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Sunderland v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light

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Fan Letters: Abdoullah Ba was terrific yesterday!

“[Ba] was terrific yesterday. Direct, dynamic, aware and looked to create an opportunity instead of playing it safe,” writes RR reader Calum Mills. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It occurred to me after enjoying the stream of the Black Cats’ victory today that Pritchard removing himself from the team contributed to its success. It is likely that Abdoullah Ba, who provided a goal and two assists to the effort, started in his place.

There is a bit of irony there.

It was pleasing to see Ba and Burstow do well.

Mac Craig

Dear Roker Report,

How are we?

First off - I can’t believe I’m writing this - but another one of our strikers has scored (albeit a slightly fortuitous one). Nonetheless, it was a proper poacher’s finish and will do Burstow a world of good. However, I’d still like to see him more involved if he’s going to be a ‘target man’ as for the other 80 minutes, he was pretty anonymous, and whenever the ball was played into him, it bounced off one of his trampoline feet!

Secondly, Mr. Ba. Still completely undecided as to what foot he prefers to use as he seems to chop & change every game. He also loves a Cruyff / chop inside / step-over combo, which every 1 in 2 times he tries it bamboozles defenders. But he was terrific yesterday. Direct, dynamic, aware and looked to create an opportunity instead of playing it safe, which he had to do to not be slated by fans over previous weeks (me included - SORRY!) But with Roberts not due back for a few weeks, if his performances stay as high as they did against Ipswich and Stoke, I think Roberts finds himself on the bench?

Pierre, you beautiful mercurial bastard. That was the Ekwah we saw at the end of last season and most definitely the start of this season before that untimely dead leg received at QPR. When he’s in the final 3rd, he just knows what to do with ease! There’s a compilation video flying around X (Twitter) of him from last season driving forward with the ball and picking forward passes in the same manner that Beethoven conducts the 5th Symphony. So why did Beale persist on playing him as the sitter?! He is far more effective from the middle of the park moving towards goal!


  • Beale’s comments about us fans being “outside noise” is utter bollocks and he still isn’t the man for the job, in my opinion
  • A win over Boro next week could help repair some of the damage caused in recent weeks
  • Pritchard’s leaving us under a cloud which is a shame considering how important he’s been for us the last 2 seasons… there’s no player bigger than the club, but he has been treated poorly by the management.


Calum Mills

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

Dear Roker Report,

Pritchard wants to leave. Is this the rot setting in the club, or has it already with the appointment of Beale? He said he was going to play Pemble for the match against Stoke, then does exactly the opposite. He hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing or even saying. So come on Dreyfus, do the decent thing and sack Beale before our club goes further downhill.

Ian Frame

Dear Roker Report,

I can totally sympathise with the supporter who feels like giving up on the club and the passion he feels. I haven’t been able to get to many games in the last 5 years due to cost and work commitments, but after supporting the club for 55 plus years, this ownership and choice of manager has also killed my passion. They don’t understand the fans, i.e., the Black Cats Bar debacle and moving the fans purely to make money, as well as the ticket office fiasco, club shop, and of course, being called the “outside noise,” has sapped my interest and passion for the club I love.

Robert Brown

Sunderland v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

My earlier post referred to Michael Beale being perplexed and bemused at the criticism leveled at him. In today’s Northern Echo, he seems to question if it is his accent that the fans don’t like and suggests he should be shown more respect. Please, Mr. Beale, be assured that the fans only care about winning games and couldn’t care less what accent or language you speak.

As for respect, in this part of the country, respect has to be earned. Once earned, they are loyal for life. Ask Niall Quinn or others like him. You need to win games, preferably by playing good attacking football, but winning is all important. Suggesting that we were unlucky against Ipswich and Hull doesn’t cut it. And following on from such an inept display against Newcastle, your record doesn’t look very good. Your performance at press time gives the appearance of arrogance, and that isn’t a trait endearing to the fans. Show us that you know what you are doing, and the respect will come. At the moment, you are in the ranks of our worst leaders and have a long way to go before you have a statue outside of the Stadium of Light.

Bill Fisher

Dear Roker Report,

Michael Beale’s immature outburst about unfair criticism and negativity from fans was a shock.

As our Head Coach, he is responsible for nurturing and developing our young squad of future stars. A key part of every footballer’s education is learning to deal with the usual ups and downs of the game and the inevitable accolades and criticisms that come with them.

Some players are better at coping than others, but it is something that can be taught, and it’s one of his jobs to teach it. I’m not sure how he’ll be able to do that now after losing much of his credibility by showing everyone that he himself is already struggling to handle the pressure.

It’s uncertain how much benefit we can ever get from any coach who has now to tell our youngsters “don’t do as I do” - “do as I say”!

Peter Tyrell


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