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Fan Letters: Sunderland Director Neil Fox leaves board - but RR reader Al has no idea who he is!

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In today’s Fan Letters: RR reader Al, like most fans, wonders who Neil Fox is... Alan wants Defoe back at the SOL... and Colin wonders why Sunderland can’t break down crap teams. What do you think? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Hmmm... nah that’s not him guv

Dear Roker Report,

Re: The letter from Paul (Pados) in 04/01/2020’s version of Fan Letters...

Yeah 0 I would welcome any help or support by Jermain as I would if it came from Kevin Phillips or Niall... Why not?!

Alan Thirkell

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think Rich was rather diplomatic in his reply to the original email. If anyone thinks there’s a chance of Jermain Defoe dropping to come and play in League One for us - and that’s not even factoring in that we couldn’t afford him - then they’re deluded. Sounds nice when you say it, but, not a cat in hell’s chance.

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Happy new year to you all.

Unfortunately after watching probably the worst football match in my life (I’m 68) I cannot find any excuse, covid or otherwise, for our display against a team with just about the worst defence in the league, where we managed two attempts at goal.

I’m so pleased Mr Lowson took onboard my comments about player ratings and gave some either a 3 or 4, which was exactly what they deserved. Only if people are truthful in their summarisation of players performances will we get anywhere.

Some performances were abysmal even allowing for the pitch and another rubbish performance from a referee the quality was poor.

Unless we can get rid of some players I cannot see much scope for improvement. By beating Lincoln easily, how can we not beat teams near the bottom?

I am looking forward to our new signings once their team is out of the Champions league and have nothing to play for. Keep the faith!

Colin Husband

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think that the murmurings surrounding transfers and such indicate that Johnson has already identified a core issue with the squad he has to choose from - there’s not enough variety. It’s interesting that he seems to have decided that our central midfielders aren’t what he needs, because I think had you asked fans “which area should he strengthen first?” they might not have thought “middle of the park”.

The players we have and the way we play suits when we play teams who like to play football. What Jack Ross, Phil Parkinson and now Johnson struggled with is playing against crap teams who only want to sit behind the ball. We haven’t got enough quality across a variety of positions to cut teams open, nor do we have a striker capable of fashioning their own opportunities. Therefore, we struggle when teams line up aiming to restrict us.

Johnson needs to try and find a bunch of players who have the individual ability to cut open any team, poor or weak. Sadly, I think that’s near impossible to achieve in January, with little money or wage budget wiggle room, and with an already bloated squad. But, I’m certainly not ruling it out - I think he and Speakman will be determined to bring in what we need.

Northampton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just saw that Neil Fox has left as a director on the club’s board... genuinely had to google who this fella was. Any ideas?! There’s not much info out there!

Al Grogan

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think you see him a few times round the table with Donald in season two of Sunderland Til I Die... in short, he’s basically just Donald’s mate that he takes everywhere with him. He worked with him at Bridle and Eastleigh, and I’m presuming he’s also worked with him in a whole load of other ventures that I’m not privvy to. I’m told he was pleasant enough to work with, but there were concerns over the fact he didn’t actually enjoy or like football, which... yeah... that about sums the Donald era up.