Dear Roker Report,
Since we signed Denver Hume I took a look at the Sunderland squad to see what the depth was like; I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s arguably the best I’ve seen in my 15 years following the club.
I can’t remember a time where you could make a case for almost everyone in the squad to be on the team sheet. Who goes in goal? Who misses out between Neil, O’Nien and Evans? Does O’Brien get a look in with his cup hat-trick and player of the round performance? Can Embleton keep Pritchard out of the team? Can Dajaku get the nod over Gooch? Can Broadhead, Alves, Huggins and Hume come in and stake their claim should they get the chance?
The point that I’m making is can you remember a time where the only real problems at the club have been happy problems?
Hope you’re all well, great work on the articles and the podcast!
Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email and your kind words, Liam – much appreciated! I admire your positivity, and I think the caveat is that we’re talking about the squad in the context of the division we’re in. So, on that basis, I agree with you. This is the first time I can think of probably since the Peter Reid days (or maybe Steve Bruce’s first season, if I'm being a bit generous) when we had a well-constructed and well-balanced squad with genuine depth. The recruitment team have done – on paper – an excellent job. I say on paper because we’ve yet to see much of the new signings at all, only Cirkin’s really had a run of games for one reason or another. The interesting bit now is how Lee Johnson manages them – it’s a young, inexperienced squad in places, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress!
Dear Roker Report,
Just to add to what has already been mentioned, I live in Somerset and me and a bunch of lads always come up at least once a season, we are coming up for the Charlton game next month but there’s no sign of that game appearing on the website. I always book the seats in advance and print them off weeks before we travel, but they are only allowing you to book for the next home game despite clicking on the link showing home games for the next 28 days – and as already pointed out clicking the dots doesn’t seem to work. Noticed Hartlepool are at home to Harrogate that Saturday maybe end up there, c’mon get it sorted!
Ed’s Note [Martin]: While there’s been a lot of good stuff happening on the football side of things, some of the things off the field have been pretty shambolic – the club shop, how the ‘transition’ to a cashless stadium has been managed, and as you’ve experienced the ticketing system. There’s so much that’s not been done in the right way. There’s been a severe lack of communication about the change, the systems being used evidently haven’t been quality tested – they should be ultra easy to use and quite simply they’re not – and the club’s missing out on revenue by not opening the club shop. It’s ridiculous that you can buy a Newcastle shirt in Sunderland but not a SAFC shirt! It needs sorted, and quickly.
Dear Roker Report,
You have the power through your links to Sunderland AFC – do you think the club could follow the ideas of Coventry who allow under-13s in free with a season ticket holder. A discounted system is in place for under-18s. This age group is the future for Sunderland in the future years. You comments are awaited thanks
Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email Roger, although I fear you severely overestimate our connections with the football club! I think initiatives to get kids connected with the club and attending games are essential and anything we can do to encourage that should be looked at closely.