Dear Roker Report,
I for one am totally in agreement with Max. With only a month to go to the new season, we need the players in now so that the team can gel and hit the ground running. Johnson’s comments about the stagnation due to covid, money pressures, transfer embargoes, etc, is nonsense.
Wigan have brought in 8 new players. How have they done it? I am also concerned with the lengthy data-driven processes and analytics. By the time a player is identified, he will probably have been snapped up by another club that have done their homework quicker. Or we spend ages and the player doesn’t want to come anyway. Losing nearly a dozen players and recruiting one is not good enough.
The spine of the team is weak from goalkeeper, centre halves through to the need for a top class goalscorer. I don’t think Ross Stewart will get anywhere near the goals we’ll need to be challenging for promotion. Also, bringing Sanderson back in any capacity would have given the supporters and players a massive lift. He is the best player we’ve had in years and worth every penny of the £2 million asking price.
I feel so pessimistic at the moment but hopefully I am proven wrong in the next month and we start the season with the strongest squad in the division which this club should be aspiring to.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter. I am very confident that we will get more players in through the doors at the Academy of Light in the next few day, Ann, there’s no way we can start the season without at least four further signings. I think you might be proven wrong about Ross Stewart, who has all the attributes needed to score a good few at this level, but I do agree that some sort of deal for Sanderson would be absolutely fantastic for all Sunderland fans to see.
Dear Roker Report,
Having just read Bridcutt’s piece on Sunderland fans, I totally disagree. Rodwell for instance just fleeced Sheffield Utd for 18 months, played what two games what’s your reply to that Bridcutt. The fans do you expect us to cheer shit performances - we are allowed an opinion, we pay our money. We expect heart and desire while wearing the red and white shirt. At least because you guys get paid a lot of money for doing something you love that my friend should be a privilege and honour don’t know how lucky you are.
Mr Bridcutt you are tarring every Sunderland fan with the same brush, not all fans boo players this happens at every club. All I can say is you think you have heard boos wait till we play you next season. I understand that it’s Bridcutts point of view but sounds like sour grapes if he was good enough the fans would have not given him stick. Catts was a fans favourite for his effort and skill in league one at least he banged goals in that’s how to get fans on your side Liam. Just sour grapes.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Nice to hear from you again, Mark. Bridcutt wasn't a success here, and there were lots of reasons for that, but I do think there’s a big dose of sour grapes in what he said. The Stadium of Light crowd are demanding of one thing above all else - commitment to the cause - something evidently he didn’t have. Although there’s definitely something in the idea that we are often too impatient when the team is keeping possession and demand direct play, I think that we'd respond to any system that delivers exciting football and winning results.
Where I do agree with Bridcutt is that it’s daft to blame a player for getting the best deal possible; it’s 100 per cent down to clubs like Sunderland and Sheffield United to make sure they’re not tied into ludicrous contracts.
Dear Roker Report,
I’m the only fan sick to my back teeth with these former players blaming us fans for our predicament. You (Bridcutt) make the effort and we will support you to hilt. You were on the pitch with our opponents in the 2nd play offs leg. That’s how we support our team. Something that you will never get wherever you’ll finish your career. It’s you as players couldn’t handle a big crowd not us being toxic or live on past history. That says it all, you siding with Rodwell. It came to my conclusion that a lot of YOUS are only in it for the money. Are you watching the English population at the moment? We all have our ups and downs but that’s what you get when you put your heart into it and try.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hello again Anthony, hope you’re keeping well. You’re not the only one. He’s as free to give his account of his time on Wearside as anyone else, but the fans are not to blame for the troubles at Sunderland AFC - it’s been poor ownership, poor financial and on-field management, and a poor culture behind the scenes. I agree with Bridcutt that professionalism - especially around drinking - was big issue at the club, and one that the younger generation will hopefully bring to an end).
Dear Roker Report,
In my opinion, Safc Have always been the same regarding playing younger players, they would rather buy some who has been on extortionate wages or get some plank who is a waste of space like Grigg for instance.
There are five or six lads from the under 23s etc who should be given a chance in the first team, not just a couple of games but a decent run in the team. Build the team around them and I don’t think we’ll be far away.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter, Steve. Absolutely agree with you - we need to get back to promoting youth as a priority. I remember Gary Owers, Gordon Armstrong, Craig Russell, Martin Smith, Micky Gray, Michael Bridges - all coming through and making an impact, not to mention Jordan Henderson. But then we have opposite pressure from others who want instant success and big names to get excited about. Marrying the two is the key - you need your Michael Bridges and your Niall Quinn, your Jordan Pickford and your Jermaine Defoe. I think this season some of the existing U23s and the new lads brought in this summer could push for a place, and I’d hope Johnson would give them a shot if they deserve it.