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Portsmouth v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: Timing is everything!

This week in the RR mailbag we have babies, a bold claim on Lynden Gooch and a query on the whereabouts of Chris Maguire - have you got anything you need to get off your chest?! Email us:!

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I was struck by your report that Jones “is a doubt with a baby on the way!”

I am old enough to remember Bill Shankly who urged his players to have a good Pre Christmas so that nine months later such things happened in the close season!

On the subject of babies I can remember being at Tranmere many moons ago on Boxing Day when an announcement came over the PA system!

“Can Mr X from Sunderland phone home as his wife has just given birth - slight pause - to twins! “

It could have been a wind up , but knowing our fans probably not! If Mr X, or indeed the twins who must be approaching 30 read your threads maybe they can confirm?

Andrew Bailey

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I remember Roy Keane making a comment about a player being missing for the same reason when he was assistant to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland, saying something along the lines of “it’s not him giving birth is it?!”. I know I wouldn’t have missed it with my kids for the world - and even if I didn’t - I wouldn’t have had a choice!

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League
Could probably guess his views on the matter...
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Reading your reply regarding Lynden Gooch, saying he is always likely to score or create something, I’m sorry but if you look at the stats you’ll not only find that he does not score on a regular basis but his assist record has to be the worst from any forward player in the whole football league. I’m afraid to say we’ll never get promoted with him in the team, it’s like starting with 10 men.

Stanley Goggins

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Ha’way man Stanley. If you look at the stats, Gooch has the equal 8th most assists in League One this season (7) in 21 starts in 39 games, and is our joint second top scorer from open play too. Last season he scored 11. He’s not a world beater, and has been incredibly frustrating in a number of games – but even in games such as the Tranmere final, he can be playing poorly but stick one away confidently.

He wouldn’t be in my first XI when everyone’s fit (maybe at right wing back if we played a back 3/5). But let’s give the lad credit where it’s due. Saying it’s like starting with 10 men is just nonsensical – especially when you see him score goals like the one he bagged at MK Dons last season, or at Oxford earlier this.

Sunderland v Oxford - Sky Bet League One
A Gooch goal against Oxford
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Where is Chris Maguire?

I think he should be part of our team.

Is he injured? Why doesn’t Lee Johnson play him?

Dorothy Boyd

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I wholeheartedly agree Dorothy. He played for the under 23s yesterday so he’s not injured. It’s bizarre. I’d always have him on the bench as he’s capable of producing a moment of magic. I can’t believe that the manager could see what he did off the bench at Crewe and think ‘nah’. Must be more to it – sure it’ll come out in the wash.

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One
Anyone seen this man?
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images


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