Fan Letters: “Is this club learning from past mistakes?” asks the reader RR Roy


Dear Roker Report,

Hello, here are a few words about our club. The season is not over yet, yes we are in a bad patch, don’t we realize that the young people were always going to have a drop in form? It happens to be all at the same time. If we were to get a promotion, what would our expectations be? Promotion again, playoffs? Now take a minute and be realistic – answer these questions if you can.

1. When loaned players return to their club, who replaces them?

2. How many members of the current team are good enough for the championship?

3. Will Donald and co want more money for their actions?

4. Where will the new money needed to survive in the championship come from?

5. Are we going to give Alex Neil enough time to do his job, whether it’s trying to get promotion from this league or staying in the league?

6. If we were lucky enough to get consecutive promotions, the investment would be 10-20 times that of the previous season, and that’s just to stay in place.

I know it’s frustrating right now, but we need to get the property right and get rid of those three leeches as soon as possible. We don’t want to be in a Derby situation.

All my wishes

Steve Wyatt

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Steve – some good questions there. What does everyone think? I think we need to fix the ownership issue, but I’m afraid it’s a convenient excuse and a source of negativity that just makes everything else worse. I’m not convinced by everything I’ve seen of Alex Neil so far, but he’s here now and I just hope he can turn things around quickly, for everyone’s good.

Neil has failed to impress so far – but will he have enough time to turn things around?
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

For many years I enjoyed the successes and cursed the failures of the SAFC, meeting fantastic people who knew football inside out. Of course, there were heartaches, but it was especially when the team played at a much higher level than they do now.

Whatever my feelings have been lost in the disgust I have for the current management of the club, especially for Speakman who poses as the sporting director with overall responsibility for the size and quality of the team.


Well, the only thing his squad and transfer deals have brought is that the “POPULATION” of the top two positions in the league WILL NOT INCLUDE the squad of players he produced for that head coach do miracles.

We are struggling, and Speakman’s trades in the January transfer window have given the head coach an impossible task.

His deals, including the transfer of two centre-backs and leaving those vital positions weakened in both number and quality, with no cover for players who have injury histories. Whatever our opinion of the head coach, he has more football knowledge written in his ass than Speakman has in total.

I strongly believe that unless KLD acts and gets rid of the managerial position, or removes the current occupant from the scene, the club will occupy the lower leagues for much longer than that, or even the season next.

The position of sporting director is an obfuscation of responsibility for the performance of the team, as the holder of this position controls both the size and the quality of the team. The head coach has to do everything he can with these players. The most critical factors for team success are team size and quality, but as soon as negative results ensue, the flack goes, wrongly in my opinion, to the head coach.

All responsibility for football must rest with ONE person, the Football Manager, with the exception of transfer fees and player contracts, which must be handed over to COO Davidson). This action will save money that could be used for more constructive purposes.

It may be hard but there is no doubt that a director of a failing function that harms a company would quickly find the way to Pôle Emploi. I believe that we have to face reality if we want the club in which I have been involved for so long, 83 years, to succeed.

Mordey Street

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Speakman is under a lot of pressure Mordey St, that’s for sure. I think the thing we need to figure out is whether it’s the SD model that’s wrong, how we implemented it, or who we have in that role. I don’t really think the model is wrong in theory – we’ve seen in the past when new managers have come in and signed players that the next manager doesn’t like, and we end up with loads of players on big contracts either we try to whip for whatever we can get or we pay their wages sitting on the sidelines. That’s part of the reason we’re here in the first place. However, the head coach should have a say in what players we bring in for his team – ultimately if he is to be judged on results he must be 100% on the players who come in the club. Speakman has no previous experience as a sporting director and, while his remit is broader than that of the first team, the hard truth is that first team results are all that matters. Very few people care about anything else – and if the head coach is to be judged on first-team results, so is the sporting director. My prediction? An “internal review” will take place at the end of the season and Speakman will be on the way.

New Sunderland manager press conference

One is gone… how long will the other last?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

In the past four seasons, we haven’t learned anything from failed promotion challenges, bad hires, or new owners. Johnson is gone and everyone should have followed Speakman and Dodds and Co, they have no idea.

Speakman has to be the worst football data statistician and analyzer I have ever seen. Sell ​​Flanagan as we are short of centre-backs and didn’t sign a recognized right-back at the start of the season. At the start of the season we had a main striker and were sticking with Grigg who basically did a Rodwell. Then the academy signs more than 12 players. I will now give you the stats – no wins in nine for the first team and no wins in five for the U23s. Such a waste. Statistician Speakman had Keano as our number one choice who has been unsuccessful for 11 years and his record after Sunderland is terrible.

Then, now, we’re signing two wide players and Gooch is still playing, it’s bad decision after bad decision.

We use modern technology to recruit players and employ people to do this, which in my eyes have failed.

Last night’s game, a forty year old was a class above anything on this pitch, he looked so frustrated at how bad we were. We can’t do the basics well and the excuse that the players are tired is an insult to the fans trying to work for live guys. I honestly don’t know where the club is headed, we’ve been the most supported underachieving team in the world since 1973, it’s heartbreaking.

Kyril takes full control and do what you want to do. Because the other greedy shareholders are just waiting for a big salary.

wild mark

Ed’s Note [Martin]: There must be a lot of questions asked at the end of the season, Mark – we need Donald and Methven to leave the club and Speakman’s performance needs to be thoroughly examined. As I mentioned above, I suspect he will leave – I think his position has become untenable due to the bad decisions he made this year which directly sabotaged our season.

Hull v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

Do what you have to do, Kyril
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Will this club ever learn from its past mistakes?

Sell ​​or loan players in the same division who might just come back to bite you in the back, for example Embleton last year and now Hume and O’Brien. Bring players who are worse or no better than already at the club, eg Evans for Power, Batth for Flanagan, Roberts for Diamond, Defoe as second striker.

Constantly changing managers when stability and a sense of purpose are needed.

Then we have fans who are on the backs of owners, managers and players as soon as things start to go wrong,

I am 78 years old and I am so disappointed with the functioning of this football club which, apart from one or two brilliant periods, has been and still is chaotic!

roy simpson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thank you for your email Roy, and the answer to your first question is a resounding “no”! We can debate the individual ins and outs all we want, but really the big problem is that we’re not moving forward, and this “plan” we were sold has been torn up unnecessarily. When the pressure mounted, the owners and SD showed themselves identical to what had come before. I don’t think you can blame fans for getting on people’s backs – it’s hardly “as soon as things go wrong”, right? This is our fourth season in the third tier, and we’ve only had five in almost 145 years of football. People are frustrated, and rightly so. It’s heartbreaking at the moment – but we all cling to the hope that one day it will be better.

Portsmouth v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One

Should have kept it…
Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The first time I wanted to write. I realize that paying audiences have a right to have their say at games, but instead of booing or being constantly mobbed by social media, why don’t fans vote with their feet and leave before the end?

Fans have to accept, Sunderland are in the Third Division, disguised as EFL League 1 to make it more palatable. We have good facilities, but I’ve been horrified by the state of the pitch lately.

Yet we can still attract a decent player and LJ had Sunderland playing attractive football, however, a leaky defense will never win enough games and the powers that chose to listen and kick their heads so you reap what you sow in the never- ending hope of a promotion and someone else can try. Support the club, the head coach and the current generation of players and maybe there are enough games left to make the dream come true.

Peter Lamb

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thank you for contacting Peter. What baffles me with Johnson’s sacking is that there was no mob call for him to be sacked, so I don’t know who the powers that be listened to? Alex Neil needs to get the team back on track ASAP if we have any hope this season. Fingers crossed to start this afternoon – after all, what we all want is for SAFC to be a success.


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