Dear Roker Report,
The negativity around Sunderland is staggering and disheartening.
There are some fans that thought we played in too basic a manner; that wanted us to play any formation other than 4231; and, there are fans who think we play too sophisticated a ball-playing formation for League 1.
There are fans that only desired that we had some players that gave their all, that represented the area and region; and, there are fans that wanted a player, who was homegrown and grafted all day, to be driven out of town on a rail.
There are fans that think we spent too much money on mercenaries; and, fans who think in League 1, though we have spent more than any-other team ever, that we have not spent enough.
There are fans that believe we should trust our academy players, and that they should be given time to adjust to playing regularly and to learn from making mistakes; and, there are fans that think young players should be yanked after one bad game to prevent us from losing any points.
The solution is simple. We need a straightforward, sophisticated, defensive-minded, offensive-minded team comprised of homegrown players that cost 10 million pounds each and all play because they love Sunderland, who are half-English and half-Brazilian.
Perhaps, honestly the fans that hold each of those views does not entertain any of the others. And, I grant I am frustrated as well. However, a number of the material changes that fans, including myself, complained about for a long time with the previous regime, have come about. Jack Ross played a simple system and a complex system; and was hired being an ambitious, young coach with a good reputation. The academy players have been used more. George Honeyman did graft. More British players were brought in, and money was spent on “proven” talent: the best strikers League 1 had. It has not worked out so far: one game into the second season, when the first summer was tumultuous to say the least.
Shouldn’t everyone just calm down a little bit? The season Sheffield United went up - DESTROYING THE LEAGUE - they lost or drew, I believe, their first four or six games.
Perhaps, it is just our human condition to be dissatisfied.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Perhaps you’re right - Sunderland fans have been conditioned to feel dissatisfied and there’s an internal pessimism that we’re struggling to shake.
What I do know is that our fans are starting to agree on a lot of issues surrounding the playing and management side of things. We’re spotting issues that have been bubbling under the surface, and can foresee where the current situation is headed. Jack Ross is in an incredibly tough spot - he either needs to go balls-out and blow League One away or he’ll be out of a job sooner rather than later. Fans recognise the change and the money spent, but now expect results. Sadly for Jack Ross, I think he’s going to get caught in the firing line eventually and the hunger that many fans have to see change will be enacted.
Let’s wait and see, I guess. It’s never dull at Sunderland!
Dear Roker Report,
After 20 odd draws things have to change. The signings so far have not been good enough - we can not have a season like last season. There are now loads of free agents scrambling for clubs and as usual we are sat with our fingers up our backsides.
Fleetwood sign Ched Evans and other sides like Portsmouth are spending - come on, I’m sick of hearing false promises about how we’re going to do this and that. We want actions not words.
In League One, for example, we are the big club and then you get Oxford - no disrespect to them, but getting Ben Woodburn on loan... how? The talk was Liverpool got two of our up and coming youngsters and our relationship with them would herald a few good loan signings - bullsh*t as usual.
Lets get this season going - if not we’ll be back to square one.
Ross could be gone by September.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I can understand your frustrations but think you are misguided with your ire re: Sunderland’s spending. We’ve bought well in this window in my opinion, and have brought in players that strengthen a number of positions that we were lacking in last season. Stewart Donald said last week that we’d likely wait until the Premier League and Championship window closed as it puts us in a position to maybe take some players who weren’t able to move around those two leagues, and I think that is sensible. We’re still in need of a left back, right back, centre half and a winger - those are all positions that we can still strengthen before our own window closes at the end of the month.
Dear Roker Report,
I stuck up for Jack Ross last year, but now with the season started we can only give him 10 games to go top of league or within 3 points.
We can not muck about this season - we need promotion; sod the cups, just promotion. Our club will be in big trouble if we don’t. So my plea to Mr Donald and the board is 10 games for Jack Ross then if he does not deliver throw the kitchen sink at recruiting Pablo Machin.
He fits the bill tactic-wise and will kick the players up the ass.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’d agree, and think ten games is a fair amount of games to give a manager before deciding to pull the plug.
That said, I think the mood hinges entirely on these next two games.
Failing to take points from both makes Ross’s position look ominous, but if he goes in to those games and gets the wins we need then I’m sure we’ll all have an entirely different outlook on the season ahead.