3:46 PM EST, Thu February 22, 2018
Feb 16, 2018
Fan Letters: Sunderland’s survival depends upon the fans getting behind the players and manager!

Fan Letters: Sunderland’s survival depends upon the fans getting behind the players and manager!

“It’s our duty as supporters to turn up and ensure that we do our absolute best to be with the players every step of the way”, says Roker Report reader Simon Williams. Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk - we’ll include your message in the next edition. Dear Roker Report, Regardless of what we think of Ellis Short, Martin Bain, any number of the players, the pink seats, the over-priced pies, the queues and congestion on the concourses, people smoking in the toilets or whatever else annoys us on a matchday, we have to put all of our hatred aside and get behind...
Feb 16, 2018
Brentford manager Dean Smith digs at Sunderland supporters in fiery pre-match press conference

Brentford manager Dean Smith digs at Sunderland supporters in fiery pre-match press conference

Brentford manager Dean Smith offered up some bizarre comments on the mentality of Sunderland supporters in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game. Brentford manager Dean Smith came out swinging in his pre-match press conference today, believing his side can capitalise on Sunderland’s recent and well documented struggles at the Stadium of Light when his side visit Wearside tomorrow afternoon. Chris Coleman's men come into the fixture sitting in 23rd place having won just five league games all season - the fewest of any Championship side. Brentford are enjoying a decent...
Feb 16, 2018
Mackem in Milan: Fans of Serie A giants AC Milan “love” Sunderland’s hard-working Fabio Borini

Mackem in Milan: Fans of Serie A giants AC Milan “love” Sunderland’s hard-working Fabio Borini

We catch up with our friends in Italy to provide some insight on how Sunderland’s £10m-man Fabio Borini is performing whilst out on loan at Serie A giants AC Milan. On-loan Sunderland attacker Fabio Borini got his second goal inside five days yesterday evening having tucked one away in AC Milan’s Europa League tie with Bulgarian champions PFC Ludogorets. The man signed from Liverpool in 2015 has struggled for playing time since Gennaro Gattuso was named as manager of the Rossoneri in late November, but will have done plenty to impress his boss having broken his goalscoring drought in...
Feb 16, 2018
STARTING XI: Is this the team that Chris Coleman will pick when Sunderland face Brentford?

STARTING XI: Is this the team that Chris Coleman will pick when Sunderland face Brentford?

It looks like Sunderland could shift to a more traditional formation on Saturday against Brentford. Are these the eleven players that will take to the field in red and white? Goalkeeper: Lee Camp Continuing between the sticks this weekend will undoubtedly be Cardiff City loanee Lee Camp who, unless he’s injured, is certain to start each and every game from now until the end of the season. The former Rotherham stopper hasn’t enjoyed the best of starts since arriving here, conceding five goals across the two games that he’s played in so far, but can’t really accused of being at fault...
Feb 15, 2018
Lee Cattermole ‘will play a vital role’ at Sunderland; another career renaissance in the offing?

Lee Cattermole ‘will play a vital role’ at Sunderland; another career renaissance in the offing?

Hard-man midfielder Lee Cattermole today spoke with the Daily Mirror about his rollercoaster career on Wearside, providing a timely reminder of just how important he could prove to be between now and the end of the season. Even despite the obvious and glaring decline in his footballing abilities, the majority of Sunderland supporters have a lot of time for Lee Cattermole. He's been a servant of the club for nearly ten seasons now, and there's always been a sense amongst fans that he truly understands what it means to represent Sunderland - especially given his North East roots. The former...
Feb 15, 2018
Roker Ramble: Argentinian coach has gun pulled on him by player who wanted more game time!

Roker Ramble: Argentinian coach has gun pulled on him by player who wanted more game time!

José’s feeling the love in the North East, Harry Kane has a biological advantage, Spurs have got the size all wrong and Tim Cahill is back - as long as he doesn’t do that punching the corner-flag thing... It’s this week’s Roker Ramble! I think José may be feeling the love. That, or he’s on dope - either way he’s not acting in character. True, he’s just signed a contract extension at United so he’s probably feeling pretty good about life right now, but to lose one nil at Newcastle and then imagine that Rafa’s players must be feeling ‘beautiful’ for their experience...
Feb 15, 2018
Sunderland attacker Wahbi Khazri is earning rave reviews in France; should we have kept him?

Sunderland attacker Wahbi Khazri is earning rave reviews in France; should we have kept him?

Out-on-loan Sunderland playmaker Wahbi Khazri is earning rave reviews for his performances in France. Should more have been done in order to keep him at the club? Attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri continues to receive rave reviews from multiple French media outlets due to standout performances in Ligue 1 whilst out on loan at Rennes. The Tunisia international started out the season with Sunderland when Simon Grayson was manager, but on deadline day in the summer he left having barely featured in the Championship. Since arriving back in France the former Bordeaux man has impressed mightily...
Feb 15, 2018
Caulkin criticises Short’s “catastrophic ownership” of Sunderland in damning piece for the Times

Caulkin criticises Short’s “catastrophic ownership” of Sunderland in damning piece for the Times

The national press are finally starting to recognise Sunderland’s perilous position and the unforgivable mismanagement that has thrust us into what feels like an eternity of relegation battles - could this cause positive change? It’s been noted by many fans that the national media simply haven’t given Sunderland’s demise the coverage it so rightly deserves. Years of mismanagement, wasteful spending, a revolving door of managers and players, botched recruitment and business strategies, embarrassing cover-ups and absent ownership have taken their toll, yet Sunderland have somehow...
Feb 15, 2018
Roker Rapport Podcast Xtra: Brentford (H) Preview Show!

Roker Rapport Podcast Xtra: Brentford (H) Preview Show!

We’re back! You can catch an extra show every week as we preview the upcoming game with an opposition supporter - today we’re joined by Billy the Bee from the Beesotted Podcast! LISTEN IN - you can hear this week’s show on iTunes, Acast and Youtube. What are we talking about this week? The coming meeting between the two sides at the SOL; Brentford’s recent form; Who are the players to watch this Saturday? The scouting techniques that seem to be working well for the Bees; Aiden McGeady’s caused Brentford problems in the past; Can he do so again? Thoughts from both sides on...
Feb 15, 2018
Saturday’s Brentford clash will be a make or break moment in Sunderland’s season; and here’s why

Saturday’s Brentford clash will be a make or break moment in Sunderland’s season; and here’s why

Whether it’s just about believing in survival or fearing the worst, the result of Saturday’s game will certainly let us know just how much mental strength this squad has and whether or not we’re just going round in circles. It’s my favourite time of the month; that time that usually comes around once every four weeks - Sunderland have just done something positive for the first time in a while and we’re wondering if we’ve finally turned a corner. What usually follows is the team reverting to type, plodding along for a few games, before reigniting the hope. The problem is,...
Feb 14, 2018
Chris Coleman gives biggest hint yet about his Sunderland team selection for Saturday’s game

Chris Coleman gives biggest hint yet about his Sunderland team selection for Saturday’s game

Chris Coleman has given a massive hint towards what system and players Sunderland will play when we face Brentford on Saturday. Much of the discussion amongst Sunderland supporters since our draw with Bristol City has been around the type of team and system that Chris Coleman will select when we face of with 10th-placed Brentford this coming weekend. There have been calls for the former Wales boss to go back to a more traditional system that employs a back four as opposed to a back five, with it clear to many observers that the system we’ve utilised for the majority of Coleman’s tenure...
Feb 14, 2018
Mythbusters: Three at the back is NOT an inherently defensive formation

Mythbusters: Three at the back is NOT an inherently defensive formation

Many so-called “pundits” and other honestly mistaken fans constantly refer to a back-three as a defensive formation when, in actuality, it’s far from the truth. For some time, British managers have simply employed a hastily taught and poorly implemented five-man defence in order to limit opposing teams’ space. In fact, 3-4-3/3-5-2 are among the single-most attacking formations any manager could name, purely due to the numerical advantage each individual formation allows. The ongoing claim that the five/three-man-defence is inherently defensive is, in reality, far from the case, but...
Feb 14, 2018
Reports: Loaned-out Sunderland midfielder turned down French club before they signed M’Vila

Reports: Loaned-out Sunderland midfielder turned down French club before they signed M’Vila

News outlets in France have reported that Didier Ndong turned down a move from Sunderland to St Etienne in January - and, as a result, the French club settled on former Black Cat Yann M’Vila instead. According to reports out in France, Gabon international Didier Ndong turned down a move to Ligue 1 side St Etienne in January before he opted to sign instead for Watford. The decision, by all accounts, came down to money and the fact that the French club would not have been able to match the terms of the contract that Ndong had agreed with Sunderland when he arrived as our club-record signing...
Feb 14, 2018
Former Sunderland striker available on a free; would you take him back on a short-term deal?

Former Sunderland striker available on a free; would you take him back on a short-term deal?

Ex-Sunderland centre forward Victor Anichebe is available on a free transfer and has been linked with a move to the Championship. Would you take him back on a short-term basis? Former Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe has been linked with return to football with Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers, according to reports in the Birmingham Mail. The 29-year-old is out of contract after a short stint with Beijing Enterprises of the Chinese Super League, but is now available on a free transfer having had his contract torn up last month. Former Sunderland target Gary Madine earned himself a...
Feb 14, 2018
THREE questions for the club that this Sunderland supporter would like to know the answers to

THREE questions for the club that this Sunderland supporter would like to know the answers to

Three key questions that this Sunderland supporter would like to ask in order to find out the harsh, undiluted truth. “If we are relegated, will Chris Coleman stay?” Anyone who has read any of my previous articles that have mentioned Coleman will know my man-crush on him both disturbs my wife and myself in equal measure. So from that standpoint it’s very clear to estimate my position on the matter. As much as I detest the idea of back to back relegation, our only consistent position this season has been our inconsistency. I can’t get carried away with a rousing win or storming...