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Fan Letters: “The media are going into overdrive about the Sunderland future of Jack Clarke!”

Do the ‘rumours’ about interest in Jack Clarke over the weekend highlight the need to get him tied down longer term, or should we just accept the inevitable? All this and more in today’s Mailbag. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I see the media are once again going into overdrive regarding Jack Clarke and this is where the model of the club will be either proven beneficial or woefully out of touch.

It is said that Brentford are on “high alert” because contract talks have stalled. I actually thought Clarke was signed up for a further 4 years, so I don’t get how contract talks should actually be taking place anyway.

However, if Brentford do buy him, we will have lost a huge talent to this club. How do you replace Jack Clarke? Simple, you can’t. We are already struggling as we have not replaced Ross Stewart and the same scenario could be staring us in the face with Clarke. This is where the model is going to be in trouble. Sooner or later the purse will have to open, or we will lose our most effective players and not be able to replace them. Players like Clarke and Stewart are a rare find and they are pivotal players to the club. If this is going to be the way forward I am afraid we will have to face the reality of mid-table mediocrity. Look at the problems we are having trying to find a new target man. I know others are chipping in scoring, goals, but the most notable name of them is a certain Jack Clarke.

Time to get real and re-think the actualities of this model.

Peter Milton

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Whilst I don’t necessarily disagree with you in that I want our best players to stick around for as long as possible, you also have to factor in that to keep the wheels turning we’re going to have to sell players from time to time. And if a player outgrows us it’s going to be very difficult to hang on to them. Right now Clarke is loving life at Sunderland but I’m not naive enough to think that when January rolls around there’s not going to be a queue of Premier League clubs with fat wallets trying to sign him, at which point it’s going to be very difficult to say no to them if they’re making acceptable offers.

I’ve already come to terms with losing our best players but I’m confident that we’ll reinvest wisely and bring in good players every summer to ensure we keep improving. All I have is hope, though, cos ‘the model’ is in it’s infancy and there’s very little to go off, so I understand the scepticism.

Preston North End v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mike Morese/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

A draw away to Swansea would normally be a good result but Saturday’s match now feels like a defeat. Not scoring when we were up against 10 men for an hour reaffirms my belief that we struggle when Jack Clarke doesn’t score.

To have 25 attempts at goal but only have 3 on target (as the stats suggest) shows we have a problem. Apparently Patrick Roberts had a good game but still failed to open his scoring account. Personally, I think we are too focused on attacking down the wings through Clarke and Robert’s to the detriment of whoever’s playing in the centre.

Added to our failure to score we have to thank Patto for a great penalty save which saved us a point. But we also end up with O’Nien and Ballard picking up bookings for rash tackles which makes them both miss the next match. That will give Mowbray a headache in selecting his centre back pairing for Birmingham.

It may prove to be a costly point gained.

Bill Fisher

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Listening back to Mowbray and the Swansea manager after a game, you’d definitely get the feeling we lost and they won. Annoyingly I think we win that 2-0 if it stays 11 v 11 but the sending off caused them to sit back and they defended brilliantly. That said, we created more than enough to at least score once and that’s on Mowbray and the players. Perversely I’m excited to see what Triantis and Seelt can do - sometimes these opportunities create new stars and I bet they’re both relishing the chance to play.

Swings and roundabouts I guess.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After it was wryly pointed out by Newcastle fans you won’t see a Mackem in Milan, may I wryly point out you may well have allegedly seen an Italian Mag in a betting shop!

Neil Watkinson

Dear Roker Report,

Re: The discussion around changing the badge...

Whoever thought this one up needs his head screwing on properly.

The old badge is RUBBISH. I’ve supported this club for 78 years through thick and thin, and don’t need reminding of the bad old days.

The present badge is unique and shows the way forward - bury the past and go for the future. The old badge shows a ship, but the dockyards closed down during the Thatcher era and the city and port will never be the same.

We struggled for years in the first division until we dropped through the leagues, and it’s taking a long time to get back to where we belong, so let’s go forward and upward and not revert to history.

Bill Calvert

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think if they were going to change the badge it wouldn’t be an exact copy of the old one - more just a nod to it I guess. Most of the time these things are done because of pounds and pennies, and if the club changed the crest to a more universally popular one it would shift a shitload of merchandise, so there’s that. Personally I have no real attachment to the current one because I think it’s naff. They can change it for all I care.


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