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Fan Letters: ‘Let’s all pull together and get the hell out of this league’ says RR reader Mark

And there’s a cracking story about getting to see the ‘73 cup final.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Let’s give Portsmouth pay back for the farce of the game down there. The new lads have to play – Trai Hume and Batth – because playing Gooch at right back he is liability, the Lincoln game proved that.

The lads need to go out and put on a show and enjoy it like they were doing a few weeks ago. Portsmouth will sit back and frustrate Sunderland like Lincoln did – we have to go for the throat from the first whistle and we win no problem. We desperately need a striker to help Stewart in this window. The lad has done brilliant – works hard non-stop as the lone striker. He needs help now. Defoe should have been signed now he is a free agent – never mind its a million miles away, he has no ties and we have one striker. Get it done.

We have a player we paid three million pound for on loan at our rivals and they have Ladapo who wants away – straight swap, simple.

The simple fact is we are in a good position with 19 games left. We need to get players in to improve the weak points in the team and if we don’t there are no excuses because we have the setup there now. We say it every year but we really have to get out of this league this year – action’s speak louder than words. Let’s all pull together and get the hell out of this league.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Big game today Mark – I think Batth will come into the team but Winchester, or more likely Wright if fit, will play at right back. We do need another striker in the window – I’d love Defoe back but judging by Johnson’s comments it’s not likely to happen, which is a shame – however, LJ must be confident of getting someone else in – maybe someone who has a longer-term future with the club – in instead. We do need to strengthen the squad this window, and I think we’ve done superb business so far with Batth and Roberts – I know little about Hume bar a YouTube highlights reel, and he seems like ‘one for the future’ rather than right now. Hopefully a striker and a centre mid, and we’ll be in good shape.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Danny Batth
Batth should significantly strengthen the defence
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I am a born and bred Hendon Mackem and was living in Yeovil at the time of the cup final. I was at the semi final but couldn’t get a ticket for the final. However my brother Billy got a ticket through Westland helicopters where he worked, so I went with him in the hope that I could buy a ticket from one of the ticket touts.

Sunderland were 9/2 to win the game and if I didn’t get a ticket I was going to put my wages on which was about £40 at the time, I was unsuccessful though and couldn’t get a ticket.

After a game of 100 a side footy outside Wembley the turnstiles opened and by this time we were at the Leeds end, and being a welder I noticed that one of the bottom bars on the turnstile had been poorly welded and some Leeds supporters were jumping up and down on it to snap it off which they managed to do.

A policeman inside noticed this and stood guard but when the crowds started to close up he turned away. I was like a whippet and slid under the turnstile and was in. I had my brother’s ticket just in case I was nabbed. I met my brother back round the Sunderland end and gave him his ticket back so he could get through his allotted turnstile.

However you had to show the ticket stub again to enter the actual standing area so I got his ticket back and went through and asked someone if they would lend me their ticket stub to get my brother in which they did and that is exactly how I got to see the 1973 FA cup final!

Regarding Monty’s double save, I never saw it as when the ball fell to (hot shot) Peter Lorimer’s feet I turned away and said oh no then my brother Billy shouted “it’s not in young’an Monty’s saved it!” and the rest is history.

We returned to Yeovil and I was buzzing at work where all my workmates were genuinely pleased that Sunderland had beaten the then Mighty Leeds... by the way I was in a Yeovil betting office with my mate when the 3rd round draw was made and he said look your team is 300/1 to win the cup but I thought that they had no chance so never backed them and that was my only regret. Happy days though.


Harry Thompson.

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Brilliant story Harry – thanks for sharing it with us. We love hearing memories like this so please keep on sending them in – absolutely class.

Dear Roker Report,

How do we get perspective when we live in a culture of extremes where there are no greys just black and white?

Statements regards players are thrown out on here and other media by pundits and fans alike, by one side or another depending on their view point but which is right?

An example facts regards two players:

Player A

149 games goals 36 assists 34 Gpg 4.14 Apg 4.4 Gpm 306 Apm 324

Player B

124 games goals 28 assists 27 Gpg 4.4 Apg 4.6 Gpm 267 Apm 277

(Apg Gpg are assists/goals per game where as Gpm Apm are assists/goals per min)

How would you assess these two players? Who is the best? How would you decide who is best?


Ed’s Note [Martin]: There’s such a focus on stats and data in today’s football, and everything is analysed to the nth degree – some people use this as categoric evidence upon which to judge players, but it’s certainly not that. There’s so much other information to take into account – personality and character, for example, susceptibility to injuries, – that just can’t be measured by numbers. In your example above, player A may be a bit of a dick and not get on with other players, whereas player B is very popular. Player A may have good leadership qualities whereas player B may not.

When you listen to Johnson and Speakman talk about how the club uses data, it’s used to initially identify players who could fit in with what we need – from there the more ‘human’ side is delved into more.


Farewell, Tony, and thanks for the Sunderland memories


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