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South Shields v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly

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Fan Letters: “Is Harry Gardiner’s loan move to South Shields the right one?”

Thoughts on Gardiner’s switch to South Tyneside and Joe Gelhardt’s form, plus a strong take on the Sunderland/Newcastle rivalry are in the RR mailbox today! Email us:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m not sure about the decision to send Harry Gardiner on loan to South Shields, to be honest.

I get why they want to see how he fares in a first team situation but I reckon he could benefit from being on our bench for Championship games.

I guess it shows what they think of him if the Northern Premier League is his standard, and it reminds me of us sending Bali Mumba there just before he went to Norwich!

John Ridley

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, John. Thanks for getting in touch!

I fully agree with you on this one.

I would’ve loved to have seen Gardiner phased into the first team picture between now and the end of the season, perhaps with some cameo appearances in order to give him a taste of what playing for Sunderland in this league is all about.

I’m not really sure how a move to Shields will really benefit him. OK, he’ll be playing for Kevin Phillips, but I think he would’ve been best served by staying at Sunderland and being part of what’s clearly a youth-orientated setup.

Sunderland v Fulham: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have to agree with some of the views I’ve read about Joe Gelhardt.

He’s trying his best, but his best isn’t good enough. I also see no benefit in the lad playing from the start of games, unless we’re away from home and we need to press from the front.

As a goalscorer, he’s hopeless.

Ian Hughes

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Ian. Thanks for your letter!

I have to admit that I’ve been incredibly disappointed by Gelhardt.

When he joined us from Leeds, their fans were raving about him and comparisons were even drawn between himself and a young Wayne Rooney!

Sadly, it just hasn’t worked out for him at the Stadium of Light.

Despite his attitude and work rate, both of which have been impressive, he was signed to score goals and ultimately, I think it’ll be remembered as a case of ‘what might’ve been’ when he heads back to Elland Road in the summer.

Sunderland v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I started supporting the Lads in the 1970’s when I stood on the Fulwell End with my mates from school. Back then, I didn’t feel like I do now,

I’m sixty years old now and I simply hate the Mags for their deluded arrogant attitude. Indeed, the older I get, the worse it gets!

I simply can’t understand why you would’ve gone to Sid James’ Park and Roker Park back in the day.

I support two teams: Sunderland & any other team who’s playing Newcastle. I’m not prejudiced and I don’t mind who beats them!

Sunderland ‘til I die!

Doug Raine

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Doug. Thanks for getting in touch!

Our recent article about the state of the rivalry certainly led to some interesting debates, but personally, I think it’s one for the future as we attempt to regain our place in the Premier League.

We’ll definitely lock horns with Newcastle again in the future and with any luck, we might be able to pick up where we left off with the ‘six in a row’ and give their owners a taste of what a true local rivalry is actually like!

Newcastle v Sunderland Photo by NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images


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