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Fan Letters: A Swedish view of World Cup-bound Larsson & Martin Bain like a lady in a shoe shop

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According to Sunderland supporter Isac Edvardsson, Sweden owe a debt of gratitude to our club for their success in achieving World Cup qualification.

Italy v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I just wanted to give you a quick insight in the Swedish view of Sebastian Larsson, a former Sunderland player who departed the club with very mixed emotions from the fans.

For me it was very sad to see the fans give Larsson stick after his years playing for the club. He is a warrior and even though he has never been a technical guy, he always gives it all.

The same journey the Sunderland fans went through regarding Seb has been a trend in Sweden for the last couple of years.

It however gives me great joy in seeing the Swedish newspaper headlines today as he is being pointed out as one of the main reasons Sweden went through to the World Cup.

He (and Toivonen for that matter) led Sweden to beat Italy.

I just wanted to express my joy and pride over the fact that the position he has shined in over these 180 minutes was the position he grew into in the Sunderland shirt - a hard-working central midfielder, steering the team through two 90-minute games against Italy without conceding.

In Sweden you get a lot of questions when telling people Sunderland is the only team in Europe you follow. People have asked me why I don't watch a proper football team.

Today, however, I am wearing my Sunderland shirt with great pride as this win probably wouldn't be possible without Larsson.

Although he became one of the players the fans in the end felt was one of the many over-paid under-performing ones, I strongly disagree. For me Larsson will always have my respect as he never complained, always kept fighting for a first team place, for a win and to please the supporters.

I will never tell any Sunderland supporter how to feel as I will never truly understand the horror of sitting at the SoL week in and week out seeing the team lose (I must say that I am blessed in that way, only being able to see it from the sofa). I will however put hope into that I am not the only Sunderland supporter feeling happy for Larsson today. At the very least you might be able to feel some joy for us weirdo masochists following Sunderland all the way from Sweden.

We are not many but today we are over the moon.

Have a great day friends, I know I will!

Isac Edvardsson

Italy v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg
Super Seb celebrating his team’s victory last night in Italy.
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just regarding the earlier edition of Fan Letters - I have to say, that was an excellent piece, Mr White (you can read it here).

We just need to get a new manager in as soon as possible - never mind taking our time, for God's sake!

Martin Bain is a disgrace. He’s like a woman in a shop choosing which shoes she wants to buy... sorry, ladies!

It's taking bloody ages. Blergh... Sunderland till I die.

Mal Patterson

“Martin Bain is a disgrace!”

Dear Roker Report,

It was a waste of time sacking Simon Grayson with no clue as to who will be brought in to replace him.

Two weeks is a lifetime in football and there’s still no sign of his replacement - there probably won't be one... they will be hoping Robbie Stockdale gets us a result against Millwall so that they can give it to him on the cheap!

Jonathan Witton

“It was a waste of time sacking Grayson - we’ve had no replacement lined up!”
SAFC.com

Dear Roker Report,

The problem at Sunderland is much, much more than just Martin Bain.

He has been appointed to do the unpopular and difficult job of cutting costs.

Ellis Short has ploughed millions into club, with very little return. Yes, he has been very naive with a lot of his managerial appointments and decision-making, but this is why we are in a mess.

Finding a suitable buyer is highly unlikely at thus stage due to the amount of investment needed just to get us back on an even keel.

It pains me to say it, but I think that administration may be the best option down the line. Yes, it will almost certainly result in another relegation and a mass player exodus, but in the long run it would allow us to start again and rebuild.

The one thing that I do know is that we can't go on the way that we are.

Andrew Thompson