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Fan Letters: “Why aren’t we seeing more of Bennette and Rigg in Sunderland’s team?”

“In my opinion, Jewison and Rigg should be given regular full games,” writes RR reader Harish. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As we enter 2024 and the second half of the season I am sadly not full of optimism!

In my humble opinion (I genuinely hope I am wrong) replacing Tony Mowbray with Michael Beale will prove to be simply the wrong thing to have done at the wrong time. For me we are already seeing the youthful vibrancy of the team being sucked out of it by the managerial change in the recent flat performances.

When TM took over from that recently sacked Stoke bloke he built a relationship with a young and experienced group of players that resulted in some of the best football we have seen in years, not only did the players buy into it but we fans did too, finally we as a club came together and crucially for me we had an identity of how we played. In the New Year that relationship between the new manager and the team and with the fans has to be rebuilt, the team gave everything they had for TM, can MB get the same out of them? time will tell but time is something I don’t think MB has because let’s be honest he has taken over a club at a time when a managerial change did not need to happen.

As we enter the January transfer window there are two areas for me that need addressing where we lack a presence, the obvious one is a striker but I would like to see central midfield beefed up. We have players with talent and flair so please no more of these types, we need a bit of grizzle and championship know-how, Windass from Sheff Wed and Browne from Preston are the types that would give us that grizzle and experience. Every craftsman needs a labourer, I think TM knew that — let’s hope our hierarchy has realised that too.

Wishing all at RR and the supporters of our great club a happy New Year.

Neil Watkinson

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,

Yet again no striker selected against Rotherham.

Roberts off Ba on? Ba has been absolutely rubbish in the last few games and is fast becoming a McFadzean replacement! Very poor again.

Not sure what Aouchiche did wrong no idea what Burstow did right?

I think I need to put my application in as Head Coach!

Again very poor and we all knew how Rotherham were going to play.

Apart from Michael Beale?

Have a good New Year guys.

Philip Wright

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - AESSEAL New York Stadium Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I cannot believe that Beale has been given a 3 year contract, especially as Tony Mowbray was only given initially until the end of the season and then only one more year after narrowly losing in the playoffs to Luton.

This contract seems to be very unfair — so why didn’t the owners just give him until end of the season, assess the situation and if everyone is happy, then give him one more year just like Tony Mowbray received?

I think 3 years is too much as I very much doubt he will last, due mainly to pressure from fans. Then, they will have to compensate him which doesn’t make sense.

Is it because the management wanted a ‘Yes Sir’ manager?

Another issue is... why aren’t they giving a regular chance to Costa Rican International Jewison Bennette? Whenever he gets a few minutes from the bench, he seems to play well as he has assisted and scored a couple of goals. He is very skillful and has a very good eye for the goal. I think it would be great to give him a chance now before loaning out such a talented player who is wasted by not playing him at all.

In my opinion, Jewison and Rigg should be given regular full games.


Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Why does our team give lower teams a goal start? How many times has this happened? We beat teams higher than us and fall short with bottom-based teams... if it wasn’t for Jack Clarke we would be scrabbling to avoid relegation — I dread the thought that he gets injured.

I gave Beale six games to prove himself, but he isn’t doing a good job of it. I am dreading the Newcastle (spit) score, probably 7-0 to them... we can just pray.

No team that I have ever watched from 10 year olds to World Cup champions has ever played without a striker, so having played 23 games without one must be a NEW WORLD RECORD. If we had a striker we would not be on the fringes of the playoffs but would have been at the top of the Championship — maybe by several points clear.

Happy New Year to all Fans and the Editor.

Bill Calvert

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ed Sykes/Getty Images


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