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Fan Letters: “It’s time for Michael Beale to make some changes for Hull”

Thoughts on a potential starting XI for Friday, as well as the prospect of Luke O’Nien in midfield and more opinions on Michael Beale are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


Dear Roker Report,

Here I go again with my opinions!

Michael Beale looks worried, lacking in passion, and cold. In fact, it looks as if he’s waiting for a bus- hopefully to take him out of Sunderland.

We still don’t play a striker even though Nazariy Rusyn scored against Preston and put in a big lonely shift against Newcastle. This guy can also play wide right, and has shown us his passion in previous games.

Here’s my team selection for Friday. It won’t happen, but here’s hoping.

Patterson, Hume, Seelt; Ballard, Alese, Pritchard; Neil, Jobe, Clarke; Rusyn, Mayenda

Michael Beale’s possible starting XI?

Patterson, Hume, O’Nien; Ballard, Alese, Neil; Ekwah, Pritchard, Ba; Clarke, Jobe

If Pritchard hasn’t upset our coach too much, that is.

Philip R. Wright

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Philip. Thank you for your letter.

For me, Rusyn simply has to start against Hull on Friday and if he doesn’t, it would lead to plenty of awkward questions after he performed encouragingly during his two previous starts.

He’s certainly the best of the four options we’ve currently got, and if he doesn’t get an extended run of games, quite how he’s supposed to show what he can do in terms of scoring is beyond me.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

At last, somebody is seeing the same as I’m seeing week in and week out.

Luke O’Nien isn’t a defender and never will be, so get him into midfield and play either Jenson Seelt or Nectar Triantis in defence.

Adrian in Blackpool


Dear Roker Report,

Luke O’Nien is a proven defensive midfielder, having played there previously, and he should’ve been playing in front of the back four months ago to provide the freedom for our other midfielders to get forward.

Kenneth Lamb

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Adrian and Kenneth. Thanks for getting in touch.

I agree that O’Nien has some qualities that we lack in midfield at the moment- a love of a challenge, tenacity, and the willingness to put in the hard yards to help his teammates, but at the same time, I don’t see Michael Beale moving him into that position any time soon.

Rightly or wrongly, he’s clearly seen as a defender now, and in fairness, he’s been largely solid and reliable whenever he’s played there. I just think it’s a bit of a non-starter, to be honest.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Beale out now.

Barry Hirst


Dear Roker Report,

I’d just like to say that I agree with everything Andrew said, apart from Kristjaan Speakman doing a good job.

This is the man who brought in four strikers, none of whom the coaching staff will play. To bring in one that doesn’t fit is OK, but four?

This man shouldn’t be at our club, and nor should Mike Dodds and Michael Proctor because Michael Beale is picking the team around their input, and Beale himself shouldn’t be there.

George Leblond


Dear Roker Report,

Michael Beale isn’t the man for us, and there doesn’t seem to be anything about him, really.

Against Newcastle, he said that we’d ‘play our game’, but surely the object of the exercise was to stop Newcastle playing, as we all know they have class compared to us?

Then there’s the issue of substitutes, because at least Tony Mowbray used to put two or three on to liven things up.

I think the fans will start to drift away, and we’ll finish in mid-table at best. Sad times, I’m afraid.

Colin Childs

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Barry, George and Colin. Thank you for your letters.

I have to admit that I can’t recall a recent Sunderland boss who’s been so badly received by the supporters, but does it surprise me? Not in the slightest.

Whoever followed Tony Mowbray was always going to face a difficult task to win over the fans, but it doesn’t seem like Beale is making any real progress, and with results and performances not improving drastically, it feels very awkward and uncomfortable right now.

Only an upturn in performances and results will help Beale to win over the fans who are sceptical about him, and he still doesn’t seem to be adjusting to the demands of leading a club of this size.

It can change, but I’m not sure it will.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Kieffer Moore is keen on a move to Cardiff.

He’s looking at property in the Cardiff and South Wales areas, as it’s where he plays his international football.

John Dimblebee

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

If Moore is eyeing up a move to South Wales during this transfer window, it wouldn’t surprise me.

I’ve never been fully sold on the idea of bringing him to Sunderland, and if the rumours are to be believed, his wages could be a stumbling block, so I’d be shocked if anything comes of it from a Sunderland perspective.

Nottingham Forest v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

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