Joseph Tulip says...
How quickly things change in football! It’s little over a week since Lee Johnson was jigging on the pitch in front of our jubilant fans at QPR.
Yes, that was a cup game and many people had insisted that the league must be a priority. It is a concern that we’ve lost three league games in a row but Johnson has always said that there will be disappointments and hurdles along the way. Even when we were winning he said that all teams have bad runs and ours could come at any time.
That is the reality of football and I think we need to back Johnson, who is clearly committed and is probably the most fan-conscious manager I can ever recall at Sunderland, given how he mentions, thanks and praises our supporters after every game.
This is a side with a lot of young players. I always felt that we could never expect any guarantees this season it’s all based on faith. That being said, we’ve seen enough to be acutely aware of how good we can be and the quality we have within our ranks. Johnson and his coaching team must now be left to correct our recent flaws and make sure we stop shipping goals at such an alarming rate.
If it’s a case of us being ‘found out’ we need a bit more variety to how we approach and execute our performances, especially against physical and high pressing sides.
Hull won League One last season after overcoming a bad run. Let’s not read too much into ours, we defeated a Championship side last week.
We can come back stronger and I have no doubt that we will.
Michael Dunne says...
I think it was always inevitable at some stage this season that we would have a blip.
This squad is so young and raw and with the amount of physical and seasoned opposition that are in it, it was always going to lead to some tough days.
I don’t think many fans would dispute that fact.
From my personal perspective, my gravest concern is how easy we are to play against. We are conceding far too many goals at a regular rate. Three away defeats with 12 goals conceded, along with the home defeat to Charlton, is just completely unacceptable.
Lee Johnson’s approach on youth development is still the right approach and sacking a manager will not make a difference anyway as this is a club policy, not just the coaches.
That being said, a bit of balance is needed.
We are not physically imposing enough and we are easily knocked off the ball and bullied against stronger teams. It is possible that we may need to change our approach in away games, particularly as we just cannot afford too many more slip-ups like this.
A few know physically imposing players may also have to come into the team, such as Bailey Wright at heart of defence.
In short, no panic button needs to be hit just yet, but something certainly needs to change.
Tom Albrighton says...
For all the results and the manner of the defeats of recent weeks have been poor, I think anyone calling for Johnson’s head really needs to think about how they view football as a whole.
Sunderland have been undeniably poor for two weeks now, but nobody could argue that this form hasn’t also come from nowhere - you don’t just become a bad team overnight.
At the same time, nobody can deny that Johnson does deserve criticism for the last few weeks just as much as he deserved his plaudits before - the continual selection on players like O’Nien and O’Brien, not changing a clearly battered and tired defence that conceded 5 goals on Saturday, and not identifying the source of goals and cutting that out has left us all incredibly frustrated.
Whilst it isn’t ideal right now, it’s also early in the season so Johnson must be given time to address and fix these issues, as this is a project and with that will come bumps along the way.
Those who call for Johnson’s head may take heed of the last decade of Sunderland's managerial merry-go-round, whereby the notion of sacking a manager to improve results has been part of a steady decline to the third tier of English football.
If sacking a manager made us a better side every time, we’d be playing Champions League football on a Tuesday night rather than Sheffield Wednesday.
Kelvin Beattie says...
The last couple of weeks - our wins in the cup competitions apart - have not been good.
But, the hysteria and clamour on social media from some of our fans is an unfortunate sign of our demise in the last five seasons, as well as the disappointment and difficulty for some in constructively processing these results.
We have a bit of a break from league action coming up, and this may have arrived at a very good juncture. Lee Johnson and his backroom team need to get their “black box thinking” applied to our league form.
If I had any influence, Doyle would be rested, O’Nien would be sent for his shoulder op, and Evans, Pritchard, Embleton and Broadhead would play throughout this break to play themselves hopefully into form and into the team for the rest of the campaign.
Alves needs thrown right into the centre of the defence and given this little run of cup games to play himself into contention too. I would like to see Wearne and Harris get some good game time, as well as the tidy Sohna.
I hope LJ can get behind Lynden Gooch - he in my view may be trying too hard, to the detriment of his natural aggressive game.
The Hoffman or Burge debate is reasonable given results in their respective outings - for me, this is a healthy debate and situation, and hopefully they can push each other to higher levels.
Time for calm, effective and imaginative work from Lee Johnson and his team. Time for calm from us as supporters. We have a job to do as well, lets enjoy the break from league action and do our job to the best of our ability.