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Fan Letters: “I’m struggling with what word to use in describing it: tragic or pathetic?!”

RR reader Nick has serious reservations about our January business, whilst Paul questions our forward and Anthony discusses the opposition! Got something to say? Email us:!

Sunderland Announce New Signing Ross Stewart Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Yet another transfer window passes by and it’s another transfer window we haven’t handled well. If I’m pulling no punches, I’m struggling with what word to use in describing it: tragic or pathetic?

I’ll start with the striker position. I can see the logic in letting Grigg go, and I am fine with that. But to let Graham go, who hasn’t had a decent run in the side, and to buy this Stewart from Scotland is ridiculously poor. The lad has no goal scoring pedigree in League One, and what makes it worse is we paid £300k for him.

Surely for that sort of money we want someone with a history of goals in this league. I’d have been tempted to put a £300k bid in for John Marquis personally. I understand that football isn’t played on paper, but a quick look on Wikipedia tells you all you need to know about a player.

Jones is another player that comes with a negative attitude, something which I hate. The key in football, as a player or supporter is positivity, and being a good positive influence. This Jones sounds the opposite.

I am happy with the signing of this left back however, and look forward to him starting. I often feel that Denver Hume only gets a game because he is local, and now that McFadzean is injured, it is imperative that we have a solid full back in, ideally from elsewhere in the country.

I am a huge advocate of Lee Johnson, and believe that under his guidance, a top half finish should be the least we aim for this season.

Thing can only get better.

Nick Small

Ed’s Note [Chris]: This has to be one of the strangest transfer windows in the history of football before we even begin discussing individual players and deals. I think the club have been shrewd on the face of it and I’m just glad in the current environment that we got the business done.

Neither Grigg or Graham were doing anything other than pick up a wage, and I don’t know enough about Ross Stewart to write him off before he’s kicked a ball.

If we’re trusting the new partnership of Kristjaan Speakman and Lee Johnson to deliver the goods with the resource they’ve been given Nick, then we need to judge them after two or three windows at least.

All in all I’m fairly pleased with our business all things considered, but it’s on the results between now and the end of the season that will determine how successful this window has been.

Sunderland Announce New Signing Ross Stewart
Ross Stewart
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just been looking at some stats on the BBC for League One scorers. There’s Charlie in Third position with 12 Goals.

Then I had a look at assists, well way way down in 15 position is GOOOch, and he’s been missing for weeks.

I mean these may not be up to date, but doesn’t that tell you something about the chances we are creating or not.

Hopefully with the new additions and a more attacking midfield, these stats can be, no, must be improved by the team and LJ’s objective of getting us out of L1.

Moving O’Nien to midfield is a must, and I think Max Power will make a good RB, given time, (which we haven’t got much left).

I think with the new signings we have a more pacey attacking team, not forgetting their defensive duties when things breakdown, and hopefully everything crossed LJ does turn it around and pushes us up the table.


Paul Y

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Watching Sunderland has been a chore at times for me this season Paul. There are signs Lee Johnson is improving us going forward, but it’s small steps for now. Hopefully the new signings can bed in quickly, and as we showed at MK Dons in the Papa John’s Trophy, when we play with pace and we’re on the front foot we can dominate teams in this division with our current squad.

Milton Keynes Dons v Sunderland - Papa John’s Trophy - Quarter Final - Stadium MK
Lee Johnson
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m so so annoyed - what I would like to know is how come these teams only up their game against us?

The team we played last Saturday, they played like their lives depended on that game. Tonight that same side is getting beat 0 - 3 at home at the time of writing.

It’s been the same story since we came down to this can’t describe it league. I wrote about this before, and now I’m convinced that the only reason is that their chairmen and head coaches urge their players to beat us because they know that we are their cash cow of League One.

Ok - it’s up to our players to beat these teams. As you well know It gets very hard at a club like ours and the pressure on the players is tremendous but they should be able to handle it.

I’ll give anything just to win promotion. What us fans are going through it’s unexplainable. We have never asked for much just give it a go and show desire, fight and passion and hopefully we will get there. STAY SAFE.

Anthony DeGiovanni

Ed’s Note [Chris]: As you’ve stated Anthony, you have made the point previously and others have also raised the point that to a lot of sides in League One we’re considered a “cup final”, and I think there’s an element of truth in it.

You wouldn’t blame opposition managers using it as a motivational tool to whip their team into a frenzy to go out and face us. This season however, the fact that we’re playing behind closed doors negates that effect to a certain extent.

The truth of the matter is that at times this season we’ve just been poor. Phil Parkinson set us up to be a Bradford or a Colchester, because that’s his background. You appoint a Bradford or Colchester type manager then most likely you’re going to adopt that sort of attitude and style.

We needed someone to loosen the shackles to allow Sunderland players to play with a bit of swagger, and steamroller teams in this division by simply being a better football team. Early signs are promising Anthony, let’s just hope we continue to improve and get back to the second tier as quickly as possible.

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Phil Parkinson
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

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