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Fan Letters: “The mind boggles, it really does!” John is worried about Sunderland’s recruitment

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RR readers John and Sam aren’t particularly pleased with Sunderland’s transfer window business or the fact that Jack Ross hasn’t found his settled eleven yet. Got something on your mind? Email us: rokereport@yahoo.co.uk!

Dear Roker Report,

Is nobody else concerned with how we performed in the transfer window? We spent next to nowt and we still lack the strength and pace that this team has been sorely missing for years. Who the hell is in charge of recruitment?!! Are they so ignorant that they can’t understand that without addressing our key problems we’ll continue to struggle in the same way that we did last season (and in the same way we did against a strong physical quick team in P’boro last weekend)?!

The mind boggles, it really does!

John Everidge (Canada)

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Well John I too had some concerns about the transfer window and our lack of business should I say.

Well that wouldn’t be entirely fair actually - we brought in some quality players in Willis and McNulty and they’ve essentially hit the ground running, niggling injury aside. Equally, the jury is still out on De Bock and Lynch since none of us have actually seen them play. It wouldn’t be fair to condemn the transfer business until we’ve witnessed it’s failings with our very own eyes - hopefully that doesn’t come to pass.

Of course, it is blatantly apparent to all and sundry that we needed strength in positions that we didn’t actually get and here’s where we come to your question: “who the hell is in charge of recruitment!?” - that’s Tony Coton, our erstwhile ‘keeper from back in the day. He leads a cadre of scouts and is supported by one Mr. Richard Hill, whom negotiates the contracts. You may recognise his name from the recent Marcus Maddison furore; he didn’t want to pay £2.5million for arguably the best player in the league who went on to score twice against us the week following that news. Which is, you know, fun and everything.

As to why we didn’t bring in the extra hands - I think it’s fair to say we missed out. I refuse to believe that Coton and co. were naive enough to believe we had a full-strength squad as the window closed, and there were offers made that were knocked back. The issue there is that when an offer is made and knocked back that’s something one should be expecting as it’s the nature of the business one is engaged in. In that scenario there should be three or four alternatives, minimum, to turn to to ensure that we don’t finish the window with a whimper.

Again though it’s a little early to decide if we’re truly up s**t creek and to count how many - or few - paddles we’ve got.

Sunderland v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Over one year on and we don’t have a settled first team of 11 players. A couple of wins against much inferior teams has given the fans false hopes but the truth is, we’re definitely no better than we were a year ago. That is disgraceful, with all the resources Jack Ross has had. Every game it’s trial and error with changes of the system and players. We should by now have a settled first team every game, injuries apart and the odd substitution being the only changes. In addition, Ross, like Moyes, is incapable of firing up the players EVERY game to give 100% for 90 minutes. How many games do we get given the runaround in the first half?? I look at Charlton. They play with mostly the same team, up tempo football and passion. Week in and out, their fans know what they are getting. After over a year, that’s the least we should be getting.

Sam Lucas

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Well I would be remiss if I failed to point out that in that time two transfer windows have passed, Sam, making it pretty darn unlikely that the first eleven would stay the same. If we must continue to scrutinise Ross in this manner despite his obvious gains in recent weeks, let’s start from his most recent opportunity to field a settled team, which would be the end of the most recent transfer window, September 2nd.

Actually... we haven’t played a game since September 2nd have we. In reality the first opportunity Ross will get to display a settled first team will be a week or so away, on the 14th September. Come back to us then Sam and we’ll have a chat.