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FAN LETTERS: “Sunderland must keep their best youngsters - we’re selling the soul of the club!”

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“By selling our youth players, it is like selling the heart and soul of our club”, says Roker Report reader Walton. Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I spent Saturday afternoon sitting in a pleasant beer garden in Jarrow with some good friends, when all of a sudden the subject of Sunderland AFC came up.

To their amazement l mentioned l was a Sunderland supporter (stick with this, they are Mags) and l have never made any secret of where my allegiances lie.

They took great pleasure in the fact that we were now in the third division and we are crap. As a logical thinking, fair-minded person l could not disagree. l however pointed out to them that they are happy wherever their team is as long as they are superior to Sunderland.

That is itself is fair enough - we would also probably do the same in the circumstances.

The thing l pointed out to them is that their hatred of Manchester United is totally illogical. Back in the later years of the last millennia they blew an enormous lead at the top of the Premiership to Alex Ferguson’s side.

They still hate them for this. So l say to all Sunderland supporters, when the Mags mention our current situation. agree with them but ask them why they hate Manchester United so much when they have only been at their level once in the last 30 years, and ask them to turn their ire towards teams such as themselves (l have googled it and there are no other so called big clubs that have not won any domestic trophies for 60 years).

Trust me, it works.

Gerard Hiscock

Ed’s Note [Tom]: A novel approach, Gerard! Mags are a strange breed of folk. The Keegan years were a real high for them, even if they didn’t manage to beat United who were able to get that result against Middlesbrough.

This season is all about Sunderland, though. This is a chance for us to really craft a club capable of sustainable growth. Let the Mags have their laugh - I think we could be at the start of something very special.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I feel it’s very important that we hold on to our academy lads as I feel these lads can only bring our great club forward.

But, by selling our youth players, it is like selling the heart and soul of our club.

We are off to Grimsby on Tuesday - keep the faith!

Walton James

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Agree in part, but those players still need to want to play here. By all accounts, Joel Asoro was keen to make an exit, and as long as we feel we received a deal that benefits the club, then so be it. This is a great chance for every academy product to show their worth and fight for a place in Jack Ross’ side - the ball is in their court.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I see that there is a lot of debate going on about the plain back panel of the shirt. I may be totally wrong but I seem to remember reading somewhere last summer that it was now EFL rules that all shirts had to have plain backs and not stripes. This was to make the number and the name easily distinguishable.

As for the colour of the shorts argument, I started watching them in 1967, so was used to the white shorts and got a shock when Bob Stokoe changed them to black. I don’t mind the colour of the shorts, although I prefer white, but I utterly detested the black socks they started wearing when they moved to the SoL. I’d only ever known them in red and white socks apart from a few seasons when they wore all red or all white socks.

Ernie Bagnall

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Ernie, the back panel is an Adidas stylistic feature, and isn’t an EFL requirement. It is interesting how the kit has changed over the last few years, though; I would love to see the club give fans a chance to voice their opinions about what they want the kit to be like. Perhaps that could be an option moving forward?

Red and white socks with white shorts would be really interesting. Must admit I love the new kits, the collar and white-trimmed badge on the home kit are very classy in my humble opinion. Cheers for writing in, marra!