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Fan Letters: “Season two of Sunderland Til I Die was nowhere near as good as the first!”

Roker Report readers Max, Michael and Jim have a plethora of different concerns on their mind after finishing season two of Sunderland Til I Die. Got something to say?!

Dear Roker Report,

I’m currently watching STID season 2. Watching SD get fleeced for Grigg was one of the most painful moments of both seasons of the show.

I know hindsight is 20:20 but what do you think would have happened if SD had not sold Maja, kept him through the end of the season, and gave him up for nothing? Would it have been worth the risk of losing Maja for nothing if it meant Sunderland would have gotten promoted? Would the team have gotten promoted? I fear I’ll be asking myself these questions as long as the team is in League One.

Haway the lads,

Ed’s Note [Alex]: I don’t think you’ve asked yourself any unreasonable questions there, Max. You’ve certainly not asked any questions I haven’t also asked myself and I’m sure there are many, many other Sunderland fans like us doing the same.

At the time, I would’ve certainly thought keeping Maja irrespective of his desire to sign a contract extension was the better move; Maja was on course to score 25-30 goals if he replicated his form from the first half of the season and I’m sure he would have. In the latter half of the campaign we were ultimately undone by the irritating recurrence of those 1-1 draws and, if we’d kept him, it probably would’ve made the difference between one point and the ever-coveted three. Ultimately, that would’ve led us to an automatic spot - or at least made us a formidable enough play-off opponent to actually win the bugger.

As for the Grigg transfer saga: yeah, that was pretty grim. Seeing the graphic ‘Sunderland sign Will Grigg for £3 million’ fade onto the screen made me cringe quite violently knowing what that ludicrous investment would subsequently amount to. However, fleeced though he may have been in retrospect, I think those scenes portray Stewart Donald as a man who cares an awful lot about the success of our football club - I found his dedication to getting his man very commendable.

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

Dear Roker Report,

A few points from 2nd series.

1. Why was there no better explanation about NDong, Papy, Kone, Rodwell etc. and the contempt they had for the club? Even before we sold Asoro his attitude in the dressing room when meeting Ross.

2. Why didn’t they batter Maja for the lies he told?

3. Not even a mention or shot of Trafalgar square for the cup. One of the greatest turn outs in our history and nothing.

4. When going through the matches, they could have explained about away games and the miles the fans put in. Even if it’s only captioned like “600mile round trip.”

5. Talked to supporters clubs from around the country and foreign ones like the Feyenoord lads etc.

6. The biggest let down was the fans initiative for tickets on boxing day. Not even highlighted.

Many other things could have been put in.

Nowhere near as good as the first series.

Michael Mountain

Ed’s Note [Alex]: I also think they missed a lot out, Michael, but I personally wouldn’t say that it was nowhere near as good as the first series.

The cynic within me who loves to hate would’ve certainly liked to witness a firsthand recording of spineless mercenaries Kone and NDong shirking their duties, but I suppose if they ‘went AWOL’ then the best they could do would be to say that. Asoro and Maja didn’t display a particulary great attitude either when they claimed they were late because they were ‘just chilling’ at home. You could argue that they’re only young lads and perhaps lacked professionalism because of that - but that doesn’t seem to be an issue that has affected Gooch and Honeyman!

The representation of our fans, when they got air time, was largely excellent, I thought. They did miss a lot out though. Like you say, the Trafalgar takeover should’ve got a lot more notoriety than was afforded to it in episode five and the away fans travelling in their numbers were due much more credit. Yet I do understand the difficulty that must inevitably come from condensing such a dramatic, action-packed season into six forty minute episodes. When the fans making their appearances (or reappearances from season one) were filmed, I thought they were displayed very well. Fulwell73 got a lot right on that front once again.

Overall, I’d have it either on par or slightly worse than a first installment; there are certainly arguments like yours to be made that more substantial content could have been shown, possibly at the expense of some of the stuff which did make the final cut!

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

Dear Roker Report,

Watched series 2 here in Australia - not bad apart from frequent use of F word.

Should not be in when you consider this will be watched by many young fans.

Jim Macken

Ed’s Note [Alex]: It’s very difficult to accurately capture real-time unfolding events of a football team without hearing swearing, Jim! I understand the concern but I don’t think there was much Fulwell73 could’ve done about that if they wanted the experience of watching STID to be as immersive as possible.


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