clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light

Filed under:

Fan Letters: “Sunderland cannot win every game and have no expressed right to do so”

It’s a busy RR mailbag this week as we discuss expert analysis, the defence, the strikers, fans leaving early and the customer support provided by the club! Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just listened to the podcast after the Ipswich game and thought Chris got his match analysis spot on.

We have had a horrendous summer off the pitch and since returning from the USA the football side seems to be on the slide as well.

We don’t seem to have done anything to address our home form in terms of creating and attempting lots of goalscoring opportunities and have lost Amad’s ability to score fantastic goals at key moments.

Also concerning seems to be the performances of the second eleven who should be killing themselves to get into the first team. Is there an underlying problem raising its ugly head again at SAFC - surely not?

We all know in our modern world that confidence in young people can be very fragile and although there is plenty of time left in the season a poor start can often be hard to turn around.

Let’s hope our away form continues to be as good as last year because if not we might all be worrying. Hopefully, I am just being over nervous but having followed Sunderland for over 50 years the good times rarely last too long.


Ed’s Note [Chris]: Well thank you very much for the kind words Peter, nice to know someone listens in! Sunday was a strange game, as I tried to sum up in Wednesday’s Editorial, and on another day we could have easily come away with at least a point.

There’s certainly more than enough to take from the game to be optimistic about the rest the season.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg
Amad Diallo has been mentioned quite a bit over the last few days for some reason...
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It’s been quoted that Danny Batth was our best defender last season and I rate him better than Ballard - as Ballard keeps on picking up Yellow cards and also seems to “lose it” when a player beats him.

So why are the top brass saying that Batth is no longer required? In my opinion it’s pretty cruel to tell a guy that he can go before the season gets fully underway and what happens if Ballard gets injured in the first few games?

Have the bosses not thought of that? My defence would line up with Alese (when he’s fit again), Cirkin, Batth and O’Nien. Maybe one day the board will see sense and keep good players never mind selling them to pocket a few pounds. Nil desperandum...

Bill Calvert

Ed’s Note [Chris]: The Danny Batth situation is an odd one. He was great last season but it appears something has occurred behind the scenes. Whether or not we asked him to move on or his head was turned, but there’s three weeks of the window left and with only a year left on his contract we’ll probably know when the window shuts.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Danny Batth
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As someone who has followed Sunderland for over 50 years, never has our club gone into the opening game of the season with no strikers. This might have been acceptable to the likes of Birmingham and Blackburn, but when your average home gate is nearly 40,000, the 11th highest in all four divisions, it’s just not good enough.


Steve Williamson

Ed’s Note [Chris]: We kicked-off with Hemir up top, who looks much older than his 19-years, and looked decent in pre-season. But this was his first game at a level that is a lot higher than he was used to with Benfica B in the second tier of Portuguese football.

We were also unfortunate that Eliezer Mayenda pulled up in his first training session who could have at least been a second option and of course Ross Stewart won’t be fully fit for probably the next couple of months.

It’s also worth remembering that Amad took until mid-October to get up to speed with the Championship and form partnerships with his new teammates, so these things can take time.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Sunderland striker Hemir in action against Ipswich Town on the opening day of the season
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I agree wholeheartedly with Gabriel and Mike Stubbs outlook on the first game. The team played well and I feel unlucky on occasions when pushing forward for the equaliser.

There are deals being negotiated (we are led to believe) for a strike partner to Hemir, so I think he will benefit from support up front.

The digital tickets release went well with only minor hiccups and fans were in good spirits until Ipswich took the lead.

The booing and displeasure soon reared its ugly head and the so-called die-hard fans started to leave in their droves. One young girl said “why are people leaving now, they are fake fans“ she’s right in my opinion.

SAFC cannot win every game and have no expressed right to do so and Ipswich have carried on on their winning streak (as we did when getting promoted last year) and this league is going to be a hard league to get out of and we will have to fight for every point that is up for grabs. 45 games to go...


Ed’s Note [Chris]: On another day we could have easily taken at least a point, but it’s also highlighted a few things we can improve on from the start which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light
The atmosphere was nice while it lasted...
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

A grateful thank you for your prompt input in involving Chris (Waters) who provided me with all the information I needed including my car parking place.

All this was done with no complications and what was so impressive and praiseworthy from you both was that this was all done on a Saturday evening when I am sure you had other things planned. Thanks once again.

I think our performance showed how much we are going to miss Amad, his skills and pace were what was needed. Amazed Gooch came on and not Bennette who has pace and has shown he can finish.

Last rant - l am a great admirer the way O’Nien conducts himself on and off the field, but by making him captain does that drastically reduce the chances of Batth and the other young defenders we signed earlier, who will add height to our defence?

Thanks for your help it really is appreciated.



Ed’s Note [Chris]: I’ll answer for Gav (who did the helping out for you) and I’m sure he would say it’s his pleasure that he could help you out - but the fact is that he shouldn’t need to.

There are many fans out there such as yourself who require simple and reliable paths of communication to the club when they have a problem.

Chris Waters is a saint, but the same applies there where the fan liaison should not be standard customer support. The club have got to know this and put a support structure in place.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Lynden Gooch
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


The SAFC 365 Advent Calendar (Dec 7th): Seventh heaven at the Stadium of Light!


Fan Letters: “It may be harsh, but there’s logic behind Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland departure”


The Sunderland of 2023 is ruthless - much like modern football

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report