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Fan Letters: More criticism for Sunderland’s choice of opposition!

“I hope it’s not too late for them to rethink this” says RR reader David on Sunderland’s choice of opposition for a friendly, and more on Ellis Simms... Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

What on earth are Sunderland doing by arranging a friendly with a Saudi Arabian side?

While most right-minded people and most Sunderland supporters oppose the Saudi’s attempts at sports washing their human rights crimes by staging sports events and owning a certain Premier league club.

Lots have lobbied organisations against it, but our club decide it’s a good idea to engage the Saudis and arrange a friendly with a Saudi Premiere League club, thus giving the impression that if Newcastle s biggest rivals think it’s ok not to make a stand against them, why should any other club or organisation bother.

Honestly, who at the club is responsible for making these decisions and how could they possibly have thought this was a good idea. Even if they say this was the best team available, we should have picked the 5th, 10th or even 100th best team available rather than go down this route.

I hope it’s not too late for the to re-think this.

David Wilkinson

Dear Roker Report,

The club’s decision to play a Saudi team is a disgrace. The question I ask is why?

What is the point?

Are they really that tone deaf, particularly given the opposition to what’s gone on up the road at Sid James Park?

I advise they revise their decision.

Graham Smith

Ed’s Note [Chris]: At any time, this isn’t great, but this coming at a time when national sides are travelling to the World Cup trying to decide how best to make a stance against the hosts, this fixture makes no sense.

Much has been written on our site regarding our position in the world in terms of being the opposite to those up the road, but this isn’t how we achieve that. It’s three weeks between our games, not sure why this was needed in the break - but if we were desperate to have a game, have a think about it.

I’d love to hear this decision explained fully.

Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Good to read Tom’s letter about certain fans' expectations. I will go a little further as well as to say the staff are doing the best they can do, operating under very difficult circumstances.

Perhaps if some of the supporters were a little more patient, respectful and obeyed ground regulations, which are there for their safety, there would be a more harmonious atmosphere inside the stadium?

Malcolm Donnison

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I agree with the sentiment Malcolm, people being more patient and respectful would go a long way, but this also works both ways.

Dear Roker Report,

Just a quick word on the criticism outlined in the latest Fan Letters on Simms. There are some ignorant people around who are quick to call black players in particular “lazy”.

It should come as no surprise that that’s the word thrown at Simms, Kenwyne Jones got the same. Whenever I see someone calling him lazy I always sigh.

He is not lazy. You do not make it this far in his profession by being lazy. He’s simply unfit and we should credit the lad for clearly returning early from injury to help the team.

John Cook

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Completely agree John. We discussed it on this week’s podcast that not only is he clearly on his way back to full fitness but for a lot of strikers in the modern game, it’s how they are coached to play.

Many don’t waste energy while the ball isn’t within 10-20 yards and then suddenly, they burst into life when the ball is around them. His opening goal was everything we’ve been missing, a striker playing off the defender's shoulder and when it comes to him, take one touch and slots in the bottom corner.

It’s good to have him back.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images


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