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Fan Letters: “I’ve supported Sunderland since 1958, I’ve never seen a poorer manager” says Keith

In today’s fan letters, a series Sunderland fans of long standing write to tell of their despair at the state of our team under Phil Parkinson. They all want him gone, do you agree?!

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Leeds United v Sunderland - Wembley Stadium Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I met my Sunderland born girlfriend and (have been married for 53years) in 1967 in London, and she took me to my first Sunderland match at the Dell in Southampton.

Okay, we lost 2-3 but the future was bright with the likes of Bobby Kerr and co.

What I’m getting at is that since 1967 I’ve bled Red & White, and I’m sorry to say Phil Parkinson will never get us out of league One.

How can you win a football match by coaching players to pass the ball backwards and sideways? All the teams we have played so far they are quicker, fitter and more comfortable on the ball - not like our lot, with no urgency until the last ten minutes.

We play into the opponents’ hands. It’s like watching Groundhog day - where has the passion gone? I wake up on a Saturday morning and say to myself this will be the day but it never happens.

I know I sound miserable but I don’t think we will get out of this HORRIBLE DIVISION very soon, not with this lot. What is the point of bringing Jack Diamond on for the last 5 minutes? We have no plan B, it’s the same not knowing what to do each week.

Every opposition coach will say to his players ‘take the lead and see the game out, because Sunderland will never equalise or score a second goal’.

In 53 years supporting my beloved SAFC I have never seen three strikers so inept and useless - they’re not fit to polish Quinny & SuperKev’s boots.

I don’t think these players care, and that’s why now somehow I can understand why our promising young players have left, because under this idiot they will never get a chance to progress.

I really don’t know what is happening to our beloved club - are we going to become a club of the past, like Notts County? I’m sorry to say that after all these years that’s how I’m feeling at the moment: disillusioned.

On Saturday we lost to a team that haven’t won away from home since September 2019 - ridiculous. We are breaking records for the wrong reasons. Why play unfit players and lads out of position when you have got a fit young player sat on the bench?

Phil Parkinson is not fit to manage our club.

Anthony Degiovanni

Ed’s Note [Rich]: I think we’re all asking the same questions as you are at the minute, Anthony. Phil Parkinson’s sections and tactical stubbornness have been difficult to understand recently and a change surely has to be made. I don’t think the players aren’t putting in a shift, I just think they’re been told to play a system and a style that’s soul destroying for fans like you and I, who’ve always loved watching Sunderland play an attacking brand of football, to see.

Soccer - Football League Division One - Sunderland Photocall
Sunderland team group. 7/8/1967 Front row, L-R: Harvey, Kinnell, Mulhall, O’Hare, Parke, Herd and Martin. Middle row, L-R: Heslop, Suggett, Gauden, Hughes, Shoulder, Irwin and Hurley. Back row, L-R: Montgomery, Ashurst, Todd, Baxter, Kerr and Forster.
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Having supported SAFC since 1958 I have seen some poor teams, managed by some poor managers. I have never seen a poorer manager than Parkinson and a team so inept - it has become an embarrassment to tell anyone you're a Sunderland supporter.

The team selections and tactics employed by Parkinson are disappointing to say the least, but having watched his antics during Saturday’s debacle against MK Dons I can’t believe that the new owners will afford him any more time in the job.

He looked completely lost along with the remainder of the dugout once the Dons went in front - he had no plan B against a team who had won two games this season, last week a team who hadn’t won in 20 games knocked us out of the FA Cup - how long can this be allowed to continue?

We shall not gain promotion until there is a change at the top and someone with man management skills is appointed to get the best from a poor lot, and encourage the youngsters from the academy to show their willingness to work their way into a challenging position - the opportunities are there if they step up to the challenge.

I look forward to a clear out at the end of the season. The players are not good enough for league 1 - we would be the laughingstock in the Championship if we ever get there.

Keith Anderson

Ed’s Note [Rich]: You’re absolutely right, Keith. Last weekend was an embarrassment and I can’t see us improving any time soon. I hope I’m proven wrong and this is as low as it will go for the club, but unless there’s a fundamental change of approach from the manager I really can’t see us making a serious challenge this season with Parkinson in charge either.

Dear Roker Report

Since standing in the Fulwell end in the late 70’s this has to be the club that I love the darkest times.

Losing to Mansfield Town no wins in league 2 simply beyond belief!!

I new when I viewed the team having the “G” force up front we wouldn’t win the game yes the pair of donkeys that are Grigg & Graham the latter boosting about the drinking culture on his first stint.

The former won’t even commit to living in the North East.

Lack of pace is evident players like Dobson & Power simply not good enough.

Team selection is so predictable as is the bench.

Substitutions predictable too the recent stats highlight the teams deficiencies yet the manager either can’t or won’t make changes.

PP is simply not up to the job style of football (do we have a style) is woeful unable to break the opposition down & when we do not able to convert the chances.

I’m not a great Wyke fan but he is scoring plus puts a shift in but often on his own up front no midfield support.

The likelihood of promotion is slim I’m hoping that maybe a change can be made prior to xmas as I have no faith in PP to bring in the right players & frankly some need to be shipped out.

We the fans deserve better because frankly we being served up utter crap.

Time for change is now #Parkinsonmustgo

Doug Raine

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for writing in, Doug, but it is horrible to read letter after letter from passionate, livelong fans who quite rightly feel let down by the performances on the pitch over the last year or more. It does sometimes feel like some sort of weird test of loyalty that we’re been subjected to week-in-week-out, spending £10 or £20 a week to watch third rate football played in a third rate league in an empty stadium through a third rate streaming service.

But still we endure.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Same of the old this season...where we should assume we would be a few points clear at Xmas we are barely in the playoffs...the continuation of playing the same players is frustrating to all..

Hope the new owners show Parkinson the door and get someone in who can actually improve and have some belief in the players we have..

Keep the faith all..

Joe Graham

Ed’s Note [Rich] Spot on, Joe. Keep the faith!

Dear Roker Report,

I’m afraid Phil Parkinson has to go. So who is next? It’s a good question.

We’ve tried old school, not-so-dynamic managers.

So let’s try going along the route we took with Roy Keane. Give it to someone with little or no experience, like Derby and Rangers did with Steve Gerrard or Frank Lampard - look at them now.

Let’s give the fans favourite a go - yes, the one and only Super Kev.


Ed’s Note [Rich]: I’m not usually bothered about “big names” when it comes to choosing a new manager, but certainly think we could do worse than give an up-and-coming prospect would be great. If the reports around the proposed takeover are to be believed, we’re going to be seeing a Sporting Director overseeing the overall footballing direction of the club, and surely, whoever that person is, will want to appoint someone who shares their philosophy and who fits with their plans for the in club longer-term. For me, we need someone who can be an inspirational leader, a progressive tactician and a great man-manager. Whether SuperKev fits that bill is an open question.

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