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Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

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Fan Letters: ‘We need to talk about Grant,’ says Peter, while Rob wants Cattermole to return!

Saturday’s performance left Peter concerned about Grant Leadbitter’s ability to affect our game, while Sharad is keeping fingers crossed we can sign Dion Sanderson. Got something to say? Email us:!

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can we have an honest discussion about Grant Leadbitter starting for Sunderland? It has been apparent for months that his lack of mobility is totally at odds with the type of high pressing game we are supposed to be employing. Can I stress that Grant remains technically a good footballer and I am not questioning his desire for the team to do well but he should never start again for Sunderland under the current system. On Saturday, Winchester was asked to play out of position to accommodate him and has his worst game in weeks. Our front three are less effective and more isolated as we are literally playing another slow defender in Grant. Why Johnson didn’t start with either a Scowen or Neil in front of Power and Winchester? Grant not only impacts on tempo but seems to produce underperformance from some of the players around him. His personal statistics will be OK but he hasn’t been great for weeks and the team as a whole are usually worse.

We want to win the League and must not let our hearts rule out heads – Grant can’t start League games period unless our aim is to achieve a bore draw, and we all know draws aren’t good enough if you want to get automatic promotion.

Peter Laverick

Ed’s note [Martin]: I think that’s really harsh to say he shouldn’t start a game for us again Peter, however I do think his selection on Saturday didn’t pay off. Grant’s selection really depends on the game, however – he was outstanding earlier in the season, and we’ve got some tough fixtures ahead in which he’ll definitely have a part to play. I think he’s still got a lot to offer, however for games when we need to be on the front foot I do think he slows us down and would be better utilised from the bench.

In our Talking Tactics feature yesterday, Phil did a great job of explaining Winchester’s more advanced role on Saturday, which helped me understand that decision a bit more.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have followed our team since 1965 when I came to Sunderland from Kenya to further my education. Now I feel we are on the up where the foundation of success is laid. The best thing the new directors should do is get rid of Stewart Donald completely. Buy Sanderson and build our team around him and O’Nien with a creative midfielder. Sanderson will be our second Charlie Hurley, Colin Todd or Dave Watson.

Best wishes to all concerned with SAFC

Sharad Trivedy

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Sharad. Let’s hope we have got some solid foundations at last – I agree with your comments on Sanderson. He’s top drawer and he’s certainly someone we could build a team around. We might have half a chance if we go up! I do think, however, we need to forget about Stewart Donald (I’d have preferred a clean break but as a minority shareholder he can’t affect much at all. Regardless of his mistakes he ultimately did what he said he would, sell to a good person, and he’s part of our past now. As Keano would say, we move on!

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One
If we could sign Sanderson permanently, we could build a great side around him.
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Happy birthday to Lee Cattermole, absolute legend for SAFC.

Get him on board in some capacity.

Happy birthday.

Rob Brown

Ed’s Note [Martin]: It’s a difficult one without knowing exactly how he was around the club Rob, but my instinct is we shouldn’t go back with this one. We’ve got no idea of his coaching abilities either, and I suggest we’re better off looking forward and not having people around who are too familiar with the club in recent years and were part of a double relegation. I did like him a lot as a player for us, but legend is stretching it...

Regardless, happy birthday Lee!

Sunderland v Walsall - Sky Bet League One
Should we consider bringing back Catts? Rob thinks so!
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The battle has just begun!

Leonard Gateshill

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Indeed it has Leonard – it’s going to be tough but I’m confident it’s a battle we can win!

On This Day (9 June 2007): Midfielder turns down Sunderland return – and heads to Bolton instead


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