rumoured that Catts is on over £40,000 a week. That is over £2 million per year spent on his wages alone. Putting that into perspective, most League One sides don’t spend that on an entire squad’s wages and still secure promotion. I’d like to see his freed wages invested on a young talent that can impose himself in the middle of the park and grow with the club. IT would be symbolic to see the old guard replaced by a new talent.
Catts has every right to hold his head high as a great servant to this club, but this could be the right time for him to leave with the fans’ appreciation.