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Portsmouth v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: “That match should have never started,” says RR reader Anthony

Portsmouth fallout continues in today’s mailbag...

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

We were well beaten yesterday because of the conditions I.M.O. Refs in league 1 are shite. That match should have never started because the referee must have known the weather forecast. The four corners were unplayable. WATERLOGGED. Anybody can see from the still photos that the pitch was unplayable. You all know as much as I do that our game plan is to use our wing backs to attack the corners of the pitch. That’s how we have been effective so far. Yesterday’s pitch didn’t allow it. Portsmouth’s head coach even admitted that they had used the shallow end better than us. Also he agreed with LJ that he would have questioned the officials about abandoning the match if it was the other way round. Down the road, Aldershot’s home match was abandoned at half time. Funny enough the home team were losing 0-2. Makes you wonder. I know that I see things with my red and white tinted glasses but that’s me. I hate the international breaks. God help us if F.I.F.A introduces the world cup every two years. Three weeks to the next home match. Ridiculous. Stay positive.

Anthony DeGiovanni

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks Anthony. Agree with you completely – the game shouldn’t have gone past have time. It was ridiculous and absolute negligence from the referee. That doesn’t alter the fact we were very poor and didn’t deal with the conditions as well as Portsmouth did. But it’s done, over and, as Roy Keane would say, we move on.

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

Dear Roker Report,

Quality of the opponent or our deficiencies?

We see a 4-0 scoreline against us, and we can say that the opponent was 100% superior throughout the game. Yes. It was like this.

I’m not going to blame the bad state of the playing field (it was bad in some sectors, but it was the same for both).

Sunderland’s problem from the first minute was creativity. Only Embleton was in charge of that function, and he did not fulfil it.

Without Gooch and McGeady due to injury, and with Neil on the bench, that task was handled only by the former Blackpool man.

In the absence of McGeady and Gooch, the manager’s approach should be different. I propose “more fight” and “less game”.

The performance of the forwards was also evidenced. None were assisted, nor were they able to make things difficult for the opposition defence.

There’s a long way to go this season season, and Sunderland will not perform as badly as Saturday.

The positive?. Staying in direct promotion positions, and that a tough defeat like today was in October 2021, and not in March or April 2022 ...

Sebastian Masciandaro

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Sebastian. The pitch was the same for both teams, but I think it suited Portsmouth’s style of play more than ours. Not sure I agree with you about the blame lying with Embleton and a lack of creativity – the whole team was poor, the defence was all over the place, the midfield didn’t get a hold of the game and therefore the forwards – including Dajaku, Embleton and Stewart, simply couldn’t get into the game.

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