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Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - FA Cup 4th Round Replay

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Fan Letters: From Boothroyd to David Healy, RR readers cast their managerial net far and wide!

Yesterday’s defeat means getting the right man in soon is more pressing than it was previously if our season’s not going to be a complete write off. Got something to say? Email us:!

Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

What the F’k was that?

I read with despair that some senior players asked questions of the Sporting Director over why Lee Johnson was sacked when they felt they were doing well - eight goals conceded in two games against shit teams says it all. Perhaps those so called leaders could step up sometime soon because they’re tossing promotion away.

Play-offs beckon for this gutless lot.

Tom in Sherburn Village

Ed’s Note [Martin]: It was awful again Tom, and while I think a lot of blame for yesterday has to fall on Dodds’ shoulders for a horrendous team selection, a number of players need to step up to the plate – yesterday there were poor performances all over the park, I think only Pritchard from the starting XI could really say they turned up. Unless another team implodes in the same way we have there’s no chance of automatic promotion, and in reality the play offs will be a stretch if we keep this form up.

Sunderland v Doncaster Rovers - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Tossing promotion away
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It’s been interesting reading and hearing all the speculation about our latest manager/ head coach search. One name that hasn’t been mentioned is Aidy Boothroyd this could be a left field suggestion and while he’s been out of club management for years, he was successful with England youth levels. He also has experience with the likes of Northampton Town, Colchester and Coventry in league 1 and like Keane had rapid success at Watford; saving them from relegation then got promoted from championship via the play-off the following season. Given how he has nurtured young players, most notably England under 21 winner the Toulon tournament he may help to further enhance Neil, Embo etc.

I agree we should avoid the merry-go-round of EFL managers although one I would welcome, if he doesn’t become Ghana Head coach is Chris Hughton, particularly for his work at Brighton. Even with his previous stint at the mags I think he could prove a shrewd appointment.

Perhaps we should look at formal great players who have their coaching badges. The likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Arteta and Rooney have all been given their opportunities. I wonder if Speakman and Co are scouring academies like Mertesacker at Arsenal helped bring through Saka and Smith Rowe. Plus the Arsenal playing philosophy is arguably what we’re trying to emulate. Robert Pires has stated his desire to enter management a Premier League, FA Cup, Euros and World Cup winner. A class act as a player, I don’t think he’s got coaching experience but ex Marseille player, probably before KLD time but don’t want emotion or tenuous links to guide the club's appointment.

With the Keano situation, I don’t think he’s the right appointment simply as modern football appears to have moved away from aggressive style. Players don’t respond to “hair dryer treatment” anymore. If we elect a pundit I’d rather Gary Neville. The amount of media attention of Keane’s possible return suggests there is a high chance he could be appointed. I worry it’s slightly a PR stunt to employ a well known character.

I understand the talk with rosy nostalgia of Roy getting us back to the premiership. However if the club want a fan favourite appointment why not Super Kev, despite his recent appointment at South Shields. He has been active in coaching in the championship. Imagine Phillips and Ball or Phillips and Rae coaching team.

It will be interesting to see what the club do. Personally, I hope it’s an appointment based on long term vision and values.

James Duffy

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email James, some interesting thoughts there. Not sure about Boothroyd mind, he has a reputation for being a direct manager and he’s not someone who’ll give the club a lift. Hughton did horrendously at Forest too – the upturn in their form since he left illustrates just how poor a job he did there. I find it interesting how quickly Phillips has been discounted over recent times – he’s got more coaching experience than, for example, Keane did when he took over, but for whatever reason they don’t seem to fancy him. I’m firmly behind the idea of Keane returning now mind – I just think standards and expectations need to be lifted behind the scenes, someone needs to reinvigorate the place because a bog standard appointment could see this whole ‘new era’ be over quickly.

Croatia v England - 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Aidy Boothroyd - could he be the answer? Depends on the question, I guess.
Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The only choice is Warnock.

He has the experience and man-management skills to definitely motivate the team and staff.

His CV is excellent and is a proven man motivator and will be our best chance of promotion.

Give him a 6-month contract to get us to the next level.

We need an experienced individual and the only one who ticks all the boxes is Warnock.

Excellent man-management skills and a great player motivator.

His CV shows his skills to get us to the next level.

Peter Henshall

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I wouldn’t be against that Peter – although Warnock should have been given the job 30 years ago! Whoever it is, the club needs to act quickly if we have any chance of salvaging the season.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland - Premier League
Worth a shot?
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

David Healy has been very successful at Linfield so if looking for a young manager could be worth a shot.

Brian Hogg

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Well, at least we might see the mythical Trai Hume on the field if Healy was given a go.


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