Dear Roker Report,
I am sure I am not the first one to notice this, but what is with the constant signing of players north of the border?
There are obviously a few gems to pick up from up there, but in the main, most of the players we are getting from that neck of the woods are journeymen, or just average at best.
I just worry a little that Jack Ross does not seem to want to scour the lower leagues down here for potential signings. It seems that we are linked with every available player in Scotland at the moment.
Another worry is that if he keeps signing players from up there, what happens when we (hopefully), move up the leagues again? We do not want an abundance of average players no-one else wants tied to long contracts as we try to recruit better ones. We need to be careful. We could end up in the same trap as before.
Ed’s Note [Damian]: I think you pretty much answered your own question, Hughie. Recruitment has seemingly been focused on quality over quantity, and you might say that it’s somewhat slim pickings in our current circumstance. There are good players to be had but you have to dig through a load of old rubbish to find them.
It’s no secret that pound for pound the Scottish divisions can’t match the Premier League or the Championship, but when you hit League One you see obvious comparisons both financially and in terms of quality. Simply put: the calibre of players brought in from North of the border is roughly on par with your average League One stalwart/Championship hopeful, and that’s precisely the calibre of player Sunderland are targeting. Not because we expect long term contracts and to bring all of these players with us in what will hopefully be a headlong charge up the divisions, but because their cost is within the budget and they’re what we need at the moment.
There are of course players of the same calibre in England but even at this level perhaps there are more varied options for players, even based purely on location? As we’ve come to learn as Sunderland fans, when the winds from the North Sea start to bite it isn’t to everyone’s taste - though these players we speak of may not be Premier League starters, they do have the option to stay in (or at least closer to) slightly more glamorous and temperate locales, often for slightly more money, than might be available farther North. I find that to be both ignorant and shallow but there’s no accounting for taste.
As for whether or not this is a concern in the same vein as being lumbered with bang average players on high salaries, we have to trust that the recruitment team are well aware of the plans set in place for the imminent future, and are negotiating with that in mind. We may well end up with a few that we find fall out of favour when they’re replaced by higher premium players, but that’s something we can look forward to and I don’t think it will ever again be as bad as trying to convince Jack Rodwell to f**k off.
Dear Roker Report,
The team due a great job keeping us up with developments both on and off the pitch and as a daily reader l thank them most sincerely for their efforts.
However on this occasion l think it has been a huge mistake to publish this article.
The guy writing it obviously does not rate Joel Lynch as a player and even makes disparaging remarks of him and his motives for playing professional football.
This of a man who played 90 games over the last three seasons so he must have a bit about him. He is now hardly likely to be given a fair chance at least by the readers of Roker Report. We do not expect supporters of other clubs about footballers who leave but l feel this article should have not been given any coverage.
Good luck Joel, welcome to Sunderland.
Ed’s Note [Damian]: The thing is Gerard, the “author” of this - at least in the sense you mean - was a Queens Park Rangers fan. Roker Report set up this little interview with a fan of the player’s former club (as we do with all signings) in order to specifically get their opinion on the man in question. So the fact that you weren’t pleased with what the gentleman had to say is entirely your prerogative, but in this instance it’s not something we at Roker Report can take responsibility for. If that QPR fan felt that Joel Lynch wasn’t a good player then that’s what we’ll print. Our own opinion of the player has little bearing on the opinions of others.
Don’t fret though - I’m sure that whether he turns out to be great or awful, there will be opinion-based content on Joel Lynch’s Sunderland career going forward. Just as soon as we actually get to see him play in red and white.