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Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: “There aren’t many things in football that stay secret for long”

Praise for Gooch, criticism for Stewart, a song by some big fella, our secret plan, fixture confusion and technical difficulties - all in today’s RR mailbag! Got something to say? Email us:

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

Dear Roker Report,

I was really moved by Lynden Gooch’s heartfelt farewell to our club and its fans. What a wonderful personal reflection on his years of service which only unifies his position as a Sunderland legend.

I personally am really sorry to see him go at only 27 and whilst understanding the club model still struggle to see why - as a combative leader and versatile and dependable player - he was allowed to leave. We can only wish him well in the years to come.

But what a contrast with the minimal, “someone suggested I should say something”, leaving remarks from Ross Stewart. I had high hopes of him re-signing and capitalising on our creative players, but realised through his total silence to speculation and lack of respect to the fans - as he recovered from injury - that was never going to happen, and that he would be away.

It was such a good feeling on Saturday to batter Southampton and it would be even better if we were to be ahead of them at the “top end of the season” Ross!

Anyway, Lynden Gooch - class apart for me.

David McCallum

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Lynden Gooch leaving did feel like it was one of our own exiting the club but I see it as a sign of progress. As we continue to improve, existing players need to keep improving at the same pace.

I also think that the offer from Stoke City was probably just too good to turn down and it appears with Timothée Pembélé they were already thinking ahead to what’s next.

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

Dear Roker Report,

There aren’t many things in football that stay secret for long and if ever we hoped our plan could fly under the radar, those hopes disappeared when a bunch of kids “playing in the park” destroyed one of the favourites for automatic promotion in an emphatic statement of intent by the club.

It’s just a niggle at the moment, but what happens if/when other clubs start tapping into the same markets with the same plans as us? At the moment we seem to be fishing a well-stocked pond, but I worry that the prices for these starlets will surely rise as more clubs with more spending power start fishing the same pools.

Phil Clayton

Ed’s Note [Chris]: You’ve got a point, but we’re in that market because we have to be. Clubs with spending power can look at players who are more proven.

You have to remember that each player we buy such as Pierre Ekwah, who had zero experience of senior football, is a huge gamble. One that we have decided we’re prepared to take, but most other managers in the Championship want experience.

If more clubs do start going down this path then you just have to aim to have a better scouting structure than anyone else I suppose.

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

While it is always good to see Sunderland players being picked for their countries, at least one fixture on the club website concerns me. It says Northern Ireland are due to play San Marino on Thursday 14th September, yet we have a game at QPR on the 16th. Is it right?

Ballard and Hume could possibly play three times in a week for Northern Ireland then be expected to perform 100% at QPR after just one day’s rest. Sounds a bit unfair to me.

Bjorn Shigg

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Just checked and they play Slovenia on Thursday 7th September and Kazakhstan on Sunday 10th September. Ballard is also doubtful with the knock from the weekend so let’s hope they give him a rest and Hume comes back in one piece as well.

Coventry City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It’s to the tune of hypnotise by Notorious BIG...

Riggy Riggy Riggy can’t you see?

Sometimes your skills just hypnotise me,

And I just love your flashy ways,

That’s why we’re gunna smash the Premier League!


Ed’s Note [Chris]: Thanks for the update on what the tune was Michael, although can’t say I’m a fan of the big fella, so still none the wiser on how it goes - I’ll ask some of the other lads later.

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship
“How does it go again...?!”
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


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