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Fan Letters: “Just watch the takeover fall through” says Sunderland fan Allen

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In today’s fan letters, Allen is frustrated with all the draws, William & Jarvis want Grigg gone, Peter questions team selections and Kieran wonders about the EFL approval process. What do you think? Email us at RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Stade de Reims v Olympique de Marseille - Ligue 1

Dear Roker Report,

Draw after draw, week after week, season after season. Is it unrealistic to expect professional footballers to last 95 minutes? Stupid goals, stupid mistakes regular as clockwork. I believe we have a number of National league level players pretending to be league one players - Scowern, Macfadzean to name two obvious ones. Neither player can find a team mate regularly, the ball goes to opposition or out of play more often than not.

The left back is usually anywhere but near the right winger he should cover. Why was Sanderson not in at the start? It’s time Leadbitter was replaced, preferably by Embleton. Grant has been good but he gets caught too often and slows the play too much.

I can’t think of a worse time to be a football supporter but at least we don’t have to stand out in all weather’s to watch this drivel.

Just watch the takeover fall through, the I think hari-kari will be the only option.

Allen Roberts

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for the letter, Allen. It was all too predictable again against Gillingham on Saturday. And you’re definitely right that McFadzean in the left back position has been our weak point - hopefully the lad coming in on loan from Southampton, Jake Vokins, will give us a boost from now through to the end of the season. Whether Embleton is the right man to cover for Leadbitter, who does need a rest, is another matter; for me, he's better used further up the pitch.

Takeover-wise, it’s certainly taking the EFL a while to look at, and it does fray the nerves a bit. But from what was reported yesterday, it seems that the approval process is at the very least moving forward and, though some sort of extra assurances have clearly been sought from the shareholders, there’s nothing to suggest at this stage that delivering what the authorities are asking for will prove problematic.

Keep safe, and keep the faith.

Sunderland v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

So at last looks like we have the chance to finally get rid of Will Grigg.

Then friday its reported that the manager might stop him going if he doesn’t get a replacement. With a return of 5 goals in what is his 3rd season at safc, what is there to replace? Just let him leave.

Unfortunately, I personally stated I would not give this manager a chance from day one as he is just another lower league achieved little or nothing as a manager.

Not his fault that he was appointed by our hopeless men in charge.

But for gods sake if Lee Johnson thinks that Will Grigg is an asset to him cos in his own words Will is A GOOD PLAYER then I as a sunderland fan will tell him he is talking rubbish and after 3 years of Will Grigg as a safc player as a fan I think I might just possibly be somewhere near the mark.

If Will is the sort of player Lee Johnson decides is good enough for sunderland then do us all a favour Lee please go and take Will and all the other rubbish players that you might rate as good players with you cos all of you combined will I fear take safc nowhere near where they need to get too.

As they have all shown up till now.

I fear that my first reaction to Lee Johnsons appointment might be a fair comment.

Sticking with and implying that Will Grigg is a good player will only shorten your time at Sunderland Mr Johnson and Saturdays result isnt inspiring anyone I fear, or the fact that in your words on top of all the pain that us as sunderland fans are enduring we also have a naive team.

Not naive enough to pick up their fat wage packets I suspect.

God help us. Keep safe.

William and Jarvis

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Good to hear from you again, William and Jarvis, but I can’t get on board with dismissing Lee Johnson’s appointment as manager out of hand. The bloke managed side a level higher than we’re at now for four years, turning Bristol City from relegation contenders to a competitive side pushing for the playoffs.

On the Grigg situation, now that another striker in Ross Stewart has been signed, I think by the end of today he’ll be loaned out - if only because of the wage cap.


Dear Roker Report,

Having watched another very average League 1 Sunderland game we are extremely confused about the direction the manager wants from the side. We struggled to understand his thinking with regard to the selection.

1. Passing out from the back. The best footballer by a country mile in central defence is Sanderson. He passes on the floor and rarely wastes the ball. He has never let us down but selects Flannigan. Flannigan is a substitute at best and many regular watches of Sunderland were quite surprised when he was given a contract extension. To put him straight in after a lay off doesn’t make sense unless he had 1 role to man mark in a back 3.Sent

2. McFadzean isn’t good enough and against a physical side like Gillingham a taller player would have made sense. The new lad from Southampton or Sanderson again would have made sense.

3. Energy and pressing - surely he realises by now that continuing with Leadbitter and Scowen is conceding space in midfield. Grant should not be playing every minute of every game. His legs do not allow him to support. He struggled to tackle any dinner because he is too slow. He leads in encouraging the team to slow down to a snail’s pace and is too negative in the majority of his passing. I want to be clear that Grant can play a role but not every game and not alongside Scowen every time.

4. Use of the bench - many fans would have fancied the players not playing to beat the first team (including those who aren’t in the squad). We were struggling to get to grips with Gillingham and the swap of Gooch for Diamond showed what was possible, but he waited so long to freshen things up that Sanderson and O’Nien were given no time to get into the game. Also O’Brien legs had gone but was left on despite being knackered.

I genuinely believe in what Johnson says he is trying to do but his team selection does not seem to back this up.

Peter Laverick

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for the letter, Peter. Lee Johnson explained after the match that Sanderson had a slight injury and Vokins had only had half a training session, so whilst I think McFadzean might find his game time limited in future, the decision to play him yesterday is probably justified, to be fair. I do think you’re right that the second batch of substitutions on Saturday could have come 10 minutes sooner as we did tire, but for me there are signs over the last few games that show we’re starting to play a better brand of football and scoring more goals as a result.

Sunderland v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I can understand people’s frustration over the timescale of the takeover.

It would be nice to know how long it took for the Wigan takeover to be sanctioned. From a personal point of view I would be interested in know who the people who are carry out the process of the takeover and what is there role in the EFL.

Me being a cynical person wonder because it is Sunderland they are taking their time until the transfer window is closed. One would hope that I am wrong.

Kieran Duff

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for writing in, Kieran. I’m completely with you on this. Whilst there’s nothing to suggest we should be worried, the process seems to lack any transparency and consideration for communicating what’s going on to the biggest stakeholder involved - us, the fans.

Each takeover will be different; there are so many factors that are involved in the deals, I’m sure it would be difficult to have a standard timescale or deadline. The case of Wigan looks really complicated, it looks like one of the prospective buyers failed the Owners & Directors test and the whole thing has started again. Indeed, ex-Sunderland midfielder Darren Gibson is even in the running to rescue them according The Athletic.