Dear Roker Report,
Here we go again! Late out of the blocks this time last year.
Consequence: any available quality signings already snapped up by other clubs.
Result: pinned goal hopes on player carrying injury.
Consequence: try and recover the situation in January when far too late to mount realistic promotion challenge.
Result: January were again late out of the blocks and again sign player carrying injury.
Consequence: promotion challenge peters out. End of term report - lessons not learned; over achieved considering late to the party. Oh what might have been!
Fast forward to approaching new season and it seems lessons still not learned. Some sympathy last season for Jack Ross trying to put together a promotion winning team with at least one hand tied behind his back. Is he now being prevented from making signings while even more senior management’s attention is diverted by take over? Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Wonder whose playing the violin at the Stadium of Light?
Ed’s Note [Damian]: Couldn’t agree more Ian. Squeaky bum time again.
It’s actually something of a trope that Nero played the fiddle as his gaff went up. He was away at the time and returned home to begin a relief effort, personally taking part in search and rescue amongst the rubble if some accounts are to be believed. You’re right to make the comparison but for a slightly different reason.
The truth bears more similarity to our situation than the notion of the Emperor relishing in Rome’s demise. The Emperor is actually off conducting business and while he’s away the flames begin to spread. If the city burns he’s going to be the one responsible for fixing it.
It’s noteworthy that Nero redesigned the urban development of Rome following the fire to prevent such a tragedy happening again. My concern is that we thought the fire had already raged and that infrastructure had already been put in place to avoid a repeat of the tragedy. Like you, I fear this is not the case.
The cost to rebuild Rome was extraordinary.
Something tells me that Stewart Donald can’t play a musical instrument, and if he can it’s Status Quo on rhythm guitar. I’ve no doubt Charlie Methven would cut quite the figure fiddling on the roof of the Bridle Insurance Stadium, though.
Dear Roker Report,
I totally agree with you assessment of Cattermole.
As for Mr McVittie’s comments - doesn’t he realise he’s now only a division one player himself and on Premiership wages who had half a decent season? And that season was in division one. Keeping him when someone who is younger and faster is the only way forward.
Ed’s Note [Damian]: Thing is Brian, I understand why some fans can’t help but feel loyalty to Cattermole. He wears his heart on his sleeve and for most that’s enough evidence of passion to cement that player a place in their hearts. I was once a big Cattermole fan. That was some years ago when he still had the potential to be good, though.
Logistically he has to be replaced.
Dear Roker Report,
Buying new players should be agreed already - we’ve had since December to realise our shortcomings. Surely targets were already agreed? We should have had 3 or 4 in by now.
Or is it, as suspected, wages?
I hope to see 8 quality players before our first game - doable if you have been organised (depending on agents of course).
Good luck to all involved - you’ll need it.
Ed’s Note [Damian]: You would think so Adrian. Surely the recruitment team has had solid targets that they’ve been pursuing resolutely with the full backing of the backroom staff and the owners. Surely.
Surely the combined experience of the recruitment team, coupled with the assurances from the owner that no restrictions have been placed on them, would mean that everything is well and truly in hand?
The problem then arises from the fact that we’re approaching a critical time in the transfer window where free agents of quality (if there are any) are snapped up quickly by clubs serious about doing their business and giving the manager the tools he needs to make next season simple.
Is any of that occurring at Sunderland AFC? Sadly I couldn’t tell you. Realistically, we’re weeks away from the end of the window and the owners and recruitment staff, etc, can’t be fairly accused of anything until all is said and done. That’s our lot as fans. We can do little more than sit and wait for someone else to get the job done.
Whatever will be, will be and all that jazz.