clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fan Letters: Are Johnson and Speakman the only hope for Sunderland?

Despite the disappointment of the weekend’s result, there’s plenty of support for the direction that Sunderland are headed In today’s fan letters. What do you think? Email us:!

New Sunderland Manager Press Conference Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It was a good away point against MK Dons on Saturday, however, again we showed our weakness of clinical finishing in front of the opposition goal. We cannot afford to keep slipping down the league, as the in-form teams are not slipping up at all.

As for getting Grigg and Graham off the books, those were two good moves as, in my opinion, they should never have been bought in the first place!

Malcolm Donnison

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Nice to hear from you again, MalcoLm. Saturday’s draw was probably a fair result, but like you I was gutted we couldn’t find the cutting edge in front of goal when it really mattered at the end. We’ve got a couple of tough games this week, six points from these, and hopefully we’ll be able to make up some ground on the top two.

Dear Roker Report,

I am not someone who would regularly write, but there y’go. The last few years have sucked any enthusiasm out of me for football, let alone just an eternally poor Sunderland side.

It just feels like we are running in ever decreasing circles, and I think it doesn’t really matter who is in charge or who we have in the team, the problem and spirit is endemic.

I do think if the appointment of Speakman suggests we have in mind to grow our team, rather than pop for journeymen and lucky punts, then maybe, just maybe there is mileage in that.

There is hope in the spine of youth that we have, but because so many of them are on shortish contracts, it will prove harder to keep them than it should be, with most of them feeling overlooked or under utilised.

I can’t see promotion this season. But I don’t blame Speakman or Johnson, or to be honest even Parkinson. Not until we both understand we aren’t a big club any more, and that you get out of it what you put in, will that change.

I live in hope though.


Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter, Slappy. I share many of your thoughts, the only hope I can see is that the Louis-Dreyfus takeover goes through as soon as possible so that Speakman and Johnson are properly supported in their efforts to rebuild the club through promoting youth. Whether or not that means we get promotion this time round or not, I don’t think we should temper our ambitions; there’s no doubt that with the right investment and management we could be a top 10 Premier League club again within the next 10 years.

Sunderland v Mansfield Town: Emirates FA Cup First Round
The young players such as Dan Neil are the future of Sunderland AFC
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m not sure about Vokins and Winchester yet, but I trust the manager’s judgement. I live in Scotland and have seen a fair bit of the footy up here - Jones and Stewart are decent players.

Financially it’s a change from normal, getting ripped off. Even though we are still paying 75% of Grigg’s wages, Graham’s departure and others - including Embleton’s loan - are saving us £60,00 a week, as the new guys will be on the L1 average of £1750 max p.w.


Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for your letter, it’s good to hear from someone who has seen our new signings play regularly in Scotland and has been impressed by them too. I think you’re probably about our January transfer activity being decent business, I don’t doubt that wages will have played a big part in their decisions. It does feel like there’s a general improvement in the performances under Johnson, but now we could desperately do with a run of victories - starting tomorrow.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report