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Fan Letters: “I think this guy is going to win us the league!”

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In today’s Fan Letters we discuss Parky’s revival, Mackems in Philadelphia, and discuss politics in football once more. Got something to say? RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Dear Roker Report,

Phil Parkinson! After the Bolton game he was a P45 with legs... and look where we are now and look how we’re playing!! Clean sheets all over and blowing teams away. The man just continues to make us all sound foolish when we say he isn’t good enough for Sunderland, and giving him stick for not making any changes recently during our hectic schedule. Never have so many of us been so wrong, me included. I nar it’s hard to shake little bits of negativity, especially after everything we’ve all been through the past few years, but we’ve got to try to find a way because I think this guy is going to win us the league!

Colin (Peterlee)

Ed’s Note [Tom]: What a turnaround, Colin! Every fan had a right to be disappointed with the opening couple of months of Parkinson’s tenure. However, since the Doncaster win the Lads have looked tremendous. I think a lot of that is to do with Parkinson wanting a fitter, faster squad. That would take at least a month or two to see signs of improvement; that ability to outrun the opposition with high pressing and quick interchanges in play has been a huge part of our success. Like you say, all credit to Parky! I’m going to hold off on the league win predictions for now, though.

Sunderland v Rochdale - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I was listening to your BLC international fans day podcast. I was shocked to hear that you had someone from Philadelphia on. I am an expat who has lived in Philadelphia for 19 years and have been a lifelong fan of Sunderland.

I have only met two other Sunderland fans since my time here!

Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.

Chris

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Chris, what a small world! You should reach out to the North American Supporters Association to see if any of your fellow Philadelphians are also Mackems.

Dear Roker Report,

I’m saddened to see the Boris Johnson situation continue in the letters page.

Some of the responses were valid: the stadium does make money as an events space and Johnson does technically have a right to hire it. We need the money afterall. He certainly has no shortage of funds so I hope we made a pretty penny from his visit.

But some of the other comments... What on earth is with the strawman about Jeremy Corbyn and his (supposed) views? He has nothing to do with this. It’s perfectly possible to be disgusted by Johnson and not be a Corbynista.

And the mention of Dianne Abbot in there as well... It’s shameful that people indulging in this brand of far right dog whistle politics claim to be Sunderland fans.

I wish I could say I’m shocked but I’m really not. Its due to the rise in this sort of view that I haven’t been to any games this year. After an incident last season when a pair of fake fans started ranting threatening far right nonsense at me and my half Swiss 5 year old when we spoke German together we just don’t feel safe to do so.

I am County Durham born and raised and will support Sunderland till the day I die. Banished from the stadium until the political situation cools down its only through the Internet and radio that I’m able to follow the lads. Please can we get back to football and save the manufactured red team vs blue team nonsense for reddit or wherever?

Paul Jones

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Paul, I am really gutted to hear about the abuse your family received when attending the game - it is totally unacceptable. I mentioned in a reply to the original article that fans should remember the fact that Sunderland is at the heart of the city’s community. It was a comment that really wasn’t intended to incite any kind of debate, just a reminder that we are all a part of the same collective group and should respect one another fairly. Fans need to remember that.

I think you’re right in that the footy should be a place where we can relax (sort of!), have fun, and socialise without holding onto worries. Although politics and football will always be intertwined in some way, we all need to band together as a group and welcome Sunderland fans without prejudice or anger. Everyone’s allowed an opinion, just be respectful.


NOTE: Fan Letters is a recurring feature that allows Sunderland fans to voice their thoughts and feelings. The opinions of our readers do not necessarily reflect those of Roker Report and our team of writers.