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Fan Letters: “It looks like the penny has finally dropped” — Is signing M’Vila an open goal?

“Yann M’Vila is a big fan favorite, and as far as PR goes, it’s probably the biggest open goal going at the moment,” writes RR reader Jake. Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk

Dear Roker Report,

A young vibrant coach? He walks the walk, talks the talk, but ain’t got a clue.

I don’t think the players bought into the cheap option either. They looked deflated and defeated from the outset. 1 shot on target from a fullback easily saved says it all.

Beale didn’t dare take Pritchard off for fear of another backlash. A boring display from a boring team. Not good and the coach needs to get on a coach back to Kent. Now!

I have said consistently this guy is clueless and he is!

Beale to be sacked? Yes please.

Philip R Wright


Dear Roker Report,

As I mentioned last week, we’re out of the playoffs and heading downwards instead of upwards. Why does this pretend coach bring on substitutes with only 10 minutes to go? He has no idea, and the fans are sick of him already. Another management blunder appointing him. Our best players will be leaving, and I can’t blame them under the present management. I also said last week that we might get 1 point out of the next 3 games, and 3 points have gone already. They are also telling lies about crowd attendance, as there was nowhere near 40,000 at this game, maybe 25/30,000. They must think we are idiots, as we think they are. I’m looking forward to the next Birmingham game, haha... 3-0 to Birmingham.

Bill Calvert

Sunderland v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

This clown deserves not another minute. For us to lack an outlet on the right for 80 minutes and to persist with playing Jobe, who’s only 18 and has been running on fumes for nearly two months, is nothing short of disgraceful. Get him out now.

Paul Robinson


Dear Roker Report,

I hope to keep this respectful, bearing in mind the earlier excellent article on RR being an inclusive site for all supporters to express their thoughts and opinions. But... come on, people, some of the comments at the moment... Speakman has only signed one good player for the club? And KLD needs to sell the club?

I get we are all sore about the circumstances around the Newcastle game, the redecorating of the bar was an internal cock-up and not funny for us, but let’s face it, hilarious for everyone else... I am afraid it’s one we have to take on the chin!

Not sure the club could do much about the ticketing due to the FA 15% rule. If the Mags requested the full allocation and the police said OK, we were a bit knackered in what we could do. Yes, galling to see the North Stand full of Mags, but what were the other options?

I think it’s time to take a deep breath and brace ourselves. There is still a lot to play for; let’s not let the Newcastle game create negativity and division. If we do, they will have won more than just that match! So sing loud and sing proud and remember the mainly positive club identity we have under KLD and enjoy the young talented players brought in by Speakman and his recruitment team! Frustrating at times? Hell yes, but when they click, it’s a joy to watch the football they produce!

I just request a couple of things from the club, please sign a striker and get a new pie supplier so Karen can enjoy her meat and potato at half time... we love Karen, and she deserves a decent pie!

Love and Peace,

Neil W


Dear Roker Report,

How are you? I am fine. After reading rumors of some potential signings coming in (I started writing this before Fabrizio Romano poured cold water over Diallo), and I felt excited. Yann M’Vila back, my God! Then I remembered that as far as the club’s ethos goes, a player at that stage of his career signing fits us about as well as normal clothes fit your average Geordie. It looks like the penny has finally dropped.

Yann M’Vila is a big fan favorite, and as far as PR goes, it’s probably the biggest open goal going at the moment. For what it’s worth, I’m all for it because he’s arguably the most talented footballer I’ve seen here at the Stadium of Light. But it does indicate something. This ethos of buying young and cheap and selling high isn’t as rigid as it was. Is this down to the poor performances of late, the crap, gobshite manager, or because the club monumentally messed up with the derby and everything that goes with it? We’ll find out in due course. Are we seeing a change in approach, which I think a lot of fans want to see? Shifting senior players for no apparent reason other than sell-on fee nonsense has been tough to take, but fans will when the side’s doing well. Or is Yann M’Vila simply a cheap PR stunt hoping the fans will simply shut up about the Black Cats Bar?

Whatever the reasons for even entertaining his signing, I can’t think of any negatives. We’re well overdue some good news. Hopefully, this ‘internal investigation’ into the Black Cats Bar fiasco bears some fruit, and we get to line up like the lads off Game of Thrones and throw stuff at the wanker responsible. Probably a pipe dream, but who knows.

Jake Taylor

Ed’s Note [Gav]: It’s a bit of all of that, isn’t it? Yes it’s a massive PR open goal, but also we need an experienced defensive midfielder to take some of the pressure off Neil and Ekwah, and given M’Vila already knows the club it shouldn’t take him long to settle in.

Sunderland Training And Press Conference Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Living most of the time out in the Algarve, online forums have regrettably become a big part of my SAFC life. I say regrettably because there is so much uninformed dross on them that it becomes depressing. I don’t include this forum as it appears the most rounded, fair-minded, and all-inclusive. I’ve had enough of being depressed as a fan in the past, so I can admit to being uplifted in the last couple of seasons until the clouds started gathering at the end of November.

Listen, I loved Tony Mowbray, who provided us with some magic moments last season and even this. However, this is SAFC! Not allowed to have too much of a good thing. Not allowed to go about player recruitment and departures without letting the whole world know before the players concerned do. Not allowed to rely on owners and management to make crucial decisions for us as fans or the club in general.

But do I (we) give up?… Nah! It’s in our DNA; it’s part of our very being! Of course, it doesn’t mean it’s right and doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Equally, it doesn’t give certain supposed informed forums or even so-called journalists the right to completely fabricate stuff for the sake of kickstarting a slow news day. Please don’t take us for mugs. Chinese whispers, trivial made-up gossip really get on my nerves. Let’s hope the confirmed deals in and out arrive soon. Let’s not lose our perspective.

We are who we are, SAFC, never easy, never ending (hope), so let’s wait and see... again!

Stephen Jameson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I do think you’ve touched on something here which isn’t often talked about, in that whilst we all have our opinions on the way things should be done, ultimately we have no real say in the on-pitch stuff — so really it’s a question of “do you trust these people to act with the club’s best interests at heart, or not?”.

When it comes to the stuff off the pitch I’m not sure I do. Nobody can be happy with what we’re seeing from the club off the field and we need to see immediate improvements, otherwise the patience we’ve shown towards the club on the footballing side will quickly dissapate as the non-footballing issues will take over.

This annoys me because there have been so many own goals off the field — they have nobody to blame but themselves.

Everything which happened around the Newcastle match was avoidable and self-inflicted. Fans have been highlighting problems with customer service in merchandise, ticketing, the general state of the facilities, and just about everywhere else since we were in League One and it appears nothing has been done to address some perfectly legitimate concerns.

Like everyone else I’m interested to read the minutes from the latest Supporters Collective meeting that was held on Thursday night, because this is an opportunity for the club to draw a line in the sand, demonstrate they’re listening and demonstrate they’re making the changes that are needed to bring supporters back onside.

If they don’t take this opportunity, people won’t afford Kyril any more patience and this will ultimately cause irrepairable damage between him and the fanbase.

He’s an idiot if he doesn’t recognise this by now.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

During his time with SAFC, Luke O’Nien has played in almost every position, and for me, his best and most effective position is as an attacking right wing-back. Play him there and let Jenson Seelt form a long-term partnership at the heart of the defence with Dan Ballard. If we are going to concede a penalty 9 times out of 10, it’ll be Luke; he just wants to win everything and sometimes just kicks everything above grass height.

I believe in the owner and the management team; they will get it right, and as soon as we reach the Premier League, I believe the purse strings will be loosened. We don’t need to go into debt to get there, as our best youngsters are getting better and will become more consistent over time. Do we want to be solvent or be losing £200K per week like the muppets up the road?

Bromley John

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m a bigger fan of Luke than most, so... I think he’s developed into a decent central defender and is very good at setting the tone in games. Right through the squad we lack players with aggression and maybe he does overcompensate as a result, but if you took him out of the side I think we’d miss what he brings most. I’m not so sure he’s best off as a right back as I’ve only really seen him there in the league below, but I wouldn’t be sticking him there at the expense of Trai Hume, who is a player that I have no doubt will go on to play in the Premier League at some point soon.

His best position, for me, is exactly where he is right now. There’s been a succession of managers in recent years at the club who have all played him there... they can’t all be wrong about him, surely?

What’s interesting to me is that we signed Seelt for decent money and he has to get a chance at some point in his proper position, but when that is I’m not sure.

Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I wonder who the board had in mind to replace Tony when they sacked him? It couldn’t have been Beale, or he would have joined earlier.

David Pearson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: From what I’ve been told, they interviewed six candidates in total and Beale was always their number one choice. Whether you believe that or not is another thing!

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I wholeheartedly agree with Daren Adamson and his synopsis of the hierarchy at our club.

I have said time and time again that the ones shouting for the current owner to leave are the impatient ones who don’t understand football as a business, and this is why they don’t own or run a football club. Yes, they have made mistakes, and yes, they may well come to regret making them.

However, their style of management and commitment to the club is unquestionable. The level of damage done to the club isn’t visible to all, and the time and effort that has been put into repairing this damage is nothing other than commendable.

It will take time and patience to allow the people in charge to get us back into the rightful place of being a Premier League team and having the infrastructure to maintain that position.

Malcolm Donnison

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think that what we’re seeing is a blending of issues from on the field and off the field. Most fans can agree that on the field we’ve been largely successful, but off the pitch it’s not been anywhere near good enough.

If they can make some noticeable improvements off the pitch, it’ll lessen the pressure on what we are doing on it.


Dear Roker Report,

The Jack Diamond situation has now reached its conclusion with a not guilty verdict. Given Adam Johnson wasn’t too long ago, I understand the club’s actions in suspending him. Nonetheless, I really feel for the guy and how much of a setback to his career this must have been. Half a year not playing is a massive blow to a player, especially at his stage.

In pure SAFC terms, it’s harsh to say, but I don’t think even without this incident he’d be securing his spot in the first team. He’s a decent player but in a position where we have many good players. Nonetheless, he seemed easily capable of making it at a League One or Championship team less blessed with wingers.

I really wonder what the future holds for him and hope he gets a decent loan move this January to start getting things back on track.

Craig Tallentire


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