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Fan Letters: “I have never seen a team as bad as the one we have now!”

“Let’s hope Mr Johnson can be successful, lets get behind him” writes Roker Report reader Chris Hutchinson. Got something to say?!

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Having been a Mackem for over 60 years, I have never seen a team as bad as the one we have now.

We have players in the squad who are stealing a living from the club. I find it hard to believe that Wyke, Grigg, Graham, Power, Dobson and others have footballer stamped in their passport. Not exactly Messi, Ronaldo and Mbappe are they? They should all be fined for making false declarations on the application forms.

What Johnson needs to do is to get rid of the dead-beats in the squad, and bring in the under-23 players, with a few hardened professionals. We may get beat a few times, but for crying out loud, it would bring energy and pace to the team, which is what we need, Come on Lee, do it for the fans.


Bob West

Ed’s Note [Chris]: In the current climate it’s going to be difficult to get much business done in the window, especially if we’re banking on players leaving to bring players in. It appears from Lee Johnson’s first post-match interview we are short in certain attributes that he would like to improve on as quickly as possible.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One
Charlie Wyke
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As a supporter of over 50 years, Cec Irwin was in team I first supported. My one abiding memory is in a game v Nottingham Forest (I think). He ran down right wing towards the Roker End and crossed ball, but it sailed into net.

It’s only goal I remember him scoring but sure there were others. Many fab memories of Roker Park.

Fred Scott

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I had less than ten years to experience Roker Park before it was torn down and I would have loved to have experienced it with crowds of over 50,000, watching players such as Irwin, must have been an amazing experience.

Dear Roker Report,

It would have been great wouldn’t it, ‘Lee Johnson new Sunderland Head Coach takes the reigns and the lads celebrate a 3-0 win, Will Grigg bagging a hat trick against his former club.’

Come on, admit it, when you and I read that Lee Johnson had decided to be in charge only a few hours after agreeing a two and a half year deal to be head coach, we a had a slight hope that would lift the players enough that we would see them celebrate a victory against a Wigan side that sit bottom of League One and had not won since October.

But come on, this is Sunderland, things like that only happen to everyone else, no, it only took 15 minutes for those hopes to be dashed and the reality to hit home and confirm what we all really knew, that the problems are deep rooted and that group of players are simply not good enough at this point to even reach the play offs, never mind gaining breaking into the top two spots.

Mr Johnson soon witnessed his job in hand and didn’t take him long to realise that the team is just too slow and lack power and pace. We hope and pray that this new Head Coach will bring with him some new staff and new energy and positivity along with a few new acquisitions in January, that will see the lads become quicker, stronger, dynamic and hopefully someone who will put the ball in the back of the net, as Grigg and Graham are dreadful.

Let’s hope Mr Johnson can be successful, lets get behind him as if we see yet another failure in charge I truly worry that will be the end for our club.

Chris Hutchinson

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I think it’s clear it took him a few hours what Parkinson couldn’t work out in the twelve months that he was in charge, we’re lacking pace and creativity. Let’s hope this is improved sooner rather than later.

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

Dear Roker Report,

What does the phrase ‘Sunderland Til I Die’ really mean? Does it mean everything and everyone connected to the club until the day we die?

Who or what can’t we ‘help falling in love with?’

There can’t be much if any love left for those players who disgrace the shirt of my beloved Sunderland week after week. Or the owners who continue to destroy the very fabric of our club.

My first visit was to Roker Park was 57 years ago and I fell in love with Sunderland from that day on.

Most of those 57 years have been spent either battling to stay in the top tier or fighting to get into the top tier. I’ve seen some very good teams and some bad teams. The one thing you did see though was the pride in wearing ‘the shirt.’ The desire to do their best even though it wasn’t good enough. To leave nothing on the pitch. Those qualities are what the fans wanted to see and Sunderland fans will forgive most things if they can see that.

I can’t remember and correct me if I’m wrong ‘your not fit to wear the shirt’ being sang at Roker Park or The SOL down the years. Plenty of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ to the manager but the fans knew the players were giving their all. How many times would both have rang out at Sunderland games this season if fans had been in the ground?

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

That brings me to the sorry bunch of players who now wear the shirt. I see none of those ‘fighting for the shirt’ qualities in any of the players.

I don’t think many of them if any are giving everything for club or fans.

Lee Johnson has his work cut out to get this bunch of sorry individuals anywhere near promotion this season. As the saying goes ‘you can’t polish a turd’

Trying to Keep The Faith

Best wishes

Eddy Clarke

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I suspect the manager realised only a few hours into his new job the size of the task at hand. Let’s hope he can he can turn us around in the short term and make a push for promotion.

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