Dear Roker Report,
On Thursday, I wrote to suggest that I feared the worst for deadline day, and that as supporters we could end up frustrated and disappointed.
I hoped I’d be proven wrong, although I honestly felt this wouldn’t be the case. However, I was proven wrong and the club’s ownership and management team did so in emphatic style.
I can’t judge the new signings as yet, although everything would point to them being shrewd and exciting. For me, the departures were the significant aspect of deadline day, but fears of a mass exodus of talent never materialised.
Aside from Ross Stewart, the players that left all made sense, despite my emotional attachment to Lynden Gooch and Elliot Embleton, and the appreciation of the role Danny Batth played.
However, with our recruitment over the summer and on Friday, you can’t see them playing any significant part in the side.
The lesson I learned was to trust the process.
Despite all the turmoil, Tony Mowbray put out a young and effervescent side on Saturday to destroy a promotion favourite. To back up his words, we’ve got a very good team and if and when they click, it’s scintillating.
What I also took from deadline day and the match itself is patience.
I was at Coventry and I heard Abdoullah Ba being described as a waste of time, and Hemir was the same.
However, I thought Ba scared Southampton to death and brilliantly played his part in the first two goals. I also saw enough from Hemir in a couple of flashes to suggest that with support and patience, we have a talent on our hands who’ll score goals.
The other point worth noting for me is that if Patrick Roberts wants to leave and the club doesn’t want to offer a contract extension, so be it.
I trust the club to do the right thing and although they’re different kinds of players, both Ba & Jewison Bennette, with those pirouettes and sublime crosses, are in the building and ready.
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Paul. Thanks for your letter!
It was certainly a crazy couple of days in the life of a Sunderland supporter.
From the panic about a supposed ‘fire sale’ on Thursday to some interesting arrivals and departures on Friday, to one of the best wins of recent years on Saturday, it was extremely exciting and unpredictable.
I think the first point to note is that there was clearly never a plan to sell half of the squad during the final couple of days of the window. Media rumours fanned the flames and as people started to panic, it started to get out of hand until it became obvious on Friday that there was nothing of substance in the majority of those whispers.
Yes, we lost three important players on deadline day and Elliot Embleton’s loan to Derby was also an interesting move, but we also added four exciting signings, all of whom clearly have the potential to contribute this season.
Ultimately, there’s a plan in place and as supporters, we have to trust that those making the decisions know what they’re doing and that the future prosperity of the club is the number one priority. I think they’ve earned that right, personally.
Dear Roker Report,
I’ve just read Lynden Gooch’s farewell letter and I thought it was very touching, especially for the fans who make this great club what it is.
You could feel the emotion and the heartfelt message that he was sending to the club and the supporters. I’ll miss Goochy, as he always gave one hundred percent for Sunderland AFC.
Good luck on your new adventure, Lynden.
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Steve. Thanks for getting in touch.
I completely agree about the tone of the message that Gooch sent as he left Sunderland for Stoke. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, too.
This is a player who clearly loved the club and understood exactly what it means to wear the red and white stripes. Like you, I wish him well in the Potteries and I’d love to see him return to Wearside in some capacity in the future.
Dear Roker Report,
After sitting in the treatment room for a year and picking up his wages, I think Ross Stewart owed us another season. Not contractually, of course, but morally.
However, we then went and scored five goals without him on Saturday! A funny old game, isn’t it?
I still love having Tony Mowbray as our head coach, and for me, he’s the best since Peter Reid and Roy Keane
I also wanted to let you know that I finally got my reduced price OAP ticket.
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Kev. Thanks for your letter!
First of all, it’s great to hear that your ticket was finally sorted.
Regarding Ross Stewart, I would’ve loved to have kept him at Sunderland until the end of the season, but if he had no intention of signing a new contract, it made more sense to sell him for a decent fee while we still had the chance.
Tony Mowbray is still doing a superb job, too, and with the new players onboard, I think he’ll be relishing the chance to start working with them during the international break, before we restart against QPR later this month.
Dear Roker Report,
What do you think of this for a Chris Rigg chant?
Riggy, Riggy, Riggy can’t you see?
Sometimes your skills just hypnotise me,
And I just love your flashy ways,
That’s when we’re gonna smash the Premier League!
Ed’s Note [Phil]: Thanks for sending us another idea for a chant!
Sadly, as someone who’s now old and woefully out of touch with modern music, I’m not sure what song it’s based on, or even what melody we’d use when singing it.
Hopefully we can get some proper chants into circulation for Chris Rigg, as he’s now a real fans’ favourite!