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Fan Letters: “Is there a lack of desire from Sunderland to push for the playoffs?”

More post-transfer window views have landed in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I don’t understand the lack of desire from those at the top of the club to at least make a push for the playoffs.

It’s almost as if they don’t want to because they think it’s too soon, but I think it’s very short-sighted.

We could end up just outside the playoffs which would be applauded as a success, but it appears that the thinking is that we’ll be stronger next season.

It’s the last thing in the world I would wish on any of our supporters, but there’s always a chance that we could fail recruit well in the summer and who’s to say we couldn’t go backwards?

I think the club should’ve supported the team and made the push now whilst the players are showing the desire to do well for the fans. Why put the brakes on when the ultimate goal is the Premier League?

Even if we gained promotion and were immediately relegated, we would still get the extra funding from parachute money to strengthen the team to go again.

I don’t get it.


Kev C.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Kev. Thanks for getting in touch.

Personally, I don’t believe there’s been an effort on behalf of the club to deliberately write off this season or to hold things back.

The recruitment last summer was excellent and although we didn’t have the kind of January window we all wanted, there’s still plenty of quality throughout the squad and I don’t think the season is by any means a lost cause. It’s going to be hard, but the players and the coaches will doubtless embrace the challenge they’ve got in front of them.

Regarding the future, I have to admit that I simply can’t see the appeal of getting promoted, pocketing the top flight cash, and then not worrying about whether we get relegated or not. The last thing this club needs is to get locked into a cycle of bouncing between the two divisions.

It’s obvious that if and when we are promoted back to the Premier League, the aim would be to be genuinely competitive and to ultimately thrive, rather than battling against relegation as we did for the majority of the decade from 2007 to 2017.

Fulham v Sunderland: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The transfer window was frustrating at some points, but I think we’ve signed some decent players.

I think if we did find a striker, they would’ve demanded a lot of money, so we would’ve never signed two strikers on permanent deals during the window.

We’ve brought some exciting footballers to the club and at least we got players, unlike a certain Premier League team. We just have to look forward to the summer window.

Matthew Woolfe

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Matthew. Thanks for your letter.

I agree that the January window was frustrating in terms of our failure to add the two strikers that everyone was hoping for, but Pierre Ekwah, Joe Gelhardt, Joe Anderson and Isaac Lihadji are four promising players, and they’ve got the potential to make a big impact for us.

This window was about fine-tuning the squad and if there is to be a big overhaul, it’ll happen in the summer, which is clearly part of the club’s strategy.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Joe Anderson Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After reading recent letters, I’d say that despite your sarcastic response to Steve, he would have appear to have far greater support from our fans than Euan.

For example, what would your response have been in December if someone had suggested we play Lynden Gooch as a striker?

Now, we may have no choice, and as for players not ‘fitting the model’, how about Danny Batth, Corry Evans and Alex Pritchard? We can sign players over the age of twenty two, after all.

Recent history shows us that some positions are more important.

The lack of centre backs cost us dearly during 2020/2021, and a lack of strikers could cost us now. As for only needing two strikers because one is still a backup, until Ross Stewart’s first injury, we mainly started with two.

I’m totally unimpressed with being told we tried to sign four strikers on deadline day, because as Steve said, we had months to prepare.

As shown during Peter Reid’s final months in charge, being stubborn is great if you’re right.

Jim Wales.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Jim. Thanks for your letter!

I agree that the club’s failure to land reinforcements up front was a major disappointment. Listening to the latest club podcast with Kristjaan Speakman, he was articulate and measured as he explained the rationale behind the decision, but for a fan base who expected more from the final days of the window, perhaps it wasn’t quite enough.

Nevertheless, the squad is how it is right now, and all we can do is push on, and for the other attackers to chip in with goals wherever they can.

Fulham v Sunderland - Emirates FA Cup - Fourth Round - Craven Cottage Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images


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