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Fan Letters: “Any chance of a little perspective?!”

Maguire’s celebrations, the return of Defoe and flip-flopping on Johnson all discussed in the RR mailbag! Have you got anything to get off your chest?! Email us: rokerreport@yahoo.co.uk!

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images


Dear Roker Report,

It may come to mind about a fan writing in regards to why a certain Chris Maguire, pause for those who took his celebration recently to heart, wasn’t getting more game time last season. Well since I wrote that, evidently he has come back to haunt us. Honestly, I didn’t mind the celebration, he said himself he showed respect to the fans but tormented LJ for how his exit was handled but it is what it is.

Apart from that, with the signing of Danny Batth, the soon to be announcement of Patrick Roberts and, dare I say, the prospect of Jermain Defoe coming back it truly seems like LJ is getting the players we need to ensure we don’t end up back in the play-offs... again.

If we can get what should arguably be the priority signing in a no-nonsense mature midfielder to play alongside and free up Dan Neil then I believe LJ will have the squad that gets us back to Championship. If we keep our heads, play the football we’ve shown to be capable of and use the motivation of (hopefully) getting the Wear-Tyne derby back after the mags go down then hopefully this is our year!

Ha’way the lads!

Gabriel Ridley

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Aye, Chris Maguire’s celebrations were a bit of a kick to the gut, but all the fuss with how he went about it didn’t bother me, our performance had me seething much more than Maguire’s antics. But, I agree Gabriel, I really don’t think we’re far off. A couple of good signings and find a bit more consistency and we’ll be there or there abouts.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I think that the return of Jermaine Defoe is a no-brainer. Of course, at his age he wouldn’t be playing full matches, but a man like that can turn draws into wins in the blink of an eye, ask Tim Krul.

But it makes sense to sign him, I reckon he could put 5k on the gate, therefore paying his own wage many times over. This season is the best chance we have and no stone or chance must be left unturned or any opportunity missed in the race to get out and away from league one at last.

Robert Walker

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I just can’t see it happening if I’m honest. It appears we’re giving it a go from his words on national radio the other day but it also sounded like he’s got some pretty interesting offers to become a legend elsewhere.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After an 11 game unbeaten run during which time we took four points from Ipswich, had two 5-0 victories and a 3-0 win, played some cracking football and for a little luck (Oxford and Wycombe) would’ve had two more wins in the bag, in some supporters minds we’ve now become the worst team in the world managed by the most incompetent manager we’ve ever had (again).

What is it with some ‘supporters’ that any little bump in the road and it’s like they’ve won the lottery?

They can’t wait to get on social media and throw in their ten pence worth of, “I told you he was crap (whether that be the manager or any of the players).”

Any chance of a little perspective? Eight games in December, recognised as one of the hardest months of the season with a threadbare squad and we were unbeaten in the league. We go into the new year and Covid affects our team even further.

Then there’s the argument for postponing the games where we have to recall loan players. To my mind, I think that the management did the right thing in both the short and long term by trusting the recalled players to do a job and that in turn must give these lads confidence that the club see them as being part of the long term plan.

We’ve had the seasons of games in hand and that was a sure thing wasn’t it? And it worked out well didn’t it?!

Wigan are going to be playing for 7-8 weeks Tuesday/Saturday. They know how difficult it’s going to be to avoid defeats, injuries etc and have already started bleating that the season needs extending... blah blah blah. For once, we won’t have that and to my mind, that’s going to work in our favour.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Another piece of the puzzle of getting out of this horrendous league is the transfer window. We’ve still got two weeks of it left and I’ve read Lee Johnson’s comments about Covid affecting clubs' decisions to allow players to leave. I’ve seen people commenting that he’s making excuses. Honestly, what planet are people living on where they think he’s talking bollocks?

It’s common sense for teams to hang on until the last minute before allowing players to leave. There aren’t as many fixtures being cancelled at the minute compared to a fortnight ago and nationwide, infection rates are falling. By January 31st, common sense tells me that there’ll be a brighter picture for incoming players. I know this won’t appease Mr ‘It should’ve been sorted yesterday’, but surely they can see the logic behind what he was saying?

OK then, how about players coming back from injury over the next two months? McGeady, O’Nien, Broadhead, Huggins, plus Cirkin getting back up to speed, does that tickle your fancy or is that just horse shit too?

Sometimes I feel like some people are so accustomed to failure that when they see a chance of success they don’t like it. Let’s get back to the Donald/Methven era eh? You’d love that, wouldn’t you? What about getting Parkinson or Grayson back in? Does that sound appealing?

The club is moving forward now. We’ve got a committed owner, a strong management team from the top, a bright, enthusiastic and articulate (one of the reasons the nay-sayers don’t like him) coach in charge, a group of players including Stewart and Neil who are coveted by teams further up the pyramid and a style of play that most people I speak to are thoroughly enjoying.

Please, please, please, can we have some perspective. We’re all entitled to our opinions and mine is that some supporters should try and think a little more in-depth about what is going on now, compared to what we’ve had, and to think about how the long term objectives are going to be met by the current policies and principles the club now has… please… KTF!

Dad’s Fault

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Thanks for the email - I’ve also been scratching my head at times at how the pendulum has swung between Johnson in and Johnson out.

It’s a blight on our season so far that coming out of a summer transfer window that people were concerned wasn’t good enough before a ball was kicked, we then call for the managers head after he raises expectations by getting off to a good start.

It’s not healthy for the fans to constantly swing from one extreme to the other, yet here we are. In my book, he’s doing okay, there’s a middle ground somewhere and he’s on the good side of that, and more importantly I think the club think he’s doing a good job.