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Fan Letters: Lee Johnson’s patter is wearing thin with some Sunderland fans

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He seems determined to make a simple game sound like a complicated science, rather than a simple sport” writes RR reader Lee Walker, who isn’t impressed by Lee Johnson’s patter.

Milton Keynes Dons v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can anybody tell me why Power is captain?

You never hear him encouraging, telling people where to go, and most of all giving lazy, lacklustre players a good kick up the backside. In these days of hearing most things said on the pitch, the lack of a voice in the Sunderland side is deafening.

Dudley Cars

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Hmm... not sure that I agree here. I mean, he might be a shite captain for all I know, but the one thing I’ve always noticed about Power is him shouting and directing his fellow players, even back when we could attend games for realsies.

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Anthony DeGiovanni’s comment about our players thinking they are better than everybody else because they play for Sunderland is spot on correct.

But it is the coach that needs to put that thinking way out of reach. Unfortunately he does not have the nuance to do that. He is proving very inadequate at the mentality side of coaching and should stick to what works, not what he thinks he knows and wants to prove.

Graft. Fitness. Passion. Belief. Truth.

Get on with Mr. Johnson.

David Lane

Ed’s Note [Gav]: We talked on the latest episode of the Roker Rapport Podcast about the impact that Johnson has had so far. Chris asked me directly if I could name some of the things that Johnson has improved since he came in, and I honestly struggled. Obviously it’d be completely foolish to write him off, but it has been disappointing that we haven’t been able to get a bounce from the managerial change.

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

This season feels like Groundhog day again.

We have changed our manager, but it should be the players that change.

Who in their right mind would want to buy Sunderland AFC?

I am an ardent supporter, but even I would not waste my money on the club, if I had it.

How have we reached the semi-final of the EFL Trophy?!

Lincoln will put an end to us getting to Wembley.

We have a far better stadium than some Premier teams.

Unfortunately, we do not have a team good enough to get us out of League One.

I have already resigned myself to yet another season in League One in 2022.

Keith Ross

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m not quite ready to write the season off just yet Keith, but I don’t blame you for feeling so deflated. Frankly they’re lucky fans aren’t there in person watching this shit, because it isn’t good enough. This squad of players should be achieving better results than the ones they’ve collected so far... end of.

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

A midweek fixture against Shrewsbury Town is hardly the most glamorous of fixtures. What made it slightly more exciting was the news that Sunderland’s new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was in attendance, hot on the heels of the news the ridiculous salary cap had been scrapped. Does this mean the cheque book will be opened to our so called forward thinking, attack minded new manager Lee Johnson?

Johnson’s appointment was met with a mixed response from fans. He wasn’t many fans’ first choice, his CV suggested he was a mid table manager but with a reputation for playing attacking football - most Sunderland fans warmed to the idea of it, and after Phil Parkinson’s dire football, things could only improve.

Bringing McGeady back and giving Diamond a chance have both without a doubt been positive moves. We had a great win at high flying Lincoln, playing some great football, and it looked like finally things were looking up. Since then, though, the results have been very mediocre. Yeah, we aren’t set up as defensive as under Parkinson, but that has caused problems in itself with a series of soft goals conceded. Bristol City fans who are critics of Johnson point to the fact that for all his teams had attacking intent, he rarely could organise the defence.

During his first post match interview Johnson spoke of wingers putting crosses in the box and strikers attacking the ball. This has seen Charlie Wyke hit excellent form, and Johnson should take some credit for this, but in many of his interviews Johnson uses a lot of jargon, if you can call it that.

He seems determined to make a simple game sound like a complicated science, rather than a simple sport. It’s all well and good if it brings results, but at the minute it isn’t and Johnson feels out of touch with the fans already.

After a terrible result and performance at Shrewsbury, many fans posted that they couldn’t bring themselves to listen to Johnson’s post match interview. The fans have stopped listening, with many starting to see Johnson as a comedy figure.

The big question is: do his players feel the same? What must the new owner watching on have thought? Is it really and new start or simply the beginning of the end?

Lee Walker

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Totally agree about the way he talks, it’s wearing thin. I’ve been saying it privately for weeks but never publicly because I wasn’t sure if I was in the minority on it, but I’ve noticed lots of people on social media saying the same. Johnson needs to ditch the management speak and talk in terms that the fans can relate to.