So, as we continue our team of One Good and One Bad (4-4-2 formation). Eve Sayers chose two central midfielders. Just confirm this is not a best and worst, it’s more of a one I liked, one who pissed me off!
Okay, so he might not necessarily be the best centre midfielder for that, we’re talking Jordan Henderson and Yann M’Vila calibre, but still, he’s a fan favorite. It’s fair to say that Lee Cattermole never really fulfilled his potential at Sunderland, due to injuries and suspensions. Cattermole arrived on Wearside when he was just 21, having already captained Middlesbrough and Wigan. Catts initially flourished at Sunderland with his close relationship with then manager Steve Bruce clearly paying dividends. However, after a lengthy spell out through injury, followed by a few silly successive suspensions, the midfielder had some making up to do.
Upon Martin O’Neill’s arrival, the midfielder played some of his best football at the club so far, with his best undoubtedly coming under Gus Poyet. He really shone during that last gasp New Year’s Day win over Manchester City, with O’Neill telling him that he had a “heart like a lion”. And boy did he, for all his flaws, Cattermole really did epitomize what every Sunderland fan is about.
He always fought and never went missing. If he was having a bad game, you could guarantee that nobody else on that pitch would be. Perhaps my favorite moment of Cattermole in a Sunderland shirt is when he went straight through Daryl Janmaat with seven seconds on the clock in that derby just before Christmas time; that tackle helped set the tone for the game, even if he was lucky to stay on the pitch. He did of course also send Jack Colback packing in that fifth victory of the six in a row.
It’s fair to say that the Championship season was a write off for pretty much everybody, so the less said about that, the better. Cattermole did however play his part in League One, despite initially looking like he’s leave. He was heavily involved in the task of rebuilding the club and helped to organise the team both on and off the pitch.
Catts even became something of a mini goal-machine during his last season of the club and it breaks my heart a little that his penalty was the one that didn’t go in during the Checkatrade Final. Hopefully he’ll be back for a testimonial one day. It’s very rare nowadays that you see a player spend ten seasons at one club.
I’d like to congratulate Jack Rodwell for making this one of the easiest decisions I’ll ever make. Everything about that man stinks from his attitude to his ability. For someone of supposed great athletic ability, Rodwell isn’t half a lazy little so and so. I’m glad that Sunderland till I Die: Part One helped to show Rodwell for what he really is. He was more than happy to take the club for a ride, picking the same wages as Lee Cattermole, while pretending to be injured and go running to the papers when anybody at the club dare question his integrity.
In football, sometimes stats lie but the fact that he started 39 games without us winning any of them us speaks for itself. It wasn’t even the fact that Rodwell was a bad player, he was just that anonymous that we may as well have been playing with ten men. Quite frankly, the £10m we paid for him makes the money we spent on not buying Ricky Alvarez an absolute steal. The fact Rodwell is still a Premier League player is a bigger mystery than the Da Vinci Code.
THE STORY SO FAR
Stay Safe, Haway the Lads