Dear Roker Report,
Having read a number of the fans’ forums and also various websites all discussing where the Sunderland squad needs improving I would like to make the following comment. The majority of surveys nearly all say that 70% of fans voted to improve the defence with only 19% stating the priority is to improve was the forwards.
If supporters review the 2018/19 season Sunderland only lost 5 games all season. Only two teams in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two bettered that defensive record - Liverpool lost one game and Manchester City lost 4, so is the priority defensive reinforcements or should it be other areas of the pitch?
If you fail to take chances or relieve the pressure on the defence eventually you will concede and either draw or lose the game. Sunderland won 22 games but drew 19, so it would indicate strengthening up front and a creative goal scoring midfield player should be the priority. The team needs to take the game to the opposition and push home their advantage. Don’t allow comeback opportunities and convert draws into wins.
Lets hope Jack Ross has researched his targets well and brings in a striker who will lead the line well terrorising opposition defences and also a very creative midfield player who can control games as well as scoring goals.
Get behind the team!
Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Dave, thanks for the interesting message - appreciate you taking the time to write in. I think you raise an interesting point, and I would agree that Ross desperately needs a creative player or two to supplement our attack. A fit Will Grigg can be lethal at this level if we provide him with quality service, too often we failed to do that last season.
That being said, I think the main issue with Sunderland’s defence is how far they regressed as the season went on. Baldwin and Flanagan looked immense at the start of the season, yet after Christmas you just knew they each had a gaffe or two in them going into every game.
They’re both decent players, but with an imposing central defensive leader alongside them, I think the side might gain confidence and go on the front foot more, which definitely was a problem as you noted.
Hopefully the ownership situation is resolved and we crack on with our summer business! Ha’way the Lads!