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Before the World Cup - World Cup boycott of pub

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Fan Letters: ‘Far too many people are jumping on the political bandwagon,’ says SAFC fan Malcolm

Should football and politics be kept apart? Is it even possible? And will Jewi shine in Qatar? Email us: rokerreport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Thomas Banneyer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Leaving all my issues with the Qatar world cup to one side, I must wish Jewison Bennette (‘my mate Jewi’ as my grandson calls him, after meeting him at the open training session last month) and Bailey Wright all the best. I have no interest in England this time around so instead, I will lend my support to the two red and whiters representing the club on the big stage. Could this be the time for Jewi to shine on the big stage?

Let’s hope he returns to Wearside a hero.

Ian Hughes (KTF STID)

Ed’s Note [Martin]: It’ll be good to actually see him play from the off, and interesting to see how he gets on. I must admit, I’ll be tuning into the Costa Rica games with more interest than the England games – if he has a good tournament, then there’ll be a lot of pressure to fit him into the team somewhere, although I’m not sure where he’d fit into the starting XI with everyone fit at present. Good problems to have though.

Costa Rica v New Zealand - 2022 FIFA World Cup Playoff
Will Jewi shine on the big stage?
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read Thursday’s feature on Sunderland’s defenders with interest. Have to say that when I saw some of the comments on Facebook and below the piece, I was surprised to see so many fans jumping to the defence of Lynden Gooch. I don’t think anything said in the piece was unfair – he hasn’t been great this season, and of all the regulars, he’s been our weakest starter. However, I don’t think all is lost there with him and that he can improve, because he’s got a learner’s mentality.

Graham Sands

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I don’t think Gooch has been too bad this season to be honest, he had a couple of off games before his injury and he’s been playing in an unfamiliar position. That said, I think Niall Huggins will be our regular right-back sooner rather than later, so Gooch will have a battle on his hands to get into the starting XI.

Sunderland v Blackpool - Sky Bet Championship
Unfair criticism?
Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

What a ridiculous suggestion by John Cook to suggest Ellis Simms has been called lazy because he’s black... even though I don’t think he is lazy either. But there’s been loads of white players down the years called lazy... though not everyone has the same opinions on who is and who isn’t. Why are people obsessed with fetching racism into everything?

David Wilkinson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Maybe it’s subconsciously a factor (or conciously for a small minority), maybe it isn’t – who knows? I certainly don’t think it’s a ridiculous suggestion, though, it’s not a huge leap to make – although I agree with you that plenty of white players have been called lazy over the years. Anyway, I don’t think he is ‘lazy’ at all – I think he uses his energy wisely and it’s great to have him back in the team.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Good to be back!
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can’t agree with the critics aimed at SAFC playing games in the Middle East. Football is the sport and game, not politics. Far too many people are jumping on the political bandwagon.

Malcolm Donnison

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Football and politics can’t be separated, as much as I’d like them to operate completely independently, it’s just not reality. Just look at Newcastle – why do you think a country has bought them? It’s not because they love the club, the sport or the region. It’s because of politics. Sport has always been used as a political vehicle – go back to Jesse Owens, the rebel tour of South Africa etc. Like it or not, they can’t be separated.

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